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Ethel Marian (Maie) Casey

In their own words

Recorded 1967

Ethel Marian (Maie) Casey
Audio: 2 minutes

One of the things that’s always surprised me is that not nearly enough people – painters – have perceived the idea of doing landscapes of the air, by which I don’t only mean looking down on a disappearing world from high up above it but also a contemporary world of the heights and levels of clouds and effects in the air, which are quite unique. It’s a unique experience, as we all know, travelling very fast, in that you have all the climates of the world, perhaps, within a few hours, but you also get the changing landscapes of the air which you’ve got to quite clearly nut down in your mind very quickly if you’re going to even think of reproducing them. But no artist that I know of anywhere in the world has ever thought of adventuring into this particular field. I can’t think why they haven’t. They do abstracts of patterns or decoration or … but nothing touching the particular majesty and beauty of the landscapes of the air seen from the air. As I say, I don’t only mean looking down on the ground below, even when you can do so, because half the time you can’t, of course, but you can see the various layers of cloud sometime, and through it you see something lying like a drop, miles down, which is the earth. But the contemporary scene around you is even in its way more fascinating. Anyway, perhaps somebody will do it.

Our imaginations really are fairly restricted, I think. A kind of form of expression becomes accepted by everyone and fashionable but as a whole it’s very restricted, and the great original geniuses are very few in the world really, anywhere, surprisingly few.

Acknowledgements

This oral history of Maie Casey is from the De Berg Collection in the National Library of Australia. For more information, or to hear full versions of the recordings, visit the National Library of Australia website.

Audio source

National Library of Australia, Hazel de Berg collection

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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