The University of Western Australia extends its deepest sympathy to family and friends of Miriam Stannage, State Living Treasure and leading Australian artist, who has passed away in Perth at the age of 77.
Stannage’s final exhibition Miriam Stannage: Survey 2006 – 2016 is currently running at UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Gallery until Saturday 24 September.
A self-trained artist, her work and life were a celebration of the local and in particular, Western Australia, while resonating with universal themes.
UWA Chief Cultural Officer Professor Ted Snell said over the past five decades Stannage had consistently challenged her audience while drawing them along in a shared quest to understand the nature of perception.
“Our wonder, excitement and sense of awe at her prolific and constantly astounding body of work is reinforced by her current exhibition at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery,” Professor Snell said.
“Miriam’s dedication to her practice, which she maintained with unflagging energy until the last, is testament to her singular contribution to Australian art. Her legacy lives on through her work and through the recently published mongraph Miriam Stannage: Time Framed, edited by curator Lee Kinsella.”
Born in Northam in 1939, Stannage left school at 15, worked as a secretary and studied nursing before travelling to Europe, Canada and the United States, where she enjoyed visiting many major art galleries.
She returned to Perth and enrolled in UWA Adult Education art classes where she was introduced to basic art techniques and materials through painter William Boissevain. She later attended evening classes with Polish-born painter Henri Froudist.
Stannage’s husband Tom Gibbons was also an artist and senior lecturer in UWA’s English department while her brother Tom Stannage was a prominent Western Australian historian who also worked as a professor of history at UWA.
Her work is held in Australian state and national institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia and Queensland Art Gallery, as well as many significant corporate and private collections.
In 2015 WA’s Department for Culture and the Arts acknowledged her contribution to culture in this state as an artist and mentor by naming her a State Living Treasure.
Friends and supporters of Miriam Stannage are invited to an informal gathering at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery on the final day of her exhibition, Saturday 24 September from 2pm to 4pm.
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716