'It is extraordinarily difficult to reconcile painting and living … To live, one must compromise; to paint one must be so utterly ruthless that any sane person would see that the game is not worth the candle. Still it burns brightly and sweetly.
– Elizabeth Durack.
Art & Life contains extracts from diaries, letters, essays, travelogues and poetry written by Elizabeth Durack (1915–2000) over the course of seven decades. With wit and candour, the writing reveals some of the most important influences and episodes – and the paradox – of her life. Durack read and travelled widely and drew inspiration from many sources: from the men and women she knew; from classical Western and ancient Aboriginal traditions; and from contemporary politics.
I can’t really live without Eddie Burrup now. He has become a part of me – Me – in fact. I can’t go on, or get on, without him. I know he is an antiquated version of Aboriginality and that the Albert Barungas & Co now lie in the past, yet I hoped this ilk could live on: gidgi-gidgi – h’arm-in-h’arm, blackfella–whitefella – that the right way. (Publication summary)