Lou Potter’s keen interest in local history is now immortalised in ink sketches depicting scenes of early pioneering life in the district, and it’s all on show at an exhibition opening on Friday, September 8.
Mrs Potter said she was inspired by the very generous loans and gifts she received of old photographs, and by scenes she imagined in her head after reading descriptive works like The First 100 Years of Australian Settlement.
“That book was very revealing, describing the equipment they used, and the problems facing people and how they solved them.
“I’ve always been interested in the ways people coped with the difficulties they encountered, particularly these people starting off life in new areas with an unfamiliar climate and unfamiliar landscape.
“Those pioneers were very courageous. They were European farmers who were used to different seasons and weather. They hadn’t encountered circumstances like they found here, with the lack of water and tough, dry conditions.”
The 13 pieces in Mrs Potter’s exhibition took her around eight months to complete. She is grateful to local framer Rick Mumford who did a wonderful job with her prints, remaining sympathetic despite the last minute rush.
The proceeds from sales of her work will be donated to SRE (special religious education) at Tenterfield High School, run by Hugh McCowen. Mrs Potter said the service is funded mostly by local churches and individuals, and it’s something she likes to support.
“Local youth need every advantage they can get,” she said.
This is Mrs Potter’s second exhibition at the gallery.
“I hope people enjoy looking at it,” she said, “and that it make them think about the environment we live in, and why it is the way it is today.”
Her fellow exhibitor RIchard Pfeiffer is also attuned to the environment, observing the way light hits objects to inspire his sculture in wood and stone. The result is artwork finding a keen market nationwide after he took the plunge and committed to art as a full-time profession from his base west of Stanthorpe. Mr Pfeiffer won the 3D prize in the gallery’s Tenterfield Reflections exhibition back in April.
Gallery visitors, however, can save themselves the freight cost and touch and feel the sculptures inspired by local fauna and flora. He said he definitely has no regrets about becoming a full-time artist, but credits social media with making it possible to shine a light on artists ‘out in the bush’.
The exhibition opens at the Artists' Collective Studio's gallery at 5.30pm on Friday (all welcome), continuing through to Thursday, October 19.