An image of Banksia cobs

Margaret Preston

(Australia, England, France 29 Apr 1875 – 28 May 1963)

Banksia cobs

Not on display
Further information

'Australian artists must feel inherently the difference between their land and that of others ... the tremendous difference in our flowers ... so our treatment of our flora must be different. If it isn't then it is merely copy and repetition.'
Margaret Preston, early 1940s

During the 1930s, Margaret Preston spent time living in bushland at Berowra, in the Hawkesbury River region, where she refined her perceptions of the land and investigated the natural world. 'Banksia cobs' emanates from this period and represents what Preston believed to be a more authentic engagement with the essential forms of the environment. Set within a shallow representational space, the painting depicts the centralised weight of banksia cobs and spiky leathery leaves with a restrained palette aligned to the colder, more sombre ranges of certain Australian plants. With its blackened forms, the painting suggests a recent fire in the region, and demonstrates the endurance and regeneration of Australia’s indigenous plant life.

oil on canvas
45.8 x 53.2 cm stretcher; 66.0 x 57.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l. corner, pencil "M.P. 33".

Gift of Mr Howard Sherrard 1982
Accession number
© Margaret Rose Preston Estate