Date: Tuesday 13 April 2021
Venue: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (22 Dianella Drive, DIANELLA)
Presenter: Dr John Yiannakis OAM
Topic: Vlase Zanalis: Orthodox Iconographer and Illustrator of the Indigenous
Vlase Zanalis: Orthodox Iconographer and Illustrator of the Indigenous
Vlase Zanalis was born on the Greek island of Castellorizo in 1902 and migrated to Western Australia in 1914. He would gain national acclaim in 1934 for his “The Birth of a Nation”, but it was his work after 1948 on the Australian landscape and Indigenous themes that dominated his life paintings.
Zanalis’ contribution to the Greek dimension of Australian culture may be partly seen in the iconography of churches across the country. Beyond the religious paintings, Zanalis captured in sweeping landscapes the contrasting red soils and white trees of the Pilbara, the rugged grandeur of Central Australia and the unique character of the Kimberley. Midway through his career, Zanalis began a romantic relationship with Aboriginal culture, which dominated his art for the last twenty years of his life. He became one of the first non-Aboriginal artists to value Indigenous Australians and their culture.
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