Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ian Fairweather - Kite Flying

Ian Fairweather (1891-1974) - Kite Flying (1958)
Australian $1.20 Stamp Issued 1995
Held at the Queensland Art Gallery
This is the second of four modern art paintings that were issued by Australia Post in 1995.  Others in the series included work by Russell Drysdale, Guy Grey-Smith and Robert Juniper.  

Kite flying 1958, one of Fairweather's most significant works, exemplifies the artist's approach to painting. Lines inspired by Chinese calligraphy cross the work, exposing layers of underpainting. Figures, kites and balloons dance in and out of focus in a fusion of shapes and colours.
The work is based on a 2000-year-old Chinese kite flying festival, which celebrates the protection of loved ones against misfortune. The festival commemorates the story of Huan Ching, a man from the Han period in China, who was warned by a sage to take his wife and children to the mountains.
Taking this advice, he took his family kite flying, and so escaped the massacre that befell their livestock. The felicity of this occasion is reflected in the painting's joyous vibrancy.

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