Menu Close

Catalogue review, Arborescent: Drawings by Elizabeth Cross


Paperback, 60 pages, 22 x 21 cm
Published by DHG Publishing
Elizabeth Cross.

$25 (excl. postage) – IN STOCK

“It is this sense of wonder and pleasure that infuses all of the trees depicted by Elisabeth Cross. We understand the challenge of arranging their images on the blank field of paper, of conveying nuanced textures and forms from one subject to another.”

–       Gordon Morrison, Arborescent: Drawings by Elizabeth Cross exhibition catalogue, p32.

Elizabeth Cross’s practice of drawing trees is emblematic of her knowledge of spatial play and nuanced observation within nature. From her voyages abroad to France, China and Sweden, she has returned home with a drawn ‘collection’ of different species. Inspired by individualised characteristics in structure and form she has captured the robust trunks and wavering branches in a series of ‘portraits’.

These exquisite drawings are not botanical drawings of scientific accuracy. Instead, Cross imbues each drawing with an art historical lens, capturing the tree’s life cycle within their gnarly roots, blossoms and leafless branches that is reminiscent of the studies completed by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse or even Albrecht Dürer.

The Drill Hall Gallery’s 2019 survey exhibition of Cross’s drawings, titled Arborescent: Drawings Elizabeth Cross, included twenty large drawings. Acknowledged in her professional career as a curator, this exhibition reveals Cross as an accomplished artist. The catalogue is a wonderful edition to any bookshelf, featuring exemplary essays by Terence Maloon, Gordon Morrison and Hugh Colman, along with poems by Jennifer Harrison. It captures the admiring and unique history of the drawings by Elizabeth Cross.

A review was written by Abbey Porticato, Drill Hall Gallery volunteer and ANU undergraduate student, Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship, School of Art & Design, Centre for Art History and Theory.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.