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Spowers & Syme

  • This event finished on 12 February 2023

3 December – 12 February 2023

Celebrating the artistic friendship of Melbourne artists Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme, the National Gallery of Australia Touring Exhibition Spowers & Syme will present the changing face of Inter-war Australia through the perspective of two pioneering, modern women artists.

The exhibition offers rare insight into the unlikely collaboration between the daughters of rival media families. Studying together in Paris and later with avant-garde printmaker Claude Flight in London, Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme returned to the conservative art world of Australia – where they became enthusiastic exponents of modern art in Melbourne during the 1930s and ‘40s.

Much-loved for their innovative approach to lino and woodcut techniques, Spowers & Syme showcases their dynamic approach through prints and drawings whose rhythmic patterns reflect the fast pace of the modern world through everyday observations of childhood themes, overseas travel and urban life.

Spowers & Syme is a National Gallery Touring Exhibition supported by Major Patron David Thomas AM, Visions of Australia, and the Gordon Darling Foundation. Spowers & Syme  is a Know My Name project.

Curator: Dr Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax, Curator, Australian Prints and Drawings


John McDonald – Leading Lights on Show – The Sydney Morning Herald 21 January 2023


Secondary Learning Resource

Primary Learning Resource


 image: Eveline Syme Sydney tram line 1936 linocut, printed in colour, from three blocks (vermillion, viridian, burnt umber) National Gallery of Australia Purchased 1979