Despite being affluent and white, modernist printmaker Margaret Preston (1875-1963) was a committed supporter of aboriginal imagery at a time when it went largely unnoticed and her print titles often reflect the influence. Most all of her prodigious legacy of woodblock prints, etchings and paintings have a distinctly Australian feel, whether by their peculiar colouring or themes of native flora and landscapes.
"Preston believed that Aboriginal art provided the key to establishing a national art that reflected the soul of the vast and ancient continent of Australia."
It is my great misfortune to discover that I missed the recent exhibition of Preston works in Sydney. I notice however that people from Melbourne (including my favouritest pun-mistress, boynton --- about the only website I visit every day --- who I'm hoping will attend and report back) will have an opportunity to see the Preston exhibition until January 2006 at the Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square.