Tuesday, March 03, 2009

have an art

A little-known scene of one of the western suburbs' most picturesque streets is being auctioned to raise money for bushfire victims in Victoria.

The watercolour of Rottnest's Thomson Bay is by Maurice M. Kennedy, a WA artist well-known a generation ago.

The artwork shows the blue water of the Bay beyond two buildings in the distinctive Rottnest Orange shade.

Kennedy's works can fetch more than $1000, but the woman auctioning it picked it up for far less.

“I got it at Karrinyup markets for not very much,” Liz Evans told Rotto Bloggo.

“The streetscape captures the essence of the island.

“I haven't been to Rottnest for a long time but I think people take the place for granted.”

Ms Evans said she really felt for bushfire victims.

“There's building going on right next door to us: there's noise and dust all the time,” she said.

“I thought to myself: 'I can't live like this any more'.

“But then I thought: 'At least I've got a home, unlike many of the bushfire victims'.”

The artwork is on local auction website Tradeaway and bids are being taken until March 14.

The site will match the winning bid and send the money to Victoria.

By the time the POST went to press the highest bid was $150.

That could be a bargain, according to local valuer Gregson Flanagan.

“In local circles Kennedy is quite well-known and well-regarded,” Patricia Flanagan said.

“He generally painted scenes of Perth.

“I haven't seen a Rottnest scene by him before: this one could be from the 1950s or 60s.”

The artwork is 35cm by 65cm and professionally framed.

“This is a very fine example of Kennedy's work,” Ms Flanagan said.

“Kennedy's highest price at auction for a watercolour of similar dimension was $880.

“The picture is definitely a collector's item and appears almost as fresh as the day it was painted.

“It's a bright summer's day on Rottnest and Kennedy has captured the dappled sunlight on the path and trees so confidently.

“His brush strokes are quick and self assured and the two figures at the end of the pathway add a human element to the composition.

“I don't remember seeing a work by Kennedy with a figure before but this is definitely by him and makes it relatively unique.

“The picture was probably painted around 11am because of the position of the shadow.

“It was probably a personal picture depicting a summer holiday at Rottnest with his family.

Little is known about Kennedy: he won the Claude Hotchkin prize for watercolour in 1954 and 1960.

Another Kennedy painting, 'Summer Gold, Wanneroo', is in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital's art collection.

Originally in the Post: marvelous paper...

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