“West of the Barcoo” is a large project of three shearing sheds near Blackall in western Queensland, and I’m thrilled to bits with the results. I want to thank the family, who have been collecting my work for years in various forms, for their hospitality and for sharing the excitement of this project. The project is made up of approximately 70 paintings and a boxed drawing project called “A Sense of Place” completed early 2018
A Sense of Place – drawings and found objects in artist-made Perspex boxes.
The Painting Series
This is not the complete collection of this year long project. Many of the paintings from this series have sold. Some have gone on to be exhibited in group shows such as “Catching pens” which was exhibited as part of the Australian Watercolour Colour Institute’s curated exhibition at the Gosford Regional Gallery in March 2018 and again in her solo exhibition in Armidale in Feb-Mar 2019. Contact Christine directly for details of availability or price for paintings in this series. Prices range from $300 to $4000 depending on framed state and size of painting.
1 The Newest Shed
This is the main shed for my friend’s wool operation. When I was there the decisions were being made about which fleece would be sent to the Ekka that year to compete. Consequently there are a couple of paintings about that occasion. It was fun to compare the fleeces, noting the slight differences in colour, staple and crimp. It was, I might add, a successful show for my friends that year. Often within series, there are mini-series. The woolstencils that are a vital part of the woolselling process, are an ongoing visual joy.
2 The Original Family Shed
When I was sketching and painting on site at this shed, I was very aware that it was generations of this family who had worked within its walls. It was the spark that began the Sense of Place series of boxed drawings. The shed, though being worked by the same family team as the others, had its own character as well.
3 The Oldest Shed
Of the three sheds, this is probably the oldest. It’s low on the ground, and built from bush timber milled on-site. The thing I love most about this shed is the way it’s nestled into the scrub – it’s as if it’s a simply more shaded, constructed part of it.
It’s perhaps ironic that the airstrip is near this shed – where modern shepherding happens at 500 feet instead at saddle height.