Friday

Mr Hume's Hospitality

Dear Mr Hume,

Thank you for the recent opportunity to visit your homestead in Yass. Contrary to its name, Cooma Cottage is most grand, demonstrating your taste for Neo-Grec architecture. I am told you fell in love with the surrounding plains on one of your fruitful travels; what fine country for Merino sheep! It is a pity you were not home, although I am pleased to report the property is kept very well in your absence. I could just picture you in the drawing room and more than once thought I saw your shadow flit across the golden wallpaper.

Yours respectfully,
Kathleen Fisher

This image is my contribution to deLiver, an exhibition and swap of postcard-sized works by artists living in regional Australia, which will be shown in Alice Springs in October as part of the "Art in the Heart" regional conference and "Imagine Alice" local arts program.

In keeping with the theme of my locality and my relation to it, I've explored Hamilton Hume, who was Australia's first home-grown explorer. From the age of 17, Hume helped open New South Wales and Victoria to white settlement. He swapped his swag for a farm in Yass in 1829 and became the local magistrate, a position he held until his death in 1873. Hume's presence in the town, however, has lingered — the Hume Highway, Hume Bridge, Hamilton Hume Motor Inn and Hume Dry Cleaning Service are just a few examples.

Surprisingly, Hume's most impressive monument doesn't bear his name ... his home, Cooma Cottage, is now a delightful house museum. I took this image in the drawing room, and added the feeling of his continued presence by overlaying his portrait and a shadow. How ghostly ... I'm in love with this technique at the moment!

In true postcard style, the organisers are encouraging artists to write on the reverse of their works, so the above note to Mr Hume will appear on mine.

2 comments:

Nerida Gill said...

What a great contribution to the exhibition in the centre.

Kirralee said...

Kathleen, this is really good. I mean, really good. You are truly pro.