All are welcome to attend Burra Gallery’s first exhibition for 2015 – “Artists of Note” – Gerhard Ritter and Alan Ramachandran in the Main Gallery and Annex, and Gerald Moore in the Bence Room. All three are popular and talented “artists of note”, much in demand as teachers of drawing and painting in a diverse range of mediums. To enhance the theme even further, baritone Bruce Donald will perform at the opening at 5.30pm Saturday 14 February.
Gerald Moore, now 82 years old, is an artist, farmer, local priest and art camp organiser, tree lover and family man.
Gerald takes services with the Anglican Church, travelling round Auburn, Watervale and further afield. He loves to play bowls, which he took up four years ago. He has played football, tennis, table tennis and cricket. Like many sporty people, he had to decide between two summer sports and chose tennis, and that’s how he met Vicki, his life’s love, playing mixed doubles.
He was a foundation member of the Coolabah Club, the first organisation in Australia to encourage tree planting. The chief main roads engineer of the time asked the Club’s advice, and that was the beginning of roadside tree planting in SA. Accommodation Hill, between Truro and Blanchetown was the first planting, from seed collected and propagated in the local area. It is now taken for natural scrub.
Gerald has always painted. In High School he showed a watercolour in the Clare Show. Recently one of his High School works was discovered in the Clare CWA.
After he completed High School his father took him and his brother on as equal partners on the farm.
“He was a marvellous father.”
They always had horses on the farm, and had one of the last Clydesdale teams.
His mother was brought up on a farm just out of Sandy Creek. She painted still life, flowers and interiors during the war when her fiancé was in France. He inherited her paints and brushes when she died.
“My mother taught me oil painting and two of my daughters are painters, the other is a professional musician.”
A love of art runs in the family: “I have two framed drawings done in 1872 by a great uncle. I’m very proud of them.”
Fifty years ago he was a member of the Clare Art Group, painting in oils and watercolour. About twenty years ago, at a camp run by the Adelaide Art Society (Margaret Street, North Adelaide) a member of the Pastel Society of SA, Jenny Hockey, who years ago ran a workshop for Burra Art Society, encouraged him to use pastels. He joined the Pastel Society and the rest is history!
Gerald has standardised the size of his paintings. To make travel more convenient he made a box to contain the works. “I’ve been going on camps since the Sixties, starting with an Adelaide Art Society annual bus trip to the Flinders Ranges, which became a regular event. When the organiser retired the group kept going. Gerald’s favourite spot is the beautiful Aroona Valley.
“I’ve done a lot of painting there.”
Gerald has convened many yearly camps for Burra Art Society, with destinations such as Almerta near Carrieton, Edeowie Gorge, Morgan, Coobowie on Yorke Peninsula and Innis National Park. These are very popular with the group.
“It’s a remarkable bonding exercise for a group. To be together and doing the same thing for a week, sharing meals and work. It’s inspiring.”
Having started longer journeys since retirement (which meant selling the family farm of 1100 acres In Auburn) Gerald and Vicki have made trips to New Zealand and Alaska, the Kimberleys, Tasmania’s Huon Valley, Kakadu and Uluru through Docker River, the Canning Stock Route and the Tanimi Track to Alice Springs.
“I’ve enjoyed my life all the way through. I’ve always been busy and I’ve always enjoyed what I was doing. Not a single regret!”
“One of my life’s highlights that is indelibly in my mind – I went to a Spring School run by the WEA. It was at Angorichina and I studied geomorphology under Roly Twydale – how the ranges formed – the forces that made it what it is now. The range would have been higher than the Himalayas but was eroding as fast as it was pushed up. That really started my love of the Flinders.”