A NEW exhibition in Wodonga shines light on the women behind the Ned Kelly legend.
Harcourt artist Janet Goodchild-Cuffley has challenged the male-only perspective of the Ned Kelly story in Furious Riding: The Kelly Women Narratives, which opened at Arts Space Wodonga on Friday.
Goodchild-Cuffley’s paintings convey the lives of the Victorian colonial women of the late 19th century.
Goodchild-Cuffley said she wanted to acknowledge the contribution of women in Australian history.
She said early male historians had largely not chronicled the lives of colonial women.
“In fact in researching the Siege of Glenrowan I was staggered to learn how many women and children and men were inside the Glenrowan Inn when the shooting between police and the Kelly Gang started,” she said.
Goodchild-Cuffley has referenced Sidney Nolan’s telling of the saga through her series of 26 paintings. While Nolan painted the Death of Sergeant Kennedy at Stringybark Creek, Goodchild-Cuffley told of the intense grief of The Widow Kennedy.
Furious Riding: The Kelly Women Narratives officially opens on Saturday from 3pm to 5pm.
Theatre company Two Friends Productions will perform Not Just Ned on Wednesday at 11.30am and 6pm.
Author Noelene Allen, whose book Ellen: A Woman of Spirit helped to inspire the exhibition, will speak on August 12 from 2pm to 4pm while Janet Goodchild-Cuffley will speak on August 19 and 26 at 2pm.
The exhibition runs until August 26.