From her Russian-Ukrainian upbringing to her new home of Australia - Tamara Bekier has accumulated a rich tapestry of life experiences to inspire her art.
The results of those sources of inspiration are on display for all to see at the artist's new Between Worlds exhibition, which will be at the Art Gallery of Ballarat from November 4 to January 28.
The 92-year-old Ballarat based artist's style blends the colours and textures of her Russian-Ukrainian heritage with the light and dark contrasts of Australia.
Her work is inspired by some of history's most renowned artists, including Gustav Klimt, Mark Chagall and the German Expressionists.
Between Worlds offers rare insight into a lifetime of at times harrowing personal experiences, including enduring the turmoils of World War II and coming to war-torn Europe as a refugee.
Tamara first turned to art at the age of 48. Almost four decades later, she has graced numerous exhibitions and her works are featured in numerous collections across Australia.
Her artwork has been celebrated for its rich, colourful panels featuring faces and figures, reminiscent of Russian icons.
Her style has undergone many changes over the years - from early works employing oil paints and printmaking, to the use of acrylic paints and mixed media in more recent works,
Many of her pieces include self-portraits and are based on childhood memories, depicting disruption, dislocation, and danger.
Gallery director Louise Tegart described Tamara's art as "exciting works by an important artist".
"Tamara Bekier has lived an extraordinary and challenging life - her artworks explore her history and experiences during the Second World War as a child and her migration to Australia in the 1950s, bringing together aspects of her life, in a unique blend of cultural influences," she said.
"Her work has been important to her as a way of synthesising aspects of her life and as a way of sharing her experiences with others."
Tamara will be at the gallery at 2pm on November 26 to talk to curator Julie McLaren about her life, art training and the themes that emerge in her work.
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