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Title

The spirit of the sea

1933


Artist

Barbara Tribe

Australia, England

20 Jun 1913 - 21 Oct 2000


About

In 'The spirit of the sea' 1933 Barbara Tribe has endowed a mythological subject with a modern sensibility. The marine theme was influenced by her upbringing in Sydney's eastern suburbs and was in tune with the classicised reimagining of beach life by Australian artists during the 1930s. Tribe has modelled a mermaid being devoured by a sea creature in 'The spirit of the sea'. Its overt eroticism, represented by the sexual symbolism of the serpent and its contortion of the female figure, is indicative of the vitalist traditions taught by Rayner Hoff with whom Tribe was a student of at East Sydney Technical College.' The spirit of the sea’ was first exhibited in the Society of Artists, Sydney, in 1934, where it and was reviewed favourably in the Sydney Mail.


Details


Date

1933


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

plaster, wood


Dimensions

39.5 x 41.5 x 23.5 cm


Signature & date

Signed l.l. verso, incised "Barbara Tribe.". Not dated.


Credit

Bequest of Barbara Tribe 2015


Location

Not on display


Accession number

221.2015


Artist information

Barbara Tribe

Artist profile

Works in the collection

7


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 5 publications

Bibliography


Deborah Edwards, 'This vital flesh': the sculpture of Rayner Hoff and his school, 'The new renaissance: the practical apparatus', pg. 15-30, Sydney, 1999, 24, 25 (colour illus.), 109. bronze version

Peter Lanigan-O'Keefe., Alice to Penzance : a retrospective exhibition of the work of Barbara Tribe, F.R.B.S. Australia's most important living sculptress and the Originals Outback collection of contemporary Aboriginal paintings, 'Barbara Tribe, F.R.B.S.', London, 1991, n.pag..

'The man on the street', Sydney Mail, 'The Society of Arists', pg. 15, Sydney, 19 Sep 1934, 15.

Barbara Tribe: sculptor, North Ryde, 2000, 15, 77 (colour illus.), 148, 156, 160. plate no. 2

Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1934), Sydney, 1934, n.pag. (illus.). cat.no. 240; titled 'Spirit of the Sea (Decorative Figure)'; priced 10 gns