World War II refugee’s art on display

World War II refugee’s art on display

One of the botanical illustrations in Mary Hodgkin's 3 notebooks from her time in Gosnells in 1942 and 1943.

Botanical illustrations by World War II refugee and former Gosnells resident Mary Hodgkin are the focus of a new exhibition at the Gosnells Museum at Wilkinson Homestead.

Flora of the Foothills – The Botanical Art of Mary Hodgkin will be open from Sunday September 10, and will feature reproductions of stunning, colourful sketches as well as her original sketchbooks.

Mayor Terresa Lynes said the exhibition provided an opportunity to learn the fascinating story of how Mary and her children came to live in Gosnells following their evacuation from Kuala Lumpur during World War II – and to appreciate the beauty of the wildflowers of the local region.

Separated from her husband in such distressing circumstances, Mary found comfort and a sense of belonging by exploring local bushland and discovering the range of wildflowers that flourished in the area.

“This beautiful new exhibition tells the story of some of the challenges faced by Mary and her children when they arrived in Western Australia during the dark days of the war,” Ms Lynes said.

“Mary and the children were in an unfamiliar environment, far from home and from her husband Ernest, and nobody knew what the future would bring.

“It is wonderful to know that Mary found comfort in the local natural environment, and that her botanical illustrations provide an enduring legacy of her time here.”

The exhibition will be on display at the Gosnells Museum at Wilkinson Homestead, in Homestead Road, Gosnells, on Tuesdays from 9am – 1pm and Sundays from 10am – 1pm, from Sunday 10 September.

For more information, visit the City’s website at