As my time here at Hill End draws to a close I have been contemplating this unique place and my experiences of it. It took me a week to realise Hill End is more special than I had imagined.
Hill End forms an enclave of sorts, with paling fences, remnant and recent orchards, and historic grand avenue trees. Surrounding this, the Australian native landscape blurs at the edges of town with an abundance of pioneering wattle and thick coppice forests. Outward veins of eroded gold mining gullies and stunning panoramic lookout views sit close to town before the wider rolling hills and rocky slopes take over.
Hill End is perhaps not completely unlike Rome with it's ancient city walls; in the sense that it is a town shaped by strong cultural heritage, now constrained, or maybe conformed is a better word, to the past, for now and into the future. Hill End presents an environment shaped over many generations with each stage still evident in some form - it is what I think makes this place so unique.
What has been most present in my mind during this residency is thoughts about time - time and history are evident wherever I look in the landscape. In many scales, from the daily routines of night and day, to the rich abundance of sensory seasonal displays, from annual climatic ranges to the historical remnants and activities over many periods which have shaped this place. Elements of time, both natural and man-made are the marks and shaping factors of this environment.
There is, of course, much more than this to Hill End, the community and family history heritage over generations; the surrounding pastoral farm land, the tenacity required to live in this type of climate, but like most artists I'm sure, my eye is drawn to particular elements of this place, my mind contemplates particular relationships here. Perhaps we each find a slightly different story in this place.
It has been such a pleasure to have this opportunity of sharing time in Hill End. To catch a glimpse of this unique place. I would like to especially thank Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Richard, Robina, Emma, Marion, staff and volunteers of the gallery; National Parks and Wildlife Services NSW, the community of Hill End and most of all my husband Phil for his ongoing support.