Student exercise painted in gouache at the Shillito Design School, 1976/77, by Eva Fay.
We're proud to announce that our International Colour Day 2024 event will be a hybrid in-person and online event held jointly with Museums of History NSW and centred on the colour teaching of pioneering Sydney-based colour and design educator Phyllis Shillito (1895-1980) from the 1940's to the 1970's.
In-person attendees at the Caroline Simpson Library (behind the Sydney Mint,10 Macquarie St, Sydney) will examine the impressive collection of student exercises and notes created by Eva Fay FDIA as a student at the Shillito Design School in the late 1970's, and donated in January thios year to the Library, alongside earlier Shillito portfolios from the CSL and private collections. In addition, three presentations will establish the context of Shillito's teaching of colour, with time for questions and comments from the live audience. Dr Catriona Quinn will examine the broader context of Phyllis Shillito’s impact on technical education and its relationship to the dynamic development of the Australian interior design profession. Jocelyn Maughan OAM, who studied colour directly under Shillito at East Sydney Technical College in 1956, will share her recollections of Shillito and give a critical assessment of Shillito’s approach to colour. And Dr David Briggs will present research he conducted with Eva Fay that documented the direct influence of theorists Munsell, Ostwald, Maitland Graves, and especially H.B. Carpenter on Shillito's colour curriculum. Online attendees will be able to listen in to the three presentations and discussion via Zoom.
Eva Fay, Catriona Quinn, Jocelyn Maughan and David Briggs
Eva Fay FDIA taught colour and design in Sydney from 1979 at various TAFE colleges, the University of Sydney, UTS, and the School of Colour and Design, which she co-founded in 1983. She is a founding member of the Colour Society of Australia and was awarded Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia in 2012. In 1976 to 1978 she completed the three-year fulltime course in colour and design the Shillito Design School, which included two years of colour exercises and projects taught by assistant teachers Peter Travis OAM, Roslyn Kean, Gary Shinfield and Jean Savage. In 2021 she described and illustrated these exercises and projects in her book Shillito Design School, Australian Colour Education in the ‘70s, and this year she donated her collection of notes and exercises from the course to the Caroline Simpson Library.
Dr Catriona Quinn teaches design history and theory at UNSW Sydney, where her prize-winning PhD on the role of the client in interior design was awarded in 2021. At Sydney Living Museums, she curated the Rose Seidler House, the Caroline Simpson Library and, in 1993, the first historical exhibition on an Australian interior designer. Recent publications include chapters in The Other Moderns: Sydney’s Forgotten European Design Legacy (2017), Margo Lewers: No Limits (2022) and for Fabrications, the first literature review on postwar Australian interior design (2024). Catriona is active in the international field, presenting at conferences and as a committee member for the Society of Architectural Historians' Historic Interiors Group.
Jocelyn Maughan OAM studied at the East Sydney Technical College (now the National Art School, Sydney) from 1954 to 1958, graduating with a Diploma of Fine Art with honours, specialising in painting. During this period, she studied colour under painters including James (Jimmy) Cook, and in 1956 as an evening student under head of design Phyllis Shillito. Her teaching career included 32 years at Meadowbank College of TAFE, where she established a Fine Arts section and became the inaugural Head of the Art School in 1966. Jocelyn’s painting career spans more than six decades and she remains very active as an artist at age 85. She is an exhibiting member of the Australian Watercolour Institute and a Fellow of Royal Art Society and was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List with an Order of Australia Medal ‘for service to the visual arts, and to education’.
Dr David Briggs has been teaching classes on colour for more than 20 years, and currently teaches colour, drawing and painting at the National Art School and the University of Technology, Sydney. His publications include a chapter on colour spaces in the Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour, (2020) and a two-part paper on the elements of colour in the Journal of the International Colour Association (2023). He also has two outreach websites, The Dimensions of Colour and Colour Online. David is Past President, Vice President, and NSW Divisional Chair of the Colour Society of Australia, Co-Chair of the AIC Study Group on Arts and Design and is a committee member of the AIC/ ISCC Colour Literacy Project. In 2022 he coauthored with Eva Fay a study of Shillito student material that was published in the Proceedings of the AIC 2022 Conference.
Registration for In-Person and Online Attendance
Registration for in-person attendance at the Caroline Simpson Library must be completed via the Museums of History NSW website at https://mhnsw.au/whats-on/events/phyllis-shillito-and-her-colour-curriculum-1945-79/.
Use the registration link on this page to watch the presentations and audience discussion on Zoom. Registration for online attendance opens on February 24 for CSA and MHNSW members, and on March 2 for nonmembers. Online attendance is free but registration is essential and limited to 100 participants worldwide, so early registration is advised. Successful registrants will be notified by reply email and will be sent the Zoom link and instructions to join the webinar the day before the event. To receive this email with the Zoom link, you must register by the deadline of midnight AEDT on by March 18.
If you are unable to watch the presentations live, please do not register, as a recording of the presentations will be made permanently accessible on the CSA YouTube Channel, like all of our International Colour Day events.
Please note that our event is on the day before International Colour Day, which falls annually on March 21.