'The trees and grass and river and myself': Vida Lahey and Madge Roe as cultural subjects
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Madge Roe was a Brisbane-based illustrator who specialised in Australian flora and fauna. She captured the everyday in sketches and line illustrations to share with family and friends, and donated her time and talents to public causes. Although an avid supporter of and participant in Brisbane cultural groups, she was not a leading artist. Vida Lahey, however, was highly respected nationally and developing an international reputation. Both artists were embedded in family networks that sustained and promoted their well-being; both engaged with Brisbane culture, though in very different ways. In this paper, I argue for thinking holistically about culture and place as they are engaged by meaning-making ‘subjects’. Through Lahey's painting, Memoriam to Madge Roe, Roe's death notice and family sources, I focus on the articulation by subjects of geo-cultural meanings. By using this term, I indicate that meaning making is closely tied to place, to transitions between places and to the family as a form of subject ‘placement’.
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