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Vali Myers: Her Life and Work

15 November 2022, 6:30pm8:00pm
BookingsBookings required
Location Conversation Quarter
The Quad
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Explore the life and work of beloved Melbourne artist, dancer and free spirit Vali Myers in this special Window on Collections event. 

Cutting her own unique path, Vali Myers lived a bohemian life that was true to herself. With her bright red hair, dramatic eyeliner and facial tattoos, Vali turned heads wherever she went. She was known not only for her exquisite art but for an approach to life that continues to captivate our imaginations. 

Join us for a screening of The painted lady (2002) documentary, in which director Ruth Cullen captures Vali Myers at her iconic studio in the Nicholas Building in the heart of Melbourne, a lively environment where she painted, drew, drank and danced with those who her rare soul enchanted. In Vali’s own words, ‘When you’ve lived like I have, you’ve done it all.’ 

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Library staff member Fiona Jeffery with guests Ruth Cullen and art historian Tracy Spinks. A viewing of Vali’s artworks, diaries and artefacts in the State Collection will also be available, as well as live folk and Romany music performed by Vardos, who feature in the film. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about an incredible figure in Melbourne’s art history.  

Please note: this event will be livestreamed and recorded, including the film screening. The 26-minute film will be available to watch online for one week after the event, after which it will be removed. The panel discussion will remain online to watch at any time. 

This film is unrated and includes sexual references. Viewer discretion is advised. 

About Fiona Jeffery

Fiona Jeffery is a Librarian in the Description, Original Materials Team at State Library Victoria and has worked directly with the Vali Myers archive. 

About Ruth Cullen

Ruth is known for her bold subject choices and fearless, empathetic character portrayals. Her films The tightrope dancer and The painted lady, which she produced, directed and wrote about artist and adventurer Vali Myers and were released to widespread acclaim, including national theatrical releases. 

About Dr Tracy Spinks 

Tracy is an art historian who completed her PhD in 2006. The subject of her thesis was the art and life of Australian-born artist Vali Myers (1930-2003). When researching the topic, Tracy spent many months with Vali at her studio in the Nicholas building on Swanston street, forming a close relationship with the artist.

About Window on Collections     

For 165 years, State Library Victoria has collected books, maps, ephemera, objects and artworks on almost every subject you can think of, with a special focus on Victoria. The State Collection includes almost 5.5 million items which provide a vital window into the past and record of contemporary life.