Australian Artists in Britain

Lawrence Daws in his Hampstead studio, 1963 © Lawrence DawsAustralian artists in Britain (AAiB) is a research project initiated at Aberystwyth University in 2008 by Dr Simon Pierse, whose research centres on the lives of Australian artists who worked in Britain during the 1950s and early 1960s. Building on over thirty hours of interviews, digitally recorded in London and throughout Australia, with surviving artists and their families, gallery directors, leading critics and historians in the field, an archive resource has been established that eventually will be available to other scholars and researchers.
 
The project will complement existing oral history resources such as the Hazel de Berg tapes at the National Library of Australia, the National Archives of Australia in Canberra, and the Hyman Kreitman Research Centre at Tate Britain. AAiB consolidates on-going collaboration with other research centres in Britain and Australia, such as the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies (KCL) and The National Centre for Australian Studies (NCAS) at Monash University, Melbourne. It also aims at strengthening the profile of Australian studies within Wales, pioneered by University of Wales, Lampeter’s Centre for Australian Studies in Wales (CASW), inaugurated in 1986.
 
AAiB benefits from resources such as the School of Art Gallery, where curatorial staff organize displays, exhibitions and education work. 'Sidney Nolan: a personal view', an exhibition of works selected by Lady Nolan from the artist’s former home on the borders of Wales, was held here in 2003, an exhibition of recent work by Klaus Friedeberger took place in October 2009. The School of Art's growing reputation as a centre for studies in Australian art was acknowledged by The Art Fund in 2010 with the allocation of two paintings by Sir Sidney Nolan from the Forsdyke Bequest.

Research on Australian Artists in Britain at Aberystwyth University has been supported by an AHRC grant.