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Rebecca Wilson: The Kate Kelly Collection
Thu 18 February - Sun 21 March
Rebecca Wilson’s exhibition retells a visual story of events and folklore inspired by the life and times of Kate Kelly, re-interpreted by the artist to include a collection of portraits based on photos discovered by the artist during her in-depth research over the past five years. According to the artist, “It seemed like every chapter of her life was a painting waiting to happen.” As part of a long-term project, Wilson has researched the life and times of Kate Kelly for many years. She has fond memories of her late uncle telling her stories of how lovely Kate was, in tales that had been passed down to him by relatives. The local lore holds that Kate was an extraordinary woman who found herself in extraordinary circumstances. In her ongoing series of paintings, Rebecca Wilson has felt compelled to provide a personal vision of Kate’s life and how it intertwines with her own family history. Wilson’s portraits are partly based on illustrations and vintage black-and-white photographs of key players in Kate’s life – her mother Ellen, her husband “Bricky”, her sisters Grace, Maggie and the eldest Anne (who died giving birth to a policeman’s baby while her husband was in gaol), her brothers Dan and Jim, fellow gang members Steve Hart and Joe Byrne, and Constable Fitzpatrick, who the artist strongly believes may have been the father of one of Kate’s children. Through ongoing research, Wilson asserts that Kate’s sister Alice, was possibly her daughter instea
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