‘Sheilas’, ‘fake truths’ and a 700th celebration

Friday 19 March 2021

Artist Peter Kingston’s quirky portraits of prominent Australian ‘Sheilas’ — including Ita Buttrose, Julia Gillard and Wendy Whiteley — will go on public display for the first time, alongside other newly acquired items, when the State Library’s Amaze Gallery reopens tomorrow, Saturday 20 March. 

Kingston’s new series of personal portraits of 27 unique and powerful women in his life (Ita is his cousin and Whiteley, his neighbour) form his latest artist’s book Sheilas— a companion to Blokes and Gents — recently donated to the State Library, which holds an extensive collection of his etchings, prints and artist’s books.

Other highlights going on display in Amaze include Fake truths: An historical novel— a collection of paintings and stories offering a contemporary response to items in the Library’s collection by its fifth artist-in-residence Hadyn Wilson. “Where the history is incomplete, I visually compose a story in the tradition of the historical novelist in order to complete the work,” said Wilson. 

In addition, a selection of rare books by Italian poet Dante Alighieri, including his masterpiece The Divine Comedy (1320), will go on display from 27 March as part of worldwide commemoration of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death in 1321. 

A selection of portraits from Sheilas, Fake Truths and rare Dante books will be on display in the State Library’s Amaze Gallery from 20 March 2021.

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