Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gary Zeck: Balladonia Dreaming

Gary Zeck's new works at Gallows Gallery in Mosman Park tell of the amazing story of early settler life in Balladonia in remote Western Australia. The catalogue for his works gives the following background.

The year is 1874, construction is about to commence on the telegraph station at Israelite Bay on the western end of the Great Australian Bight to link the east and west coasts. What drives