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Hope, Katherine Emily (1940–1979)

by Peter Vodicka

Introduction
Katherine Emily Hope (19 February 1940 — 13 August 1979) was an accomplished Australian artist, sculptor, jewellery maker and writer. She was also the daughter of the renowned poet, A.D. Hope.

Early Life and Education
Emily Hope was born in Sydney and moved with her parents to Melbourne when her father became a lecturer at the University of Melbourne from 1945 to 1950.  Her early education in Melbourne was at the progressive Margaret Lyttle Memorial School, Preshil.[1]  In 1951, the family moved to Canberra when A.D. Hope became the first professor of English at the newly founded Canberra University College, later of the Australian National University (ANU) when the two institutions merged.[2]  She attended Canberra Girls Grammar School, winning the senior section of the ABC Commonwealth Children’s Art Award in 1954 with a painting of a flood which was displayed along with hundreds of other children's paintings from all over Australia at the Albert Hall during the following May.[3] [4] [5]  She won third prize in the same event in 1955, this time of a bushfire and again under her ABC Argonauts Club name of Thersites 44.[6] 

In 1958, Emily Hope, along with Margaret Goldthorpe, became the first women to enrol full time into the gold and silversmithing course at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) under senior lecturer Victor Vodicka.[7] [8] [9]  During her studies, she received the K.G. Luke Award[10] [11] for the best third-year student. She graduated from RMIT in 1967 with a Diploma of Art in Gold, Silversmithing and Sculpture, the latter under Lenton Parr.[12]

Career
From 1968-1970 she taught part-time for the Council of Adult Education, Melbourne and in 1970 began teaching classes in jewellery and enamelling from her home in a now long-gone farmhouse in Forest Hill, a suburb of Melbourne. She had become interested in the lost wax method of casting and, partly for reasons of cost employed her gift for modelling in creating small works which could be used for jewellery. She later began to model small animals, birds and mythological creatures, again due to the capital cost of materials.  She only once had an opportunity to make a work of any size when she was commissioned to make figurines for a fountain.[13]  For the next ten years, she worked as a full-time professional artist in metalwork and sculpting. Her work was exhibited around Australia in the 1960s and 1970s.[14] [15] [16] [17]

Personal Life and Interests
In 1967, she travelled to Papua New Guinea where she climbed Mount Wilhelm with her brother and, alone, hired a canoe and went some way up the Sepik River.  The following year she travelled with three companions to Bali, Jogjakarta and Singapore.[18]  During 1975-1976 she set out on her most ambitious journey, first to Bangkok then to Kathmandu, where she found the people and country so absorbing that she stayed for seven months.  She worked with a family of 'image-makers' studying their techniques, she went to classes in Nepalese dancing because the 'image-makers' said a sculptor must study the movements of the body.  In addition to day-to-day sketching, she made eighteen detailed coloured drawings to illustrate a story which is a distillation of how she saw and felt about Nepalese philosophy and legends and had it printed in a limited edition of 500 copies called, ‘The Queen of the Nagas’.[19] 

After leaving Nepal, she took the ‘Hippie Trail’ travelling across India, through Afghanistan and Iran by bus and train getting as far as Istanbul.  Here she took a plane to England where she spent some months.  Illness prevented her from continuing to Rome and Greece as she had intended, and she returned to Australia for treatment.[20] 

The after-effects of her treatment for breast cancer began to limit, and at last ended, the use of her right hand.  She then taught herself to paint and draw, at least as well, with her left.  Towards the end, her left hand also began failing but she lived to see copies of her lavish retelling and colour-illustrating of ‘The Queen of the Nagas’ and she completed her version of the early-medieval tale of ‘The Legend of Pope Joan’ and up to a few weeks before her death was colouring the illustrations for that. [21] It was published posthumously in 1983. [22] [23] [24]  She had succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 39.[25]

Hope did not marry or have any children, once stating that ‘I haven't married.  So, I am the opposite of the woman that said: “My children are my jewels”. My jewels — my children — are the objects I try to make beautifully and to express a feeling’.[26]  Her obituarist observed that ‘growing up among visionaries, her vision was utterly her own’.[27]

Bibliography 

Newspapers

  • ‘Canberra Diary’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2891374) Canberra Times. 3 December 1954. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.
  • ABC Weekly, Vol. 16 No. 50. 11 December 1954, (https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1590250502). nla.gov.au. Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.
  • ‘What People Are Doing’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91198240). Canberra Times. 10 May 1955. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.
  • ABC Weekly, Vol. 17 No. 47. 26 November 1955, (https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1433491817). nla.gov.au. Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.
  • ‘There's gold in their fingertips’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47813334). Australian Women's Weekly, Australia. 8 June 1960. p. 15 (Teenagers' Weekly). Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.
  • ‘Emily Hope, Making light work of a griffin’ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899876/emily-hope-making-light-work-of-a/). Age (Melbourne), 7 November 1968. p. 20.
  • ‘Emily Hope, Tiaras are things old ladies wear’, (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899961/emily_hope_tiaras_are_things_old_ladies/). Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October 1972. p. 119. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  • ‘Emily Hope, Jewels are her children’,  (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899540/emily_hope_jewels_are_her_children/). Age (Melbourne), 9 March 1978. p. 21. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  • ‘Emily Hope’, (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41900594/emily_hope/). Age (Melbourne), 5 July 1978. p. 2. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  • ‘Emily Hope: a visionary artist dies’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110575672). Canberra Times. 18 August 1979. p. 11. Retrieved 11 January 2020 – via Trove.
  • ‘Emily Hope, Pope Joan’ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899429/emily_hope_pope_joan/). Age (Melbourne). 25 June 1983. p. 134. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  • ‘New insights into a woman who became Pope Joan’ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899286/emily-hope-pope-joan/). Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August 1983, p. 85.
  • ‘AD Hope including Emily Hope’ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/42127445/ad_hope_inc_emily_hope/).  Sydney Morning Herald. 22 May 1993. p. 167. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

Archives 

  • Victor Vodicka Collection, RMIT Design Archives, Victor Vodicka’s archive was donated by his son Peter Vodicka to the RMIT Design Archives in 2018.
  • W.E. McMillan Collection, RMIT University (https://www.intersect.rmit.edu.au/-ps-/wemcmillancollection/): Art: Intersect. Retrieved 9 January 2020.

