Rebecca Wilson: Myth-Making Heroes and Villains
20 February - 5 April 2021
In 2010, Forbes-born, Hill End-based artist and writer Rebecca Wilson embarked on comprehensive research and a creative journey to reveal the lesser-known stories of the Central West, with a particular focus on the remote town of Hill End. Her findings resulted in two powerful series, A Portrait of Landscape and Time in Hill End: Myth-Making, Heroes and Villains and Kate Kelly: Sister of an Outlaw, both of which encourage viewers to question who are the heroes and who are the villains in Australia’s recorded history.
Wilson explained, “Mythology is one traditional educational tool of collected stories about culture, tradition, lessons to be learned, social guidelines to follow, heroes and villains, good and evil, and these myths demonstrate our human capacity to build belief systems, perceptions and histories which may or may not be true.”
A Portrait of Landscape and Time in Hill End: Myth-Making, Heroes and Villains was first exhibited at Leichhardt Library, Sydney, in 2018 and then travelled to Grenfell Art Gallery and Gang Gang Gallery in Lithgow in 2019. The series covers early settlement, including the 1824 Bathurst War, women and racism on the Goldfields, Chinese bushranger Sammy Poo and the legacies of artists Jean Bellette and Donald Friend, and is interwoven with biographical content such as marrying a fifth-generation local of Wiradyuri heritage and confronting mortality during a life-threatening illness.
Wilson's Kate Kelly: Sister of an Outlaw, charts the life of the sister of infamous bushranger Edward (Ned) Kelly. During her research, Wilson discovered that her family had employed Kate Kelly as a domestic servant at Cadow Station, located outside Forbes, NSW.
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery is delighted to present the majority of A Portrait of Landscape and Time in Hill End: Myth-Making, Heroes and Villains and several paintings from Kate Kelly: Sister of an Outlaw. Both series, accompanied by illustrated catalogues, investigate the accuracy of the portrayal historical events while delving into the human condition.
A BRAG exhibition
Images L to R: Rebecca Wilson, Iphigenia with Chorus, 2018, acrylic on board, 60 x 60cm, Courtesy of the artist and Gang Gang Gallery
Rebecca Wilson, Cranky Sam the Bushranger 2018, acrylic on board, 60 x 60cm, Courtesy of the artist and Gang Gang Gallery
Rebecca Wilson, Mercy (Governor Phipps with Kate Kelly) 2014, acrylic on board, 80 x 80cm, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Collection.
Rebecca Wilson, Kate Kelly with horses 2014, acrylic on board, 60 x 60cm, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Collection.