Archive for March 18th, 2011


Shifting Gears

March 18, 2011

Walking in Tall Grass (Tom), oil on linen, Jan Nelson. Winner 2009 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize.

Designed to attract some of Australia’s finest contemporary artists and high calibre works, the inaugural Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize and exhibition was held in 2003 at Bendigo Art Gallery.

Every two years the Gallery invites artists to submit entries for the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize. The most outstanding work as judged by the selection panel is awarded an acquisitive cash prize of $50,000. The Prize was initiated by Mr Allen Guy C.B.E in honour of his late brother Arthur Guy.

Arthur Guy was born in Melbourne on 24 November 1914, the first son for Arthur and Catherine Guy. He was the only and elder sibling of Allen Rupert Guy. Arthur was educated at Camp Hill State School in Bendigo and then at Ballarat Grammar School. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in a signals unit and served in New Guinea. On 14 February 1945, aged 30, he was on a biscuit bomber mission when his plane was shot down near Lae. He is buried in the Lae War Memorial Cemetery. [Source Bendigo Art Gallery]

When my marriage finally collapsed from mutual ennui in 1998, I moved to Bendigo in the Central Goldfields region of Victoria.  After three years of living in a parochial one-horse town in the Goulburn Valley, my criteria for sanity was:

  • Higher Education faculties
  • Thriving retail district
  • Inspiring architecture
  • Tolerance

Bendigo has all that and more; the gentle energies of Quan Yin and Green Tara infuse the district, and I felt perfectly safe there. Which was important because I was living on my own for the first time ever – no man about the house, save for my two cats.

I did not know in 1998 that a good many of my matrilineal ancestors had lived and worked in the Central Goldfields.  From my, then limited perspective, I had simply upped my stakes and moved to a regional city where I knew nobody, had no social or employment contacts. I did note the extraordinary synchronicity that happened when I shifted my focus from wanting to return to Melbourne, to considering the regional cities of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. 

To this day, I always remember the first time I walked into the lovely little Art Deco house, that was my first Sanctuary, hearing a voice in my head, that said in delight:

There you are!!” 

I felt I had been expected and my turning up was a cause for celebration.   My rental application was approved within the hour and by the end of the week I had gone from leaving to gone with my marriage.

One of my dearest Bendigo friends sent me the above as a birthday Art card It’s title reminds me of when a lioness is walking through tall grass, she is almost invisible and her tail acts as a beacon for the cubs to follow. This black tipped tail is also the source of amusement for the cubs…….

Then there was this………..

Lion plush toy (Fetzy) with I Love Hygeia t-shirt