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Vase - Helen Ilich for Guy Boyd Studio, Aboriginal Design, 1956-1957 Object Reg. No: HT 23826

Glazed ceramic vase featuring Aboriginal motifs decorated in Guy Boyd's studio in Melbourne around 1956-1957 by post-war Serbian migrant Helen Ilich.

Helen Ilich migrated to Melbourne from Croatia in 1953 with her two children, her husband already having arrived. She had always wanted to be an artist but rarely had the opportunity or parental support to pursue her passion and so had little formal training. This continued in Australia but she found a degree of artistic outlet by working in three ceramic studios around Melbourne - Ellis, Isobel (a small independent business) and Guy Boyd's studio in East Bentleigh which she particularly enjoyed. At the Boyd studio she painted this vase and other ceramic pieces with Australian landscape and Aboriginal motifs, produced for the domestic and tourist markets. Helen later joined the Heidelberg District Artists' Society in the late 1960s and taught painting at home, producing many works of her own. She passed away in 2002.
Ceramic vase, cylindrical in shape with tapering top and base. Glazed finish featuring primarily white background with stylised Aboriginal man with boomerang chasing kangaroos in outback landscape in brown paints. Horizontal rings of red, yellow and green around top with Aboriginal animal motifs.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Nina Chelleri, 2009
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 210 mm (Height), 120 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: ceramics, aboriginal depictions, artistic practices, workshops, immigration
Themes this item is part of: Migration Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, Helen Ilich, Serbian Migrant & Ceramic Artist, 1953, Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021, Objects & Cultural Stereotypes in Museum Victoria Collections
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Creative Practice
Tertiary Classification: ceramics
Inscriptions: Base etched with 'Guy Boyd'. Base of painted surface signed 'Ilich.'
Artist: Helen Ilich, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, 1956-1957
Place & Date Made: Guy Boyd Pottery, Bentleigh East, Victoria, Australia, 1956-1957


P. Carrington Ashton Posted on 30 Dec 2010 12:08 PM
I find your pictures and notes interesting. I have a very similar piece as the "Helen Ilich vase for Guy Boyd," however, mine is actually signed by Guy Boyd, and has a tawny yellow background; was Guy Boyd not the original artist of the piece? Also, my piece has the initials "DB" included in the picture. How is this explained??
Thanks for your response
P. Carrington Ashton
Discovery Centre Posted on 30 Dec 2010 3:54 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi, the object above is a part of Migration Collection. For informaiton about your vase, you may need to contact the National Gallery of Victoria.
Karen Humphrey Posted on 13 Apr 2013 2:47 PM
I have a Guy Boyd etched vase with the same Australian lanscape and Aboriginal motif by Helen IIich. Should I contact the National gallery or yourself as I would like to donate the piece and have it valued?
regards K Humphrey
My Grandparents lived in this area at the time

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