Australian legend, number 1: The superimposed feet
Australia, England, France
29 Apr 1875 - 28 May 1963
"In wishing to rid myself of the mannerisms of a country other than my own I have gone to the art of a people who had never seen or known anything different from themselves ... These are the Australian aboriginals [sic] and it is only from the art of such people in any land that a national art can spring."
- Margaret Preston 1925
Margaret Preston's appreciation and understanding of Aboriginal art and culture grew in sophistication from the time she made her first pronouncements on the subject in the 1920s. During her life she made several visits to Central and Northern Australia, and visited rock art sites in and around Sydney, where she lived. The Australian legend series was made towards the end of her career and integrates colours and compositions derived from Aboriginal paintings, as well as motifs from rock art. For example, the large human footprints in each of these prints were taken from rock carvings in the Sydney area which Preston had seen on excursions with the Anthropological Society of New South Wales.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2000
The superimposed feet
colour woodcut on tan laid paper
29.7 x 29.6 cm blockmark; 35.1 x 32.7 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed in block to print l.r., incised ".MP.".
Signed l.r. beneath blockmark, pencil "Margaret Preston". Not dated.
Gift of W.G. Preston, the artist's widower 1967
Not on display
© Margaret Rose Preston Estate, licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Referenced in 4 publications
Ian North, The art of Margaret Preston, South Australia, 1980, 42 (illus.), 58 (illus.). cat.no. P.44; titled 'The superimposed feet'
The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 2005, 326 (colour illus.). cat.no. 401
The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 1987, 294 (colour illus.). cat.no. 401
Margaret Preston: the art of constant rearrangement, Ringwood, 1985, 94. cat.no. P.77; titled 'The superimposed feet'