29 Oct 2021—12 Feb 2022

Spowers and Syme

'Is it too great a truism to repeat that the best art is always the child of its own age?' - Eveline W Syme.

Celebrating the artistic friendship of Melbourne artists Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme, Spowers & Syme presents the changing face of interwar Australia through the perspective of two remarkable women artists.

The exhibition offers rare insight into the unlikely collaboration between the daughters of rival media families. Studying together in Paris and later with avant-garde printmaker Claude Flight in London, Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme returned to the conservative art world of Australia – where they became enthusiastic exponents of modern art in Melbourne during the 1930s and ‘40s.

Much-loved for their innovative approach to lino and woodcut techniques, Spowers & Syme showcases their dynamic approach through prints and drawings whose rhythmic patterns reflect the fast pace of the modern world through everyday observations of childhood themes, overseas travel and urban life.

Spowers & Syme is a National Gallery Touring Exhibition supported by Visions of Australia, Major Patron David Thomas AM, and the Gordon Darling Foundation. Spowers & Syme is a Know My Name project.

Ethel Spowers, School is out, 1936,
linocut, printed in colour inks, from five blocks,
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1976