This year I made the decision to spend as much time as possible outside my comfort zone. Part of this decision meant that I committed to my first ever solo exhibition in Daylesford.
The thought of creating a solo show with a two year old son and a growing tea business to run was a little overwhelming to say the least, so I had to make sure that I chose a subject that would provide enough inspiration to fuel 30 pieces of artwork that I would be proud to put in a gallery, that people could relate to, and most of all, that I would enjoy painting.
Daylesford became the obvious choice. A town infused with artists, musicians, poets, chefs, mineral springs, slow food, slow wine, lakes, churches, cafes and community gardens. The list goes on. On top of this we get a weekly injection of enthusiasm from Melbourne visitors who bring that upbeat city vibe that many of us tree-changers enjoy.
I have lived in Daylesford for seven years now, and from the first time I came here as a visitor more than ten years ago, I felt at home. As my visits became more regular, I realised that this was more than a just a holiday romance. In the past 12 months (thanks to my Mother’s interest in the family tree) I found out why.
My great-grandmother was born in Shepherds Flat in 1885 and I have family who settled in Yandoit, Maldon, Ballarat and surrounds in the gold mining era. In fact, my relatives were those who started the Maldon Women’s Temperance Movement so would probably be turning in their graves over my deep appreciation of the local wines.
Over time, An Ode to Daylesford became more to me than a showing of affection for a town that had stolen my heart, it became a sincere thank you. It has given me a chance to take stock and be grateful for the life I have been able to create.
The paintings included in this show have all been inspired in some way by my daily life in this quirky country town. They’re about the places that I love to spend my time, the characters who helped to build the town into what it is today, the moments I have witnessed and experienced, and the emotions that first drew me here.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to experience the show in some way, and I hope that you found something that made you smile.