As one of Australia’s foremost artists, Ann Newmarch’s prints, paintings, murals, and mixed media
works have addressed political, social, and feminist issues since the 1960s. Newmarch was born in 1945 in Adelaide, Australia. Forbidden to attend art school by her parents, she received a degree in art education from Western Teachers’ College in 1966 while simultaneously studying art at the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide. In 1969, a few years after graduating from South Australian School of Art, she became one of the few women at the time to be appointed as a lecturer at the school.
Newmarch’s political and social interests have played a significant role in her career. As a reaction to increased dissention over political issues in Australia, such as the Vietnam War and labor, Newmarch co-founded the Progressive Art Movement in 1974, an organization dedicated to creating art work that addressed social and political concerns and educated the public. Likewise, her interest in feminist issues led her to become a founding member of the artists collective Women’s Art Movement in Adelaide, a group active from 1976 to 1986. In 1974, Newmarch stopped exhibiting her work in solo shows at commercial galleries and focused on participating in group and theme shows to further demonstrate her commitment to utilizing art for social activism. Around the same time, Newmarch directed her artistic attention to screen printing as an ideal medium for communicating her messages to a wider audience. She also became increasingly involved in community art projects and co-founded the Prospect Mural Group in Prospect, Australia.
While Newmarch’s recent works incorporate more personal elements, she believes that art should only be influenced by personal experiences when accompanied by an understanding of underlying social conditions. Newmarch’s artistic achievements and commitment to educating the community through her work earned her a Medal of the Order of Australia from the Australian government in 1989.
Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia (1973-1974)
South Australian School of Art, Adelaide, Australia (1964-1967)
Western Teachers’ College, Adelaide, Australia (ca. 1964-1966)
Medal of the Order of Australia, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, Australia (1989)
Founder, Progressive Art Movement, Adelaide, Australia (1974)