‘Tim Allen, Rhett Brewer, Michael Herron and Leo Robba are mates. They all live in the Blue Mountains and are all professional artists.
So it makes perfect sense that they should put on a combined exhibition of their work at the National Trust’s glorious Everglades property as part of the Leura Gardens Festival.
The exhibition is titled Painting the Everglades, and will be displayed in the renovated gallery in the grounds of the gardens.
“This is a first for all of us,” says Allen, who lives in Woodford. “I have been teaching workshops (at Everglades) for many years so it all just came about through that.” Robba and Herron make gardens a regular focus of their painting practices, so they must have felt right at home in the elegant, carefully created garden at Everglades.
By contrast, Allen is an avid bushwalker, more used to painting the mountains as wilderness, while Brewer usually paints urban scenes. Although their exhibition didn’t have to be about the Everglades, the artists wanted to show their different interpretations of the garden with its fabulous views of rocky escarpments.
Having taught many painting workshops in the Everglades garden, Allen looked on the task as practising what he had preached.
“It’s a fantastic place to spend time in,” Allen says of Everglades. “It makes you at peace with the world. We are all used to working on the spot and that’s been a big part of our practices. We’ve all spent time in the gardens painting and drawing.”
Allen was inspired by the “visual contrast and tension between the evergreen – the firs, cypresses, cedars and pines – and the deciduous – the beeches, oaks, birches and maples”.’