Lasseter’s reef

Born Auckland, New Zealand, 1917, arrived Australia 1943, died Canberra 1999


Rosalie Gascoigne’s practice evolved organically after moving from New Zealand to the bush setting of Mt Stromlo in Canberra. Exploring her surroundings, she collected natural objects from the wild, and later the leftovers of urban debris, with which she constructed collages evoking the landscape and interiors.

Known particularly for her collaged road-signs cut into strips or squares and arranged geometrically, her work makes use of text as a loaded symbol and also as a mark to form a pattern. Gascoigne’s background in the Japanese flower arranging technique Ikebana imbued her work with a sense of overall harmony and rhythm.

Gascoigne held her first exhibition in 1974 in Sydney, and has since been included in major contemporary exhibitions of Australian art. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at the National Gallery of Victoria (1978 and 2008), National Gallery of Australia (1996 and 1998), and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1998). In 1982 Gascoigne represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, and has been included in Australian Perspecta 1983, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Spirit + Place: Art in Australia 1861–1996, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1996); In Place (Out of Time), Museum of Modern Art Oxford, England (1997); and Other Stories: Five Australian Artists, Asialink touring exhibition (1997).