Children were a favourite subject for Spowers, but her approach here reflects a new interest in being modern, following studies at the Grosvenor School in London under Claude Flight. She was encouraged to choose lively, contemporary subjects and create images in which the forms were simplified and abstracted. Colour was to be bright and 'flat' (unmodulated) in tones of equal value. On her return to Australia, she acted as Flight's agent – and with Dorrit Black and Eveline Syme, promoted his teachings and work through a number of exhibitions, mainly in Melbourne.
colour linocut, printed on thin ivory laid tissue
24.2 x 26.3 cm image; 29.4 x 30.2 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pencil "E.L. Spowers. 1932".
Not on display
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Project 39 - Women's Imprint (1982), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Oct 1982–31 Oct 1982
Modernism 1900-1950: prints and drawings from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Jul 1994–25 Sep 1994
Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Mar 1995–04 Jun 1995
Australian Collection Focus: Colour, Rhythm, Design - wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Mar 2010–11 Jul 2010
Sydney Moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jul 2013–07 Oct 2013
Modern impressions; Australian prints from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Sep 2016–Jan 2017
Referenced in 12 publications
Craig Brush, Look, 'The new city explored: Learning Curve lecture series shows the way', pg. 46, Sydney, May 2013, 46 (colour illus.).
Helen Campbell, Look, 'Colour, rhythm and design: Wood and lino cuts from a time of great creative vitality', pg. 13-15, Sydney, Feb 2010, 14 (colour illus.), 15.
Helen Campbell, Colour, rhythm, design: wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, 'Introduction', pg. 2, Sydney, 2010, 13 (colour illus.).
Deborah Edwards, Daphne Wallace, Margo Neale, Victoria Lynn and Sandra Byron, Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995. no catalogue numbers; not paginated
Steven Miller, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Sex, drugs and modern art: the Sydney galleries', pg. 174-183, Sydney, 2013, 176 (colour illus.), 316, 324.
Helen Topliss, Modernism and Feminism Australian Women Artists 1900-1940, Sydney, 1996, 152 (colour illus.). Collection of the National Gallery of Australia.
Stephen Coppel, Linocuts of the machine age: Claude Flight and the Grosvenor school, 'The Australians: Dorrit Black, Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme', pg. 65-68, England, 1995, (colour illus.), 67, 173 (illus.). plate no. 41; cat.no. ES 22; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.
Renée Free, Modernism 1900-1950: prints and drawings from the collection, Sydney, 1994.
Anna Waldmann, Project 39 - Women's Imprint, Sydney, 1982. no catalogue numbers; not paginated
A survey of Australian relief prints 1900/1950, Armadale, 1978, 86 (illus.). Edition 28/50; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.
The Sunday fine art auction: Sunday 24 June 2012 Melbourne, Catalogue entry for Lot 208 Ethel Spowers 'Swings', pg. 55, South Yarra, 2012, flyleaf (colour illus.), 55. NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.
Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, Sydney, Dec 2005-Jan 2006, 41 (colour illus.).