A week at Fowler’s Gap, September 2022.
The Research Station at Fowlers Gap, established by the University of New South Wales in 1966, usually occupied by scientists, was where we stayed in September this year. The artist workshop led by Nicole Kelly and Ash Frost, gave a good handful of artists a rich experience to be able to paint directly from the landscape.
Located 112 kilometres north of Broken Hill, the 39,000-hectare property has been extensively used by researchers from UNSW and other institutions in Australia and overseas. A wide range of research on the birds, kangaroos, reptiles and other flora and fauna has been carried out as well as projects in areas including management of the arid zone, soil conservation, solar energy and astronomy.
Fowlers Gap is an important site for teaching, with regular field excursions by students from both UNSW Science and UNSW Art and Design. The remote Station, with its impressive landscape, eco-trails and wildlife-viewing platforms, attracts artists as well as local and international visitors. UNSW holds a lease in perpetuity on the property, which is a working farm with more than 5000 sheep.
For this Fowler’s Gap series, I have taken the opportunity to explore painting and printmaking in a way which was different to my usual concerns. Rather than concentrating on a direct pictorial approach, I chose rather to evoke the sense of being in a vast landscape with a seemingly limitless horizon. With a delight in the use of colour and pattern, this place provided an inspiring experience for me.