Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art
A new look at one of Australia's most renowned artists through her art, cooking and ground-breaking approach to creative life; fully illustrated and packed with recipes from Preston's personal collection.
Celebrated for her vibrant and distinctive pictures of indigenous Australian flowers, artist Margaret Preston was an equally colourful and outspoken personality.
Less well known is her legacy as a generous and insightful teacher and keen cook, and her deep sense of civic duty. She was passionate about the need for a modern national culture that reflected everyday life. For Preston, the building blocks of such a culture were not to be found in the Australian pastoral landscape tradition, but in the home and garden. Maintaining that art should be within everyone’s reach, she published widely on the methods and techniques of a host of creative pursuits; from pottery, printmaking and basket weaving, to the gentle art of flower arranging. She devoted much of her career to the genre of still life, depicting humble domestic objects and flowers from her garden, and often painting in the kitchen while keeping 'one eye on the stew'.
Drawing on recipes from handwritten books found in the National Gallery of Australia and richly illustrated with Preston’s paintings, prints and photographs, Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art sheds new light on the fascinating private life of a much-loved Australian artist.
Lesley Harding is a curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art.
She has held curatorial positions at the Arts Centre, Melbourne and National Art School, Sydney, and regularly publishes and lectures on modernist and contemporary Australian art.Lesley Harding
Published October 2016
170mm x 266mm