Southlea 1963–66

To write about “Southlea” is difficult. The move from the industrial midlands of England to Tasmania was a visual shock, but “Southlea” was something special.

My wife and I needed somewhere to live. John and Helen Walch were looking for a tenant for the part of the house they didn’t use, and we were introduced.

Although quite close to Hobart, the house was in an isolated valley with no other dwellings in sight.

For me it became a creative, inspirational oasis. The light, so different from the industrial grey I was familiar with, its brilliance and intensity. The sense of organic growth I felt surrounded by. After six months I was given a position at the School of Art which gave me more time to paint and the ideas flowed. I still regard the time at “Southlea” as an important formative time in my creative life.