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The much loved and admired artist Joan Brassil passed away yesterday at the age of 86.

An installation and sound artist, painter and teacher, Ms Brassil was also one of the first artists to receive the Australia Council’s Visual Arts/Craft Board Emeritus Award in 1988.

Ms Brassil’s exhibition history spans over three decades. Most notably in 1981, she participated in the first Australian Sculpture Trienniale in Melbourne, followed by Perspecta, Art Gallery of NSW, in 1985 and 1997. More recently, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, included her work in Sound In Space: Adventures in Australian Sound Art in 1995 and Liquid Sea in 2003.

Her work was included in the 6th Biennale of Sydney and in a number of international exhibitions such as Identities – Art from Australia in Taipei, Ars Electronica in Austria and Scan Video in Tokyo. In 1990, Ms Brassil received a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong.

She was often commissioned and used glass, metal, water and wood in truly beautiful works in the sculpture garden of the Campbeltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery and at the Mt Stromlo Observatory in Canberra.

Joan Brassil was a true multimedia artist whose installations merged sound and reflected light, gravel, paving stones, water, printed poems and electronics to make visual and aural connections between art and the environment.

In describing her work, she once said, ‘I would like sculpture to sing, sigh, reflect and inspire according to the continually changing elements of any light and sound movement…to be a place of reflection and stimulation of what is in existence here and now’.

Ms Brassil was born in Sydney and lived in Wedderburn (NSW).

Vale Joan Brassil (1919 – 2005)



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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