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Fay Bottrell
, 1981

by David Campbell

oil and synthetic polymer on canvas (support: 142.5 cm x 163.5 cm, support: 138.5 cm x 160.0 cm)

Fay Bottrell (b. 1927) textile artist and teacher, came to Sydney from the Riverina as a sixteen-year old, and worked for a herbalist. After war service with the AAMWS she studied art and worked in a print and dye business. She lived in a commune at Barrenjoey Lighthouse, mixed with the Push and went to India to study cottage industry before settling in North Queensland and then Matcham, NSW (where she is still an active conservationist). In the 1960s she was involved in Mary White’s Design School in Edgecliff, Sydney; in the 1970s she collaborated with Wesley Stacey on the book The Artist Craftsman in Australia, taught at the Alexander Mackie College and was a design consultant for the first Festival of Sydney. The Festival Theatre Gallery in Adelaide opened in 1973 with her ‘happening’, Fabrication; she returned seven years later to install a second happening, Glad to Be. In 1978-1979 she made a mammoth work for the International Year of the Child for the Arts Council of NSW.

Fay Bottrell had taught David Campbell, and shared his Sydney studio in the early 1980s. At his funeral a few years later, a tapestry of flowers by Bottrell was spread over his grave.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Donated by Elizabeth Campbell-MacKenzie on behalf of the family of David Campbell
Accession number: 2012.148