Roslyn Russell, Kylie Winkworth
© Commonwealth of Australia, 2010
ISBN 97 80977544363 (pbk)
Context and works of art
For works of art, context may include the place of a particular work within an artist's oeuvre, or within an art movement.
In the case of public art, the physical context is often an integral part of the conception and design of the work, and is an important element of its significance.
Kangaroos was created for a specific poolside context. Both design and production combine to make the art work important in Jan Brown's oeuvre.
Photo: Roslyn Russell
Jan Brown is a Canberra sculptor who has achieved national recognition, but whose work is best known within the Australian Capital Territory. She was trained in Sydney, and at London's Chelsea Polytechnic School where internationally famed British sculptor Henry Moore was one of her teachers. Brown is a masterly interpreter of animals through sculpture and has managed to convey a sense of their poignant vulnerability, even in this work where she has exaggerated the kangaroos' bodies to emphasise their muscularity and strength. Brown's larger-than-life bronze sculptures of a mother kangaroo and her joey poised to drink at the Mirror Pool in Canberra's Commonwealth Park are perfectly crafted to suit their physical context. Kangaroos is also significant as the first major bronze cast by Peter Morley in Australia. Morley worked with another celebrated British sculptor, Barbara Hepworth, at a London foundry before emigrating to Australia, where he established the Meridian Foundry in Melbourne and began a long-term collaboration with Jan Brown.