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GALLERY ON TRACK BOOK LAUNCH & EXHIBITION

Celebrating the Life and Art of Ethel Clara Liggins. Opening – 2pm, 25 Feb. Exhibition until 25 Mar. Gallery on Track, Blackshaw Road, Goulburn. Gallery Open 10 – 4 pm Wed to Sun. To coincide with the book launch, there will be a retrospective exhibition of Ethel’s artworks and Jim Brown’s photographs at Goulburn’s Gallery on Track.  Ph: 0458 898 442

GOULBURN ARTIST REDISCOVERED
Six words on an Electoral Roll –  “Liggins, Ethel Clara, George Street, Artist”.

Intrigued that, in 1913 in Goulburn, there was a woman earning her living as an artist, local researcher, Margaret Kearns, set out to “find” Ethel and discover why there were no traces left of her life in Goulburn. The result of her research is an illustrated biography entitled Coming Home to Goulburn – Celebrating the Life and Art of Ethel Clara Liggins.

Daughter of Goulburn couple, Ephraim and Sarah Liggins, Ethel was born in 1886. Her family relocated to Walsall, England in 1900 so her father could pursue lucrative business opportunities and this is where, in 1903, sixteen-year-old Ethel enrolled in art classes at the Walsall Science and Art Institute. An obviously gifted student, in 1905 Ethel “carried off the biggest number of prizes at the Walsall Institute” and was awarded the Institute’s highest honour, the Kirkpatrick Scholarship. One of her drawings was even acquired by the Board of Education in 1908 to be displayed in other art schools throughout England to show students the standard to which they should aspire.

Returning to her home town of Goulburn in 1912, Ethel opened “The Studio” in Auburn Street, where she taught painting, drawing and craft for the next 15 years. She diversified her business in 1922 by opening a salon selling high-end fashions, furs and exclusive hand-crafted jewellery.

Ethel married Goulburn photographer, Jim Brown, whose pictures taken at the beginning of the twentieth century provide fascinating glimpses of Goulburn’s past, such as the removal of the last gas lamp from the main street after the installation of electric lights Ethel Clara Liggins was, in many ways, a woman ahead of her time. She was an astute, successful businesswoman, strong, determined and independent, buying and selling property in her own name. And she always kept a clear sense of her own identity, using her maiden name in her business dealings and to sign her artwork. Ethel died in Goulburn in 1951, aged 65.

To coincide with the book launch, there will be a retrospective exhibition of Ethel’s artworks and Jim Brown’s photographs at Goulburn’s Gallery on Track. The exhibition will be officially opened by former NSW Education Minister, Rodney Cavalier, AO.

BOOK LAUNCH & EXHIBITION
Opening – 2pm Sunday 25 February 2018
Exhibition runs until Sunday 25 March.
GALLERY ON TRACK, Blackshaw Road, Goulburn
Gallery Open 10 am to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday
Enquiries via email margaretkearns@bigpond.com
Ph: 0458 898 442

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