High tea celebrates Bessie's art

Lyn Stewart, Susi Muddiman and Bob Gibson pictured with a portrait of late artist Bessie Gibson’s mother: Mrs Walter Lockhart Gibson.
Lyn Stewart, Susi Muddiman and Bob Gibson pictured with a portrait of late artist Bessie Gibson’s mother: Mrs Walter Lockhart Gibson. Colin Gilmore

THE Tweed River Art Gallery invited late artist Bessie Gibson's great-nephew Bob Gibson to a high tea celebrating her work on Thursday afternoon.

Gallery director Susi Muddiman said Mr Gibson contacted her to see if she was interested in displaying some of his great-aunt's work.

"When I went down there to see him," Ms Muddiman said, "I hadn't seen the miniatures before."

That is how the miniature paintings by Bessie - whose work at the gallery centres on landscapes and portraits - came to form part of the exhibition which ends July 8.

Mr Gibson said Bessie was something of a free spirit, which was not common especially early on in her life which stretched from an Ipswich birth in 1868 to a Brisbane death in 1961.

"Bessie didn't travel until her 30s, to Paris," he said.

"She never married, never had children, but she may have had a beau; which is what we'll be discussing today."

The event, titled An artist in the family: memories of Bessie Gibson, was hosted by the Friends of the Tweed River Art Gallery.

Friends president Lyn Stewart said thanks to Bessie's family and loans from private collections the "stunning exhibition titled Bessie Gibson: an artistic life" was a fortunate reality.

"The exhibition explores the work of this intriguing artist, who was a regular exhibitor at the Royal academy in London and the Paris Salon.

"In keeping with the period of the artist's working life during the early 1900s, the high tea hosted by the Friends offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea.

"The event also provides an opportunity to meet members of Bessie's family," Ms Stewart said.

Topics:  art, high tea, tweed river art gallery



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