What was it like to be a talented and aspiring female artist in Australia in the 1960’s? In 1967, when Anne Marie Hall was twenty-two she met her future husband, artist John Perceval. A year later, she debuted at South Yarra Gallery to high praise. In her work, critics sensed something terse. Guided by feeling, her the restlessness of her figures was pressed out, commanding attention and empathy.
In the 1800’s a Danish play shocked theatergoers with the story of a woman’s marriage and life in “a doll’s house”. Ibsen’s story told of the limited opportunities for a woman to find self fulfillment in a male dominated modern world. Like many other modern women, Anne Hall ’s life was a creative struggle. There was a clear gender inequality for female artists in Australia at that time. We know that for four years of her marriage to John Perceval he was hospitalised for schizophrenia - the other six were spent drenched in his alcoholism.
Hall was in her twenties when she created most of the works in this collection: Inside the Dollhouse. Her subjects are caught between womanhood and adolescence. Made up, but still girlish these figures recall the dolls Hall collected. Yet, dressed with wild eyes and sinuous fingers, they register as lively - reaching towards the viewer.
Alongside Joy Hester and Mirka Mora, Anne Hall forged a compelling voice in a crowd of men. Hall has been collected by The National Gallery of Australia, the Ian Potter Museum and the Geelong Gallery. Her works would add a significant female perspective to your collection of modern Australian art.