Art inspired by Hawkesbury's beauty to go on display

Elioth Gruner, Spring frost 1919, Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of F G White 1939.
Elioth Gruner, Spring frost 1919, Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of F G White 1939.
Sydney Long, Midday 1896, Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased 1896.

Sydney Long, Midday 1896, Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased 1896.

Works inspired by regions including the Hawkesbury, make up the latest Art Gallery of NSW travelling exhibition, Fieldwork: Landscapes west of Sydney.

.On display at Penrith Regional Art Gallery from March 13 to May 9, the exhibition collects painting and works on paper from the late 19th and early to mid 20th century.

There is a focus on artists' camps and painting expeditions organised at the Hawkesbury region, the Blue Mountains and Sydney's western suburbs on Darug, Tharawal and Gundungurra land.

It brings together a number of significant and seldom seen works by many prominent artists.

A highlight of the exhibition is Spring Frost 1919, regarded by many as Elioth Gruner's crowning achievement Innes Farm in Emu Plains, the painting was awarded the Wynne Prize in 1919 and is one of the most celebrated and recognised works in the gallery's collection.

Gruner's Spring Frost will be displayed within close proximity to where it was painted, when the exhibition opens at the Penrith gallery.

Hilda Rix Nicholas Through the gum trees, Toongabbie c1920, Art Gallery of New South, acquired with the support of the Art Gallery Society of NSW through the Dagmar Halas Bequest 2016.

Hilda Rix Nicholas Through the gum trees, Toongabbie c1920, Art Gallery of New South, acquired with the support of the Art Gallery Society of NSW through the Dagmar Halas Bequest 2016.

"Fieldwork explores how the combination of plein air painting with budding nationalism and a deepening appreciation of Australian scenery during the late 19th century, inspired landscape artists to escape the city and portray nature and rural pastimes," said assistant curator of Australian art Nick Yelverton.

Other significant works in the collection include those by artist and teacher Julian Ashton, who was among the earliest proponents of plein-air painting in Sydney, and inspired subsequent generations of artists to travel to Richmond and the Hawkesbury region.

Other key works include Sydney Long's Midday 1896, Roland Wakelin's Narellan 1917 and Hilda Rix Nicholas' Through the gum trees, Toongabbie c1920.

Entry to the exhibition is free.

Penrith Regional Art Gallery is located at 86 River Rd, Emu Plains.