Dulle Griet (pastel on camouflage)

Ruth Waller2003

Canberra Museum and Gallery

Canberra Museum and Gallery

Ruth Waller was born in Sydney and studied at the Alexander Mackie School of Art in Sydney in the 1970s (now College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales). In 2000 she completed a Master of Arts at the ANU School of Art, where she has taught since 1990; she is currently the Head of the Painting Workshop there. Waller has exhibited her work in Australia for over twenty-five years, in solo and group
shows, and she is represented in regional, state and national collections.

Her early painting demonstrated a strong interest in the natural world, in eco-systems in danger, in undervalued, invisible and unseen life forms. In recent years her focus has shifted more towards the act of seeing in painting, and painting's history of representation.

Dulle Griet (pastel on camouflage) is one of a series of works whose starting point is a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525 – 1569) currently in Antwerp. Bruegel’s work, also called Dulle Griet, painted in 1562 depicts a nagging housewife Dulle Griet {“Mad Meg”} striding across a landscape populated with grief and despair, the latter symbolising to contemporary viewers the harsh conditions at play in the Spanish Netherlands at the time as well as the more universal theme of the folly and dire consequences of sin. For Waller the art history of painting has been an important and ongoing source for both imagery and ways of reinforcing the value of the technical practice of painting in a highly technological art world.

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  • Title: Dulle Griet (pastel on camouflage)
  • Creator: Ruth Waller
  • Date: 2003
  • Physical Dimensions: 96cm x 89cm
  • Medium: Acrylic, enamel on canvas
  • Accession Number: 2003.3.1