Riverland Matters - November 2010
The opportunity to have this Exhibition at the Artvault in Mildura has allowed me to indulge my love of telling the stories of people's lives through my artwork. Mildura is a city with a colourful history of pioneer riverland families and they and the river have provided me with a rich source of material to draw on. My focus for this Exhibition has been the history of the Canadian Chaffey Brothers and their important contribution to this district. There are endless descriptions of George and William's exploits in setting up the irrigation channels in the area and the subsequent troubles with the Victorian Government which led to George returning to America, also the planning of the streets/town of Mildura and later the vineyards planted by William and his nephew Benjamin in the Merbein area. (I have chosen in this series not to follow Charles and his family settling in Renmark). However, I found, during my extensive research, that information about George and William Chaffeys' wives and families is often confined to a short paragraph and there is little "actual" detail to give an insight into who these women and their children were. So in this Exhibition, I have attempted to present images of George and William and their families, not in any representational way but purely from my imagination and drawing on my knowledge of the area to create "scenarios" inspired by old family photographs and reading about their exploits in the district. My work is therefore an "imaginary" glimpse into those bygone days. I gratefully acknowledge the willing permission of the Director of the Mildura Arts Centre Julian Bowron and the help of Maria Beckwith in providing me with Chaffey family photographs and material from the collection.
1989 - Bachelor of Education, CCAE, Canberra
1989-91 - Calwell High School
Continuous. Hobart and Canberra Art Schools. Summer
Schools in Canberra and Tasmania. Studio 1, Canberra. Life Drawing at
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