Retracing Steps with a Master of Contemporary Art - Elisabeth Cummings
Tuscany - 1 to 8 October 2010
Acting as an Italian-speaking guide, Elisabeth will re-trace her steps and share precious memories from her personal journeys through Tuscany. For participants this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-live with Elisabeth Cummings what was a powerfully formative time in her art practice.
On a travelling scholarship in 1958, Elisabeth Cummings spent a year in a villa outside Florence with no other purpose but to paint. She remembers arriving in the region at much the same time as will be the retreat participants – early autumn – with the local produce rich, ripe and ready for harvest. Having a choice of subject matter, Elisabeth painted many of her impressionist-inspired interiors with glimpses of vibrant Tuscan scenes through open windows.
Completely in love with the region, she stayed in Florence for another ten years. From here, Elisabeth could take in the amazing ‘blockbuster’ art shows that were travelling through Europe, such as the Bonnard show in Munich and the American abstract expressionists in Paris and Milan. Italy itself, and especially Florence, is of course rich in Renaissance art.
Elisabeth also recommends artists visit the Morandi museum of art in Bologna. When speaking specifically about Montecatini Terme, Elisabeth is excited by the amazing proximity to Tuscan scenery of farms framed by the mountains where Michelangelo obtained marble for ‘David’, to the Mediterranean coast and small towns: Lucca, Pistoia, Toscana and Trato being favourites; each with unique cuisine and architecture.
Elisabeth is excited by the opportunity retreat artists will have to capture rich, vibrant impressions directly from the source, either in the form of sketches, notes, and coloured impressions, and then make more substantial pieces in the studio at the Hotel Croce di Malta. It’s the immediacy of this way of working that Elisabeth hopes students will take away with them to use in their continued practice.
Elisabeth assumes a quiet place of wisdom as she works with and guides each student with individual care, according to his or her capacity and personal choice of direction. A master of contemporary art with 50 years’ experience of teaching and exhibiting, and winner of countless awards, Elisabeth is respected as being one of Australia’s leading contemporary female artists and colourists. She lives in Wedderburn, NSW.
View this fantastic interview of Elisabeth Cumings on the King Street Gallery on William website:
Channel 9 Profile: The Quiet Achiever by Catherine Hunter