“‘Is it too great a truism to repeat that the best art is always the child of its own age?” — Eveline W Syme

Celebrating the artistic friendship of Melbourne artists Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme, the National Gallery Touring Exhibition Spowers & Syme will present the changing face of interwar 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.

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

Supported by

  • Visions of Australia Logo

Venues & Dates

Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG), Canberra, ACT | 14 Aug – 24 Oct 2021

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD | 12 Nov 2021 – 13 Feb 2022

Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, NSW | 26 Feb – 1 May 2022

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, VIC | 18 Jun – 2 Oct 2022