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About Gwen Clarke
Gwen was born in 1938 at Orbost, Victoria where she spent her childhood on a dairy farm. Interested in drawing and painting at primary school age, and even more keen at secondary, she chose nursing and midwifery as a career, and trained and worked at major Melbourne hospitals for 15 years.
Since 1985 Gwen has had 10 solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney and locally at Deniliquin and Swan Hill. In 1988 her painting was selected as a finalist in the Blake Prize. In 1991 the overall winner of the Herald/Sun Moomba Art Show was "Joseph & his multi colour dream coat - an oil which was also purchased as the first work to start a corporate collection of the Herald/Sun. The same picture was used as their corporate Xmas Card.
Gwen's paintings were included in a selected mixed exhibition at the Barry Stern Galleries in Paddington and published in a book launched at the same time, Australian Naive Art by Sandra Warner in 1994.
Gwen tutored adult students at Bairnsdale Adult Education for 4 years from 1993. A core or 10 women have formed the group "Bairnsdale Contemporary Art Naive" and held an exhibtion annually for the past 17 years. Some have become artists in their own right.
Gwen sold 6 works overall at two charity events - 1998 at the Charity Auction by Sotheby's "Heartwork" held at Centerpoint Tower Sydney in aid of Sydney City Missions and 2002 Melbourne for Save the Children - "Art by the Stars".
Gwen's work has been collected by the Nursing Archives of Australia who have several nursing and hospital subjects and shown on a film by the organisation.
Her style ranges from naive to semi abstract with influences from Paul Klee (b1879) and Picasso. She describes her style as eclectic with an interest in colour and colour relationships.
Gwen's latest exhibition is "Four" at Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery from May 1st to June 1st, 2008.