Artists David Hinchliffe and Jan Jorgensen at the Art Exhibition complementing the launch of “Homes with History”.
THE New Farm and Districts Historical Society’s book launch and art exhibition on Saturday 28 February was lauded as being successful in every respect. Around 250 attended the debut of Gerard Benjamin’s book Homes with History – on the New Farm Peninsula, and many more paraded past the artworks of six artists’ renditions of views and streetscapes of New Farm and nearby.
The Hon. Penelope Wensley AC with author Gerard Benjamin.
Kindly agreeing to do the honours for the book was former Governor of Queensland, The Honourable Ms Penelope Wensley AC, who travelled from Canberra for the event. In her keynote speech, Ms Wensley indicated that the book offered broad appeal: “The individual stories are absorbing and the wealth of detail used to construct each chapter… is sufficient to impress and satisfy the most demanding of professional chroniclers, architects, archivists, historians and conservationists.” She agreed with the author’s Introduction, that this book is really about people: “All who take the time to read the book will enjoy the parade of personalities that pass through its pages – their diverse interests and occupations mirroring the development of the colony, state and city,” she said.
The book sparked immediate interest…
On behalf of the Society, Lois Kennedy offered an overview of the Society’s activities, and touched on the broad range of topics covered in monthly meetings in recent years. Other distinguished guests who addressed the gathering included newly-elected State Member for Brisbane Central, Ms Grace Grace MP; Brisbane City Councillor Vicki Howard; and Life-Member of the Society, artist David Hinchliffe.
Almost 250 attended the launch and art exhibition.
Author Gerard Benjamin briefly outlined the chronology of the project, and remarked about how circumstances had conspired to include a never-before-published 1850s sketch, plus letters from the same period. He took this opportunity to read out a letter from Tom Gibbon of London who had generously supplied five letters (1848-1852) written by his ancestor James Gibbon, builder of Teneriffe House. The art show curator, Judi Kahn, exhorted attendees to view the works of David Hinchliffe, Philippa Webb, Liesbeth Thie, Stewart Free, Trevor Downes and Jan Jorgensen, and she also emphasised that the artists would gladly receive commissions. As it transpired, eight commissions eventuated on the day. Also present were National Trust of Australia (Queensland) President, Dr Ian Galloway, and other NTAQ members, along with many of the owners of houses mentioned in Homes with History.
The author lost count of how many books were signed…
Following the cutting of the “Homes with History” cake, afternoon tea was available for all, and books were still being signed by the author at 5.30pm. Music was supplied by multi-talented Stewart Free and Col the Accordian player. Congratulations to all who contributed to this truly impressive event – and thanks to Chris Derrick and Gayle Martin for the photography.
Newly-elected State Member for Brisbane Central, Ms Grace Grace (left), presents The Honourable Ms Penelope Wensley AC, with a painting of “Santa Barbara” by New Farm artist Stewart Free, on behalf of the NFDHS.
“Homes with History” is available in both soft back and hard back, and may be purchased at • Mary Ryan New Farm • New Farm Editions • Merthyr Road News • Ollie and Lloyd Gift Shop, Gasworks, and • the State Library Bookshop.
POSTSCRIPT about the Annie Street house in Homes with History, from the Courier Mail (7 March 2015): WHEN Channel 9 newsreader Melissa Downes inspected a New Farm house more than a decade ago, she had no idea she had found a missing piece of her family’s history. Read the full story here.