445 days ago
448 days ago1
From Amy T, CRCAH
Every day I walk past this seahorse sculpture and wonder about how it came to be here in the HUB.
As it turns out, its creator Betty Collier is still a practicing artist and is a past SMB art student and teacher who turns 74 this year. She is an inspiration, creating new work each week and last year represented Australia at the Florence Biennale, placing 3rd for her sculptural work.
I visited her home and studio in North Ballarat and had a grand tour whilst hearing stories of her time at SMB. Listen to her here: https://soundcloud.com/user-529587877/betty-collier-seahorses
She was 16 when she first studied at SMB in the late 1950s studying the Secondary Art & Craft course. She has a portrait done of her at this age by the Head of the Arts School Geoffrey Mainwaring and recalls students being paid 17 shillings to sit like this for head studies and costume drawings.
In the 1960s she went out to teaching at Ballarat East High School before returning to study art as a mature age student at SMB in the 1970s where she went on to teach until her retirement in 2005. She has memories of Mt Gambier limestone being ordered and dropped to the school on a pallet, and of the art classrooms being based in the old quartz battery, where at one point one of her sculptures mysteriously disappeared due to a passageway that could be climbed through from the mechanics building next door. This isn't the only time her art has gone walkabout!
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/user-529587877/betty-collier-disappearing-artworks
Inspired by nature and with a love of travelling, a few years ago she went to the Galapagos Island and took lots of photos that she has now created drawings from. She would love to go to New York next and visit the Guggenheim and see Frank Lloyd Wright's work that she taught about as an art history teacher.
Go betty! More here: http://www.bettycollier.com/
448 days ago
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