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Deirdre Bean's Coming Home and Call to Home

Coming Home II and Call to Home II are works in the Parliament House Art Collection by Deirdre Bean that evoke, as the artist suggests, symbols of home and security amidst the horrors of the First World War.

In 2017 Bean completed an artist residency in France and Belgium, including touring the battlefield landscapes of the First World War. Although a century on, and much had changed to the physical landscape, Bean was struck by how the spaces still held significant power for her and reflected an international consciousness of this history.

Bean took inspiration from the works of textile artist and designer May Morris, the daughter of well-known English designer William Morris. In her compositions, Bean adopted the drawing style of the popular British Arts and Crafts Movement, characterised by intricate and detailed compositions which appear straight forward to the viewer.

Bean’s selected subjects are the homing pigeon, which would deliver vital information across the battlefield, often saving lives, and the bugle which signalled the daily routine in military camps. These subjects are easily identifiable and would have been symbols of safety and routine amidst the chaos of the war.

Bean observed, ‘that the brutality and harshness of war could be represented as something beautiful motivated me’1.

Deirdre Bean

Deirdre Bean (born 1960) is a Newcastle born watercolourist who focuses on botanic representations. Bean began exhibiting from 2008, and in 2012 completed a Bachelor of Arts at Curtin University. In 2011 and 2012 she was a finalist in the Waterhouse Prize for Natural History at the South Australian Museum. In 2016 Deirdre graduated with a PHD in Natural History Illustration.

1. Sourced from privately communicated artist response.
Deirdre Bean (born 1960),

Coming Home II
, 2018
watercolour on paper,

Call to Home II, 2018
watercolour and graphite on paper,

Parliament House Art Collection.

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