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Sylvia Convey was born in a refugee camp at Itzehoe near Hamburg, Germany in 1948. With her Latvian parents and elder sister she sailed to Australia on the Skaugum in early 1950. They were part of the first wave of immigrants to arrive in Australia after World War II joining a large group of displaced Latvians that settled in Australia in the late 40s and early 50s.
A true outsider artist her images are derived from her own day to day and oneiric experiences. Intuitively she has tapped the richness of her ancestral heritage which adds a decorative radiance to her images. An engaging eroticism is also a dominant theme in her oeuvre.
A recurring thread in her work has been the blurring of boundaries between art forms. As a painter she rejected the primacy of canvas and used non conventional surfaces. As a printmaker she has used textiles as much as paper and her sculptural muse finds expression in wonderfully exotic and exuberant cloth dolls. She approached quilt making in a spontaneous rather than formal manner as it gave her lifelong love of fabric and colour complete expression. She loves the sensual, tactile pleasure of handling cloth - tearing, cutting, printing and painting it to produce shimmering life embracing forms.
Collections and exhibits
Since 1972 she has exhibited widely in Australia, Germany, the United States and France. Her work was part of the landmark exhibition Australian outsiders at the Halle St. Pierre in Paris in 2006. Convey's work was included in the 2010 exhibition 13 Australian Outsider Artists at Callan Park Gallery. In 2015 a survey exhibition of Sylvia Convey and, husband Tony Convey's work titled Double Vision was held at the Orange Regional Gallery.
- "NGA: Works in the collection: Starry Night". National Gallery of Australia. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- "History of immigration from Latvia". Museum Victoria Australia. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- "NGA: Artist: Sylvia Convey". National Gallery of Australia. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- "THIRTEEN AUSTRALIAN OUTSIDER ARTISTS - CURATED BY PHILIP HAMMIAL". University of Sydney. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- Gray, Brenda (May 30, 2015). "AT THE GALLERY: inside outsider art at the Orange Regional Gallery". Central Western Daily. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- Australian Migrant ships 1946-1977, Peter Plowman (Chiswick)
- Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon Volume 21 (K.G. Saur Verlag) Munich 1999
- Outsider Art in Australia - Ulli Beier, Phillip Hammal (EDS) (Aspect) 1989
- Australian Naive Art - Sandra Warner (Craftsman House) 1997
- Australian Printmaking in the 1990s - Sasha Grishin (Craftsman House) 1997
- Australian Outsiders - Martine Lusardy (Halle St. Pierre) 2006