Where is it from?

Association locations map

Place Mat - Human Figures & Animals, Brown on White, circa 1950s Object Reg. No: HT 24707

Alternative Name(s): Placemat, Table Mat

Place mat printed in grey on off-white background featuring two human figures in boat, another human figure with spear and tall headdress, and animals, interspersed with dots, stars and circles. The image references traditional Aboriginal artforms. The headdress resembles that of a Indigenous ceremonial headdress of Mornington Island, Queensland, made from bark, human hair and feathers.

Same image as HT 24705, although a slightly darker brown. Made by John Rodriquez for commercial sale.

John Rodriquez studied art and design at RMIT in the late 1940s and became well known for his screen-printed textile designs in the early 1950s. From 1950 to 1980 he was one of a handful of Australian textile designers who developed a new contemporary style with innovative use of colour. His designs in the early 1950s were mostly of Aboriginal or geometric style. Later he turned to more abstract designs in the Scandinavian style. Later still he made bold use of colour. Rodriquez introduced unique Australian styles which have been imitated often since. He always stressed the importance of innovation. Many homes in Australia and overseas still have his art works in the linen cupboard.

John Rodriquez retired in 1988, handing the Rodriquez company to his son Rimian, who has computerised the screen printing and mostly employs other designers for the products, but still uses a few of his father's most popular designs. Rodriquez passed away in 2000.
Place mat printed in mid-brown on off-white background. Printing pattern of two human figures in boat, another human figure with spear and tall headdress, kangaroo, fish, goanna (or similar), snakes and cow (or similar). Interspersed with dots, stars and circles. Pattern of lines at top and bottom of printing area. Fringe 5mm wide around.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms Patricia Rodriquez, 2010
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 289 mm (Height), 379 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: screen printing, handcrafts, artworks, aboriginal art, innovation design
Themes this item is part of: John Rodriquez Textile Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection
Primary Classification: MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRY
Secondary Classification: Printmaking
Tertiary Classification: textiles
Artist: John Rodriquez, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1950s
Place & Date Manufactured: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1950s

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.

Similar items

Yes No