An event hosted by Fremantle Press authors will help you get to know the Australian painters Nora Heysen and Kathleen O’Connor

Anne-Louise Willoughby and Amanda Curtin are joining forces to present a discussion on two of Australia’s most renowned female painters, Nora Heysen and Kathleen O’Connor.

Chaired by Georgia Richter the duo will be in conversation at A.H. Bracks Library at  6 pm on Friday 12 April discussing their books Nora Heysen: A Portrait (Willoughby) and Kathleen O’Connor of Paris (Curtin).

The conversation will explore how, despite never meeting and being born 35 years apart, both artists shared similar views and values, and similar traits of character.

Anne-Louise said, ‘There are many parallels between the two women’s lives in terms of the commitment to their careers, the paths they chose to advance their skills, and the sheer stubbornness and unwillingness to be distracted or dissuaded from their career decision. Their stories diverge when Nora does marry, and the impact this has on her career in the 1950s demonstrates Kate’s clarity on the subject.

‘The way both women navigated the challenges of the male-dominated art world is testimony to their passion and strength of character. Their stories are fascinating and I am very much looking forward to comparing notes with Amanda.’

Amanda said, ‘It’s a delight to be discussing with Anne-Louise these two outstanding artists of the twentieth century who, although a generation apart, had much in common. To my knowledge, Kate and Nora never met (although I’ve discovered how close they came to it!), but I can imagine them talking art for hours.’

The Well Bookshop will be on hand at the event to sell copies of the books, and both authors will be signing copies of their respective titles after the discussion.

Tickets for the event are $5 and can be booked online here.

Nora Heysen: A Portrait by Anne-Louise Willoughby and Kathleen O’Connor of Paris by Amanda Curtin are available from all good bookstores or online at




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