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Dorothy Davis, The Light-hearted Letter BoxTitle
The Light-hearted Letter Box

Location
In storage

Place of origin
New South Wales, Australia

Media
Painting

Medium
Sand, glue and oil

Credit
Winner Calleen Award 1989

Accession number
CAL1989.1

Excerpt from The Calleen Collection by Peter Haynes (2019)

Dorothy Davies has a “history” with the Calleen Prize as both winner (1986 & 1989) and judge (1988). Her brief biographical details obviously do not equate with her considerable skill and achievement as an artist.

The Light-hearted Letter Box was the winner from 60 exhibited works done in a range of media (including, but not on this occasion dominated by, oils) but with the ubiquitous landscape as the preeminent subject matter. The vivacity of Davies’ 1986 winning work A Feeling of Spring is present in this work. Here the injection of whimsy and humour adds another dimension. The eponymous letter box has an almost cartoon quality in the manner in which it is depicted. There are no straight edges. The curved roof and the stand on which the box sits mimic the swirling branches of the tree and the petals on the brightly coloured flowers that dominate the overall composition. The swirls continue throughout the picture plane and although their colour dissipates at the top and back of the work, the pattern-like presence provides a form of organic unity. The profusion of curved forms and lines allied with brightly coloured flowers imparts a joyous energy to this happy work.