Bee-stung Lips: Barbara Hanrahan works on paper 1960 – 1991


Image: Barbara Hanrahan, Dog of darkness (detail), 1978, hand-coloured etching with plate-tone, colour inks on paper, 35.5 x 25.3 cm, Private collection, Adelaide, © the Estate of the artist, courtesy Susan Sideris 2020

Bee-stung Lips: Barbara Hanrahan works on paper 1960 – 1991

A Flinders University Museum of Art touring exhibition presented in collaboration with Country Arts SA

Curated by Nic Brown

Bee-stung Lips surveys Barbara Hanrahan’s prolific 30-year printmaking career that was set in motion in 1960 and ended with her untimely death at the age of 52.  Characterised by playfully complex narratives that draw on both personal experience and fantasy, her works are fearlessly direct and unashamedly decorative in style.

Featuring 74 prints made in her town of birth, Adelaide, as well as London and Melbourne, the exhibition considers several overarching themes that emerge from the artist’s oeuvre: sex, beauty and the stage; domestic comforts and anxieties; becoming plant, becoming animal; and celestial bodies and the afterlife.  Here, mystical and earthly realms collide with concepts of time and mortality.  Hanrahan connects sexuality and desire with dreaming and spirituality, and links the farthest star to the humblest garden bee to make works that speak of the fragility of human existence.

This exhibition exemplifies Hanrahan’s mastery and innovation across the print medium including woodcuts, linocuts, screenprints, lithographs, etchings and drypoint, and celebrates her singular and uncompromising practice.   It is accompanied by a full colour catalogue published by Wakefield Press.


Nautilus Art Centre Port Lincoln                                12 August – 24 September 2022

Murray Bridge Regional Gallery Murray Bridge       21 January – 19 March 2023

Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery Port Pirie                  31 March – 21 May 2023

Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery Naracoorte           2 June – 16 July 2023

Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre Mt Gambier        8 September – 19 November 2023

Signal Point Gallery Goolwa                                      1 December – 11 February 2024