Proctor, Thea (1879-1966) by Scholes, Robert

Thea Proctor (1879 – 1966) She was a very important Australian artist, who spent some crucial years in England before returning home. The following information comes from an article by Roger Butler at the National Gallery of Australia Web page. “As a sixteen-year-old, Thea Proctor became a student at Julian Ashton’s ‘Academie Julian’ (later the Sydney Art School). She was a student for only two years (1896-97), but in her works from this time the beginnings of her mature style can be discerned. In 1897 she exhibited poster designs with the Society of Artists, and her ex-libris designs published in 1899 brought about her trademark combination of simple flat shapes and decorative detail. ” Proctor’s drawing skills were refined during many years in London (1903-21), and her insistence on the pre-eminence of design was reinforced by her study of Japanese prints. On her return to Australia she lived in Melbourne briefly before moving to Sydney at Ure Smith’s instigation to work onThe Homemagazine. ” Proctor had been invited to teach at her old school in 1926, and her classes in design were an instant success. The actual process of cutting the limo was taught by Henry Gibbons,15 while Proctor concentrated on developing students’ awareness of composition through the simplification of line and form, 16 qualities which were exaggerated in simple linocut prints.”

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