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Rosalie Gascoigne
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Artist, Born 1917, Auckland NZ, Died 1999

Rosalie Gascoigne's haunting visual depictions of the Australian landscape have rapidly propelled her into the spotlight of international fame. Yet until she was well into her fifties she was completely unknown as an artist. This program traces the experiences that shaped this complex and fascinating woman, from her difficult childhood in New Zealand to the heady acclaim that greeted her work when it finally came to the attention of those capable of recognising its special quality.

It was at the Mt Stromlo Observatory near Canberra that Rosalie first developed her intense love of the Australian landscape. She came to live there as a young bride with her husband, the astronomer Ben Gascoigne. The space and freedom she saw in the country around her provided not only a great contrast to the restrictions of her life in Auckland but also an escape from the tedious domesticity of life as a 1950s housewife in a very isolated environment. Her interest in making art from the materials she found around her grew out of a deep desire to surround herself with beauty. Later and almost by chance, she was 'discovered' and was able to develop her work to the point where it is now greatly sought after by international art connoisseurs.

When this Australian Biography was filmed, Rosalie was 82 and at the height of her career; her articulate account of how a misfit finally found her niche is both entertaining and moving. This program provides a rare insight into the mind of one of Australia's finest artists.

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Australian Biography