Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.
— Biography of Mary Macqueen
An interest in drawing led Mary Macqueen in 1927 to study commercial art at the Swinburne Technical College. Completing only the first year of the course, she spent part of the next year studying privately with Catherine Hardess – a graduate of the Slade School of Art, London, who rigidly adhered to the Slade tradition of draughtsmanship, teaching from a small studio in Hawthorn.
Her first paintings were tentative watercolours. Buying books on the subjects, she taught herself to work in the medium. Becoming serious she returned to Swinburne – spending a term with William Dargie in 1941.
During the next years she drew and painted constantly. In 1944 she jointed the Victorian Artists Society and the following year held a one-woman show of water colours at Kozminsky Galleries from March 6-16. The following year Mary Maqueen began attending George Bell’s classes in Selborne Road.
Because most of Mary Macqueen’s early paintings and drawings had been done in isolation, the time with Bell alerted her to the possibility of other sources for her art. “Bell spoke about Cubism and Braque and the open colour pattern of Dufy.
A fascination with Dufy’s rapid calligraphic draughtsmanship and light-hearted decorative style deepened in the years immediately following the Bell period. In later years her drawing become assured, and, particularly in the animal studies of the 1970s, sweeping minimal lines, drawn quickly, incapsulate forms remarkably substantial. Placing her within the figurative tradition, these works reveal not only a great graphic skill but a sensitive and vital response to the world around her.
Mary Eagle & Jan Minchin, The George Bell School,
Deutscher & Resolution, Melbourne & Sydney, 1984