Leanne Santoro on Violet Teague

Part of a series of new perspectives on portraiture commissioned for Archie Plus

Violet Teague

Margaret Alice

1900
oil on canvas
Purchased 2017 with funds provided by the Australian Masterpiece Fund, including the following major donors: Barbara Gole (in memory of), Antoinette Albert, Anita & Luca Belgiorno-Nettis AM, Andrew Cameron AM & Cathy Cameron, Krystyna Campbell-Pretty & the late Harold Campbell-Pretty, Rowena Danziger AM & Ken Coles AM, Kiera Grant, Alexandra Joel & Philip Mason, Carole Lamerton & John Courtney, Alf Moufarrige AO, Elizabeth Ramsden, Susan Rothwell, Denis Savill, Penelope Seidler AM, Denyse Spice, Georgie Taylor , Max & Nola Tegel, Ruth Vincent

When I look at Margaret Alice preparing to play tennis in a high-necked, cinched waist, floor-length dress, all I can think is ‘cheers to you’. Cheers to you and the other women who demonstrated determination and courage, who battled for the right to engage in sport and exercise for their own health and happiness, even while being constrained by restrictive social mores and dress codes. Cheers to you Violet Teague for showing us this strong, athletic woman and to all the women in the 120 years since who paved the way for me to be able to pull on baggy trackies and head out for a socially distanced jog.

Leanne Santoro is assistant curator of Australian art with a special interest in kickass women artists

View this work and more as part of the Gallery’s collection online