Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney since 1994
Rosalie Gascoigne, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, April 1994, cat.9
Rosalie Gascoigne always had a great love of language, displaying it visually through her cut-up road signs works and through her poetic, humorous and colloquial phrases used as titles for her work. 'Top of the Morning' is an Irish 'good morning' greeting, commonly heard in country Australia.
The work itself shows the beginning of the day with the sparkling sun rising (in the left panels) to bring a warm blue sky day over the Canberra hills (right hand panels). Gascoigne has used her found materials - retroreflective roadsign and masonite - to minimally display the warmth and simplicity of the perfect day.
'Top of the Morning', clearly pays homage to Gascoigne's fellow artist, Colin McCahon. Born in the same year, Gascoigne and McCahon were the by-products of similar schooling and, despite extraordinarily different career paths, had remarkably aligned interests in poetry, language, landscape and modern art. After seeing his retrospective 'Gates and Journeys' in 1989, Gascoigne created her own domestic homage to McCahon." (G Brien, 'Plain air/plain song', "Rosalie Gascoigne Plain Air", Wellington, 2004, pp.47-48)
Like 'Suddenly the Lake', (National Gallery of Australia collection), 'Top of the Morning', pays direct homage to McCahon with its use of hill forms seen often in McCahon's work 'Landscape Theme and Variations: Series B', 1963; 'The Gate Series: No.4', 1962; 'Otago Landscape', 1964 and 'Waterfall' paintings.