With exhibits ranging from water color sketches and painting to ceramics and even sewing, the exhibition Lizzie’s Legacyshowcasing the late Liz Ewart’s art, opened on Saturday, May 7.
Her sister, and presenter of ABC’s BackroadsHeather Ewart grew up with Liz on a farm five minutes from Murchison and witnessed her passion for art at a young age.
Mrs Ewart introduced her sister’s work at Murchison Heritage Centre.
“It’s very special for me and very emotional, because my sister, we were very close, she was a much loved member of this community. Everyone knew and loved Liz,” she said.
“She was sort of a larger-than-life character really, in a very kind, modest sort of way.
“I’m just thrilled to see her work being honored, and I just love that the whole town has rallied around to put all her works together on display.”
Mrs Ewart said the community of Murchison contributed to the exhibition.
“So 14 or 15 people from around here — cousins, friends — even earlier before the exhibition opened, people were dropping in with mugs that they bought from her,” she said with a laugh.
“I moved away, but I come back a lot, I love being back here.”
Liz was born in 1961 and passed away in 2017, but Mrs Ewart said the exhibition was an opportunity to connect with her sister.
“Lizzie was taken from us too soon, and it makes me sad, but then it’s really wonderful to see she is still with us in a way through her art,” she said.
The idea of an exhibition came about from Liz’s relationship with the Murchison Heritage Center for more than 20 years, and it was last year that Mrs Ewart started planning.
“They rang me about it, and I was really touched that they wanted to do this, because Lizzie had left me all of her portfolio when she died, and so I had a lot of her work stored away,” she said.
Mrs Ewart’s daughter, Caitlin Cassidy, was at the opening to commemorate her aunt, and said Liz was “super influential” to her growing up.
“I used to go to her pottery studio when I was a kid, and she would teach me how to use the spinning wheel — it was really special,” she said.
“She taught me to be a better person, but also to value the arts and creativity, it’s so good that she’s gotten recognition because throughout her life, her art was so loved.”
Ms Cassidy said her aunt was the “missing piece” at the exhibition, but said it was great to see her legacy live on.
“Now to have this exhibition, it’s like you wish she was here, but to know that people are celebrating her legacy is lovely,” she said.
“There are pieces that I forgot she even did, and styles that she went through that I forgot she had, so she has a very rich body of work.”
Ms Cassidy still has pieces made by her aunt that she has spread around the places she has lived.
“One of my favorites is this big vase, and it’s filled with all these beautiful colors and patterns that I always have flowers in, in my own house,” she said.
Mrs Ewart said her favorite pieces of art from Liz were her clowns, reminding her of her sister’s early ceramic work.
“She made those in Year 12, and she got honors in art; they’ve always been my personal favorites, and I love all of her work, but I love those clowns, ”she said.
“She was always artistic, she always sort of had a flair.”
Mrs Ewart touched on the broad appeal of her sister’s art in the Lizzie’s Legacy brochure.
“To this day Lizzie’s pottery can be found in homes around the country and even as far afield as Britain and the United States — snapped up by visitors to Murchison over the years. It’s a constant, joyful and precious reminder of her wonderful legacy of her, ”she wrote.
Lizzie’s Legacy is held in memory of Liz Ewart and is running until Sunday, May 22, at the Murchison Heritage Centre.