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Ethel Spowers

Artist Biography

Ethel Spowers

Birth/Death: 1890–1947 

In 1936 the Sydney Morning Herald reviewed the work of the modernist printer Ethel Spowers:

‘Few Australian exponents of the colour print can equal the gaiety, the forcefulness and the imagination shown by Ethel Spowers.’

The suggestion of a frozen movement recalls the high-speed frame technique of sports photography found in newspapers and pictorial magazines of the period.

The printmaker Claude Flight introduced Ethel Spowers to the medium of colour linocut. He believed this printing process was an affordable and democratic art medium, which could introduce modern art to the home of the ordinary person.

The subjects that interested Spowers were often sporting and playground images. Like many women artists of her generation Spowers chose not to have children, but she was never tired of drawing them. She celebrated children’s exuberance for life, while ignoring major events such as the Depression and the Second World War