pp. 78 illusts #0817.
Janet Dawson was born in 1935 and studied at the National Gallery School in Melbourne from 1952 until 1956 when she was awarded a travelling scholarship to London, where she studied at the Slade School. She then went to Italy and later to Paris where she worked as a proof printer at the Atelier Patris and also made her own lithographs. In 1960 she returned to Australia and worked and exhibited at Gallery A in Melbourne, where she ran the print shop and gave art classes.
She participated in an exhibition of contemporary Australian painting in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1966. She was one of the pioneers of colourfield painting and was one of only three women artists included in the “Field” exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1968. In 1973 she won the Archibald Prize with a portrait of her husband, Michael Boddy. She moved to Binalong in rural New South Wales in 1974 and became interested in the landscape with its animals, native flora and changing seasons. This brought about a change in her art practice, with a focus on still life and the minutiae of her bucolic surroundings. “I don’t pose my still lifes as many do.” Janet explains. “They arrive on the table, things are cleared, there’s a bit of rearrangement. Generally things already there are selected to take part and the work starts”.