Meg Rutherford
A website dedicated to the works of Australian born artist Meg Rutherford.
Meg enrolled in a sculpture course, once she had been encouraged to do so initially by the girls' father being rather artistic, he recognised Meg's talent and encouraged he to go to Art School. Meg's mother also encouraged her to do so.Meg enrolled at the National Art School, Sydney in 1955.Lacking the necessary educational qualifications Meg was not able to enrol in the Diploma Course.

Here, over three years she developed considerable skill and a large output, under Senior Sculpture Lecturer Lyndon Dadswell. In Meg's last year, Dadswell invited her to assist him on the Newcastle, (Australia) War Memorial Cultural Centre commission, unveiled on 26 October 1957.

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Meg Rutherford got into book illustration almost by chance. Her first published book was The Beautiful Island (George Allen and Unwin, 1969). The illustrations are in collage using elements of published engravings from the old books, with some additional drawing to tie the clippings into a complete illustration.

This book was also published in Germany and in USA, where it was included in the American Institute of Graphic Artists ‘Fifty Books of the Year 1969’, (exhibition 1970), thanks to the combination of Meg’s illustrations and Doubleday’s book design.

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Meg showed early talent together with excellent observational skills. She was always drawing and from a young age could draw creatures with realistic representation.

At both the National Art School, Sydney and at The Slade School, drawing was something all sculptor students were required to do, but Meg drew almost to the exclusion of all activities other than sculpting.

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3D work

She Designed and created a toy for Play Orbit exhibition of Toys, in the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Other weird items were created by Meg as a result of her imagination, using any bits and pieces to hand, and assembled into strange or unusual items.

Also she sometimes carved unusual items such as a large leaf and a sun face. She was especially fond of creating toys that permitted different faces by rotating a multi face head or different bodies by rotating a pile of blocks.

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Published Work

In 2010 the Imaginative Book Illustration Society published in its Studies in Illustration no. 44, a detailed bibliography of the 77 books Meg Rutherford illustrated over her career, including some of her illustrations. The Society issued an addendum in 2015 issue 61, including an additional book. The society's web site carries some of Meg's illustrations.

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2D craft work

Meg took up stained glass work quite seriously.She trained with Steve Sheriff in order to learn about the various processes leading to a finished item. Meg made many items, such as a colourful fish, also a view of the Swanage gap with setting sun, a natural happening at mid summer.

Meg also experimented with double layer circular items, some with loose roundels therein, set in small wooden picture frames.

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Repair & Restoration

In Meg Rutherford's early days after graduating and before she was known, sculpture produced slow and uncertain financial returns. In the 1960s to generate regular income, Meg also repaired and restored antiques and collectables for London dealers which demonstrated her great ability at craft work of one sort or another.

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“Now I have taken to the camera, which gives me back all the pleasure of design ‘and colour but now with freedom of subject and no deadlines”.

“Not long after abandoning illustrating I began using the macro lens in the garden. Almost all my photographs are taken there in natural ‘daylight.With the camera, I am now able to go beyond ‘what I was trying to achieve in my illustrations and take minute detail amid large soft swathes of ‘colour”.

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