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Facade conservation and repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

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Monica Raszewski

Monica Raszewski is researching a play script,  Half Moon Bay, that explores the pattern of strong friendships, tensions between home and artistic endeavour, and entanglement of the mother–daughter relationship. These themes were present in the lives of many women artists working during 1930s to 1950s.

The central character is based on the life of a little-known Australian modernist painter Sybil Craig (1901–1989), who worked and lived in Melbourne most of her life.

Sybil lived in a converted shop at Half Moon Bay intermittently between 1945–1961. The shop will function as a passage between an interior world and a public world within which an uneasy balance between a private creative existence and a more public space associated with exhibiting art work will be played out. The demands and conventions expected of a single woman supported by her parents will also be played out within this context.

A major theme of the play will be how energy contained within tensions between domestic and artistic work, and complex ambiguities within the mother–daughter relationship, fuelled artistic experimentation and the quest for a new means of expression while also causing Sybil to have a nervous breakdown when her mother died.