Local Stories #1:

the Hawke bust

Few politicians are remembered as fondly as the late Bob Hawke & bronze bust at the front of the Gallery is a popular tourist-photo hotspot!

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We’ll save the story of his flat nose for another day...instead we’re going to introduce you to the artist - Demetrio D’Tella. 

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Demetrio D’Tella was actually Margarita Schiebel.

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Schiebel was born in Buenos Aires to a Spanish mother & German father.  She & her brother would be orphaned when her mother died, & her father took his own life.

 

Sadly, this was just the beginning of many years of tragedy for the artist.

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At 14 she was in a plane crash that confined her to a wheelchair, but despite her life’s circumstance she attended University & became a Physician & Surgeon.

 

(All the while continuing to paint)

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After graduating, she became engaged but her fiancé died just 3 days before the wedding.

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She practised as a Doctor in Buenos Aires, but soon political persecution drove her out of the country.

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She then became a missionary in Tanganyika, but fled after two years during a bloody revolt.

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She ended up in Milan, where she went back to painting & made a living as a stage designer & interior decorator.

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It was in Milan that she attended the Academy of Brera & studied alongside artists like Marino Marini.

 

Marino Marini

The Angel of the City

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

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In her art, she used the name of a man - Demetrio D’Tella – because at the time, to be a man was an advantage.

 

Untitled

Margarita Schiebel (known as Demetrio D’Tella)

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After many successful exhibitions across Europe her studio & gallery collapsed. She made her final move to Australia in 1973, where she met and married John Giannarelli in 1975.

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The Giannarelli family gifted the Hawke bust to Bordertown which was unveiled by his father, Clem Hawke in April 1987.

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So, next time you’re in Bordertown, take a selfie with Bob & don’t forget to acknowledge the artist ....

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Margarita Schiebel

1929-2016

 

43 Woolshed St, Bordertown, SA 5268

Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm