School of History Seminar Series: Getting the Real Stuff in from the Paddocks


A life of artist Rosalie Gascoigne

New Zealand-born Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne (née Walker), (1917-1999), first exhibited her art in 1974 at the age of 57 and rapidly achieved critical acclaim for her assemblages made with weathered discards she collected from Monaro paddocks, roadsides and rubbish tips. This thesis is a study of her life through the lens of the life story she repeatedly told once she had achieved fame as an artist. It revolves around Gascoigne’s frequently stated sense of being an outsider and factors accountable for the development and impact of her work. The thesis covers the intersection of her life with historical changes, particularly in Australia in the 1960s and 1970s, and the timing and context of her meteoric rise.

This paper, for the pre-submission seminar of my PhD candidature, will give an overview of the questions, themes and arguments of my thesis, Getting the real stuff in from the paddocks: a life of artist Rosalie Gascoigne.


Niki Francis brings to her PhD candidature broad life and work experience including raising two sons, CEO of a statutory organisation, hospice chaplain, parish minister, refugee resettlement officer and human resources for Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in London. In addition to Canberra, she has lived in various cities in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Germany and Belgium.

All welcome. Please direct enquiries to

Date & time

Wed 05 Mar 2014, 4.15–5.30pm


McDonald Room, Menzies Library ANU

Event series


School of History


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