May and Herbert Gibbs Collection

 

'The Dune', South Perth
[View down Harper
Terrace to the water]

Herbert Gibbs, 1907

 

 

Contemplation begins at home.

 

Stairs up to Drawing
Room: 'The Dune', South
Perth

Herbert Gibbs, 1905

 

 

The creaking timber was polished by the shoes of genius.

 

Part of 'The Dune'
South Perth

Herbert Gibbs, 1908

 

 

 

Musicians and artists of
the small colony of Perth viewed The Dune as a
social centre.

 

 

 

 

The Windmill,
South Perth

Herbert Gibbs, sketched
1919, finished 1934

 

 

The windmill at South
Perth was a well-known landmark even in Herbert's day.

 

'The Dune' South Perth
Herbert Gibbs, 1908

 

 

 

 

'The Dune' was a large rambling house that the Gibbs family moved to in 1889; Cecie and Herbert remained there for the
rest of their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunrise, Mends Street
Jetty, South Perth

Herbert Gibbs, 1919

 

 

 

Herbert's contentment in South Perth was indelibly linked with his love of the river.

 

Untitled [Perth Skyline: Orchard View from South Perth]
Herbert Gibbs nd

 

 

From the southern bank
of the Swan, Herbert
watched Perth grow into a bustling city.

 

 

 

Untitled [Two trees]
May Gibbs, 1899

 

 

 

 

May was at ease in a vast
land under endless sky.

 

Chinaman's cottage,
South Perth

May Gibbs, 1898

 

 

 

Inspiration could be
found in a puff of
woodsmoke close to May's South Perth home.

 

 

 

Sunset, 'The Dune',
South Perth

Herbert Gibbs, 1918-19

 

 

 

Perth sunsets are
legendary and Herbert
shows us why…

 

Untitled [River Scene]
May Gibbs, 1901

 

 

 

 

May's ability to capture the harmonious details of
natural environments was
a defining trait of her work.

 

Studio Door: At 'The
Dune', South Perth

Herbert Gibbs, 1925-29

 

 

 

The studio, a sunny room referred to as 'Mr Gibbs' Studio', was often awash
with May's prolific
drawings!

 

The Mount from the
Point: South Perth,
5.30am

Herbert Gibbs, 1918

 

 

The poetic vistas of the
river inspired Herbert's artistic imagination.

These scenes were lived in

While living in Western Australia's southwest, May found secret refuges in which her imagination came alive and made friends with the animals and plants that eventually inspired her gumnut stories. Herbert's sparkling views of river life around Perth reflect his abiding love of the sea. The family made many excursions down the river to Fremantle, setting anchor at coves like the one depicted in The M.T.S., South Perth. Herbert's gently lit scene is clearly connected with the community he was part of, while the vibrant colours of Flame
tree
equally express his sense of wonder at nature's bounty. For Herbert and May, responding to natural surroundings nurtured a
profound love for Australia. Their work invites us to contemplate the beauty within the familiar.