The Frontier Speaks Back: Two Australian Artists Working in Paris and London

Catherine Margaret Speck


Australian artists living and working in Paris and London in the Belle Époque and modern eras had a deep engagement with cosmopolitanism in cities that were at the frontiers of international modernism. They experienced the liberation of putting aside issues of nation, and of working in large, alienating but culturally challenging multi-nation environs in the pre and post war years. This paper will explore how two women artists, Hilda Rix in Paris, a hub of internationalism; and Nora Heysen in London, a city ill-described in the Empire language of ‘home’ for Australians, connected with and articulated cosmopolitan culture. Expatriatism facilitated an offshore variant of Australian modernism.

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