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Reproduced courtesy of Wendy Sharpe

Scroll of study for the life of Annette Kellerman in eight episodes

Date: 1998
Dimensions:
Overall: 385 x 2570 mm
Medium: Oil on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: ©Wendy Sharpe
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00032437
Place Manufactured:Australia

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    Description
    These works were studies by Sydney artist Wendy Sharpe for an unusual public art commission of a series of huge mural panels inside at Sydney’s Cook+Phillip Park pool in 1999. They explore the life of early 20th century Australian swimming sensation and women's health advocate Annette Kellerman.

    Kellerman was a larger than life character. Promoted as ‘Australia’s Mermaid’, ‘Neptune’s daughter’, and ‘the Perfect Woman’ she had a spectacular career as an aquatic entertainer in vaudeville and film. And the figurative, lush, expressionistic style of noted Australian artist Wendy Sharpe suits well her life story.

    Sharpe has chosen to feature episodes from her life in a painterly cinematic form - as freeze frames of high points of her life, all in a swimming pool of course. The episodic composition and location of the murals in the building quite cleverly echoes the construction of a film for the murals read like frames from one of Kellerman’s silent movies. Annette Kellerman is the focal point of each frame, and the scenes are bustling with action, yet silent.







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