Field flowers c.1930
Oil on canvas on board, 34.5 x 44.6 cm
Ipswich Art Gallery Collection. Acquired through the Ipswich Art Gallery Foundation in recognition of the significant contribution of Mrs Margaret Hooper, 2011

Vida Lahey was born in Pimpama, Queensland in 1882 and enjoyed a highly successful career as a painter. She exhibited extensively in Europe and Australia and is considered to have made a contribution to the introduction of Modernism in Australia. She also taught art in Brisbane for many years, wrote an important book on art in Queensland and was involved in raising funds for the acquisition of works for the Queensland Art Gallery. In 1958 she received an M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) in recognition of her services to art. Through her career, Lahey became increasingly drawn to still life flower paintings. It was a theme she returned to frequently and she identifies her childhood in the country and her father’s love of flowers as inspiration for this. During childhood, her family was separated for a period of time and her father would bring bunches of wildflowers when he visited. However, it was also the opportunity to explore composition, texture, form and her love of colour that attracted her to the genre. Vida Lahey passed away in 1968. Field flowers reveals the artist’s modernist influences in the simplified forms and background textiles.