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Barbara Hanrahan: an Australian feminist artist you need to know

By Melinda Rackham, Adjunct Research Professor, UniSA Creative, University of South Australia, University of South Australia
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A palpable cast of women inhabit Barbara Hanrahan’s oeuvre, joined frequently by their “daddys”, sweethearts, valentines and husbands.

Given her father died the day after her first birthday, leaving Hanrahan (1939-91) to grow up with her maternal grandmother, mother and great aunt in Adelaide’s then working-class suburb Thebarton, it is no surprise the matriarchy dominates.

Innocent and audacious, her characters jostle, quiver and hum in this significant salon-hung…


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