Elisabeth Cummings: From a Well Deep Within

Elisabeth Cummings, ‘From a Well Deep Within', 2023. Installation view, dimensions variable. Photo: Silversalt Photography.

Exhibition: Saturday 8 July – Sunday 13 August 2023
Opening Event: Saturday 8 July 2023, 2 – 4pm 

‘Elisabeth Cummings: From a Well Deep Within’ celebrates the rich and intuitive print practice of renowned Australian artist Elisabeth Cummings. Recognised as one of Australia’s preeminent painters, the exhibition looks at Cummings’ expansion into printmaking over a 20-year period (2001-2023).  

Brought together through conversations with Curatorial Advisor, Michael Kempson – the artist’s longtime collaborator, master printer and founder of Cicada Press – the exhibition presents a rich collection of etchings and monotypes. It also includes Cummings’ early experiments in printmaking at East Sydney Tech (National Art School), working with artist and master printer, Diana Davidson from Whaling Road Studio 

From 2001, Cummings started printing and teaching with Kempson at the educational print workshop, Cicada Press, then based at the University of New South Wales School of Art and Design (2004-2021). Today the workshop is based on the upper north shore where Cummings and Kempson continue to print together each week.  

The exhibition celebrates Cummings’ deeply intuitive practice in response to her surroundings. An avid traveler and curious observer, the prints feature subjects from vibrant and remote travel destinations and landscapes to intimate scenes of the Wedderburn bush and Cummings’ home studio. 

With a career spanning over six decades, Cummings has a strong connection to Campbelltown. Born in Brisbane, Elisabeth moved to Sydney at the age of 19 and studied art at the National Art School. In 1958, she won the Art Gallery of New South Wales travelling scholarship following which she spent a decade living abroad. 

On returning to Australia in the early 1970s, through a generous donation of land from Barbara and Nick Romalis, Cummings established the Wedderburn artist community near Campbelltown together with fellow artists Roy Jackson (1944-2013) and John Peart (1945-2013). Cummings continues to live and work in Wedderburn today. 

In 2022, Cummings’ work was presented in ‘Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now Part Two’, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and in 2017, a major retrospective of Cummings’ work ‘Interior Landscapes’, curated by Sioux Garside, founding Director of the Campbelltown Art Gallery was presented at the Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra and toured throughout New South Wales. In 1996, a large survey exhibition of Cummings’ work was presented at Campbelltown Arts Centre, titled ‘Elisabeth Cummings 1965-1995’ and toured to the Gold Coast City Art Gallery.     

Cummings’ works are represented in all major Australian public collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the Campbelltown City Council Art Collection. 

Elisabeth Cummings is represented by King Street Gallery on William.