The Hon. Diana Laidlaw AM ~ Mastering Mosaics

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The Hon. Diana Laidlaw AM ~ Photo by Jennie Groom © 2015

Diana Laidlaw says she grew up in a family with strong, progressive and political views, an influence for Diana choosing to work in politics.

She started by assisting Federal and State ministers for 7 years before she was elected as a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Council to the Parliament of South Australia in 1982.

When her party won Government in 1993, Diana entered Cabinet and  proceeded to be the first woman to hold 3 consecutive portfolios over 3 consecutive terms (and 3 Premiers) as Minister for Transport and Urban Planning, Arts and Status of Women.

Diana was Minister for the Status of Women in 1994 during the year of centenary celebrations for Women’s Suffrage in South Australia and helped launch a time capsule stored in a vault in Parliament House for women to open in another hundred years.  It will be interesting to see what has changed then!

Representing the Arts as Minister must have ignited Diana’s passion for starting her own artwork with mosaics during this time.  Since her 21 year political career finished Diana’s mosaics are really taking off and are highly sort after.  Pictured here with her popular mosaic poles which she has exhibited widely throughout South Australia.  Loving her artistic life now, Diana works on her mosaics as much as possible from a farm studio in the Barossa Valley.

On a personal level it was fabulous to have Diana Laidlaw launch my first exhibition ‘women@work’ in 2000 as she represented women and the arts!

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International Women’s Day ~ Week!

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Yes, International Women’s Day is so popular it goes for a week, possibly even two! For my part in this celebration, I have an exhibition to show you today, not only one Wednesday’s Woman but 11 of them!  This exhibition is on display currently until the 20th of March, 2016 on the Pillars of Parliament House, Adelaide.

About the exhibition
Let us be up and doing”  as quoted by Mary Lee, a suffragette who was instrumental in gaining South Australian women the right to vote which also resulted in South Australia being the first place in the world where women could stand for Parliament. This act was achieved in 1894.

Despite these progressive beginnings over one hundred years ago South Australia was the last state to elect a woman into State Parliament (1959) and still to elect a woman head of Government.

In a speech delivered to the United Nations when Emma Watson launched the ‘He for She’ campaign she stated boldly that equality isn’t just a woman’s issue anymore; it’s a man’s issue too. It is true that equality is a society issue and the support of men is needed to help women progress into the future with equal representation in Government. The support of men is needed so the next woman Prime Minister is treated with the respect that such a position merits.

Let us be up and doing” is a public artwork on view at  Parliament House Adelaide.  It pays homage to our deceased forbears using typographical artworks and exhibits contemporary portraits of a selection of former, female South Australian politicians from a cross section of parties.  “Let us be up and doing.” will remind people that women can and have made significant political contributions with lasting benefits to the entire community and that this is something that is achievable into the future.

Art and Design Concept
Influenced by the portraits of politicians from the 1900’s, we have chosen to step back to what South Australian Parliament could have looked like if women were elected in the early years. The portraits taken in this contemporary age are black and white overlaid with Illustrations of gold ornate frames symbolising a layer of history. They are a mix of oval and arch shaped frames.

Hand drawn typography of a similar era is used over the portraits for names and titles and achievements.  The women look stately, confident and happy, not too dissimilar to Mona Lisa.  This mix of the old and the new celebrates history, the present and brings us into the future.

The Artists and Sub-Committee
Jennie Groom – Photographic Artist, Creator and Project Manager
Maya Graham – Illustrator
Lisa Philip-Harbutt – Project Mentor
Steph Key MP – Ambassador and Advisor

The T-shirt you could WIN!!
A black v-neck t-shirt with the ‘let us be up and doing’ logo.

To win, take a photo of the exhibition at Parliament House, Adelaide between now and the 20th of March and upload onto one of the below social media sites with the hashtag #LetUsBeUpAndDoing

Facebook
Let us be up and Doing

Twitter
@BeUpAndDoing

Instagram
Jennie_Groom

 

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