Shay Docking (1928-1998) - The Drawings
04 - 19 February 2012

 
Open Gallery, Spectrum Now, Sydney Morning Herald, February 11-12 2012 page 10

Shay Docking (1928-1998) is an icon of Australian Landscape Art and Art History, her work is found in every major public collection in Australia and internationally.

 

Shay´s husband Gil Docking said that she never exhibited her drawings during her life time but framed selected works and stored them in her studio. Shay never actually said what she was planning, but the intention was clear to have a major drawing exhibition at some point in the future

The drawings on exhibition at Artsite Gallery are from the artist’s private stash, and many are featured in the Lou Klepac book Shay Docking drawings.

These fully realised works offer intriguing insight into the paintings that were developed from these drawings. Isolated tree forms, volcanoes with womb-like craters, sheer cliffs rising from the sea or plains, and rock formations - these contribute the core of her iconography as a landscape painter....
(Ref: Ursula Prunster, Shay Docking, The Landscape as Metaphor, AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd, 1983, Pg. 7)

Growing up, first in Victoria's Warranambool District (an extinct-volcanic region of grassy plains with rounded cones and lakes) then later in the semi-arid prairie country of Northern Victoria and moving to Aotearoa New Zealand between 1968 - 1971, Shay Docking developed a strong sense of empathy with certain kinds of evolutionary landscapes. Returning to Australia she sought out these mysterious natural formations in the Australian landscape and bush.

Ursula Prunster, in her 1998 book, Shay Docking, The Landscape as Metaphor, wrote ..This mystique of landscape has always been a powerful motivation for her art... Isolated tree forms, volcanoes with womb-like craters, sheer cliffs rising from the sea or plains, and rock formations - these contribute the core of her iconography as a landscape painter. Shay Docking's unique exploration of the volcano theme is especially intriguing...

Throughout her career Docking exhibited regularly, holding more than forty solo exhibitions.

Biographical references:
Rhonda Davis and Leonard Janiszewski, Song of Earth and Sea: Shay Docking 1955 - 1996, Maqquarie University, Sydney 2011
McCulloch, Alan McCulloch, Susan McCulloch, Emily McCulloch-Childs. The New McCulloch´s Encyclopedia of Australian Art. 4th Edition, Aus Art Melbourne & The Miegunyah Press, 2006. Page 383
Germaine, Max. Artists and Galleries of Australia, Volumes 1 & 2, Third Edition. Craftsman Press, Sydney, 1990. Page 179
Germaine, Max. A Dictionary of Women Artists of Australia. Craftsman House, Sydney, 1991. Page 118
Gil Docking, with additions by Michael Gunn covering 1970-90. Two Hundred Years of New Zealand Painting, David Bateman Ltd., New Zealand, 1990 Page 192
Ursula Prunster, Shay Docking, the Landscape as Metaphor, AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd, New South Wales, 1983
McGahey, Kate. The Concise Dictionary of New Zealand Artists Painters Printmakers Sculptors, Gilt Edge Publishing, Wellington, New Zealand, 2000. Page 66
Lou Klepac. With an essay by H. Kolenberg Shay Docking Drawings. The Beagle Press,Sydney 1990.

Public Collections include: National Gallery of Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of South Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory; National Gallery of Victoria; Queensland Art Gallery; Queen Victoria Art Gallery and Museum; Tasmanian Art Gallery and Museum
Plus many Regional Galleries and University collections throughout Australia and New Zealand.

 

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