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Author talk: Jessie Traill
With Jo Oliver
Jessie Traill was an artist, traveller, humanitarian and independent spirit. Jessie developed her artistic skills from an early age. During World War I Jessie interrupted her career to work as a voluntary nurse in France, later raising funds for and revisiting war-torn Europe. She went on to become one of Australia’s most outstanding etchers, working in a field uncommon for women of her time. In this talk, Jo Oliver will explore Jessie’s extraordinary life through diary extracts, descriptions of her world travels and personal letters.
Jo Oliver is a writer and printmaker. She holds a Master of Arts and has worked for many years in oral history and historical research. Four children’s picture books Jo wrote and illustrated have been published. Each of her books uses printmaking as an illustration medium and her love of the printmaking process was her initial connection with the work of Jessie Traill.
Jo received a Creative Fellowship from the State Library Victoria to research and write about Jessie Traill using her extensive papers held in the collection. Other sources included Tom Roberts collection and the Anderson papers from State Library of NSW. Jo travelled within Australia and to France and the United Kingdom to find out more about Jessie Traill’s life, meet people who knew her and see places she lived and worked.
Jo has an ongoing interest in life stories and is currently researching a new biography about another Australian woman artist.