Books 

  • Hope, Emily. The Legend of Pope Joan (https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/582582). Carlton, Vic: Sisters Publishing, 1983. ISBN 978-0-908207-72-5.
  • Hope, Emily.  The Queen of the Nagas (https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2839000). Nomad Press Melbourne, 1979. ISBN 095955940X.

Articles 

  • Edquist, Harriet, ‘Victor Vodicka and the post-war transformation of gold and silversmithing’, in Melbourne modern: European art and design at RMIT since 1945. Melbourne: RMIT University. (2019). pp. 31–40. ISBN 978-0-648-42265-5. OCLC 1105927723.
  • Vodicka, Victor Vaclav, Biography of Emily Hope, circa the early 1980s. Paper in possession of the author.

Other References 

  • ‘A. D. Hope’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=A._D._Hope&oldid=934061172), Wikipedia, 4 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  • Dunstan, David, ‘Luke, Sir Kenneth George (Ken) (1896–1971)’, (http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/luke-sir-kenneth-george-ken-10870), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  • ‘Emily Hope’, (https://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/OLD?id=A)Zr&idtype=oldid). AustLit. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

Footnotes

[1]  Age (Melbourne), 9 March 1978, p. 21.

[2] ‘A. D. Hope’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=A._D._Hope&oldid=934061172), Wikipedia, 4 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

[3] ‘Canberra Diary’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2891374)  Canberra Times. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 3 December 1954. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.

[4] ‘What People Are Doing’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91198240).  Canberra Times. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 10 May 1955. p. 4. Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.

[5] ABC Weekly, Vol. 16 No. 50 (11 December 1954), (https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1590250502). nla.gov.au. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

[6] ABC Weekly, Vol. 17 No. 47 (26 November 1955), (https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1433491817). nla.gov.au. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

[7] ‘There's gold in their fingertips’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47813334).  Australian Women's Weekly, Australia. 8 June 1960. p. 15 (Teenagers' Weekly). Retrieved 8 January 2020 – via Trove.

[8] Harriet Edquist, ‘Victor Vodicka and the post-war transformation of gold and silversmithing’, in Melbourne modern: European art and design at RMIT since 1945. Melbourne: RMIT University. (2019). pp. 31–40. ISBN 978-0-648-42265-5. OCLC 1105927723.

[9] Victor Vodicka Collection, RMIT Design Archives, Victor Vodicka’s archive was donated by his son Peter Vodicka to the RMIT Design Archives in 2018.

[10] ‘W.E. McMillan Collection’, (https://www.intersect.rmit.edu.au/-ps-/wemcmillancollection/): Art: Intersect. Retrieved 9 January 2020.

[11] David Dunstan, ‘Luke, Sir Kenneth George (Ken) (1896–1971)’, (http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/luke-sir-kenneth-george-ken-10870), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 9 January 2020.

[12]V. Vodicka, Biography of Emily Hope, circa early 1980s. Paper in possession of the author.

[13] ibid

[14] ‘Emily Hope’, (https://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/OLD?id=A)Zr&idtype=oldid). AustLit. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

[15] ‘Emily Hope, Tiaras are things old ladies wear’, (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899961/emily_hope_tiaras_are_things_old_ladies/). Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October 1972. p. 119. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

[16] ‘Emily Hope’, (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41900594/emily_hope/). Age (Melbourne), 5 July 1978. p. 2. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

[17] ‘Emily Hope, Jewels are her children’, (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899540/emily_hope_jewels_are_her_children/). Age (Melbourne), 9 March 1978. p. 21. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

[18]V. Vodicka, Biography of Emily Hope.

[19] Emily Hope,  The Queen of the Nagas (https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2839000). Nomad Press Melbourne, 1979. ISBN 095955940X.

[20] ibid

[21] Emily Hope, (1983). The Legend of Pope Joan (https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/582582). Carlton, Vic: Sisters Publishing. ISBN 978-0-908207-72-5.

[22] ‘Emily Hope, Pope Joan’ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899429/emily_hope_pope_joan/). Age (Melbourne). 25 June 1983. p. 134. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

[23] ‘Emily Hope: a visionary artist dies’ (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110575672). Canberra Times. . 18 August 1979. p. 11. Retrieved 11 January 2020 – via Trove.

[24] ‘New insights into a woman who became Pope Joan’ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/41899286/emily-hope-pope-joan/). Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August 1983, p. 85.

[25] ‘AD Hope including Emily Hope’ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/42127445/ad_hope_inc_emily_hope/). Sydney Morning Herald. 22 May 1993. p. 167. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

[26] ‘Emily Hope, Jewels are her children’, op cit.

[27] ‘Emily Hope: a visionary artist dies’, op cit.

Original Publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Peter Vodicka, 'Hope, Katherine Emily (1940–1979)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/hope-katherine-emily-32229/text39870, accessed 27 June 2022.

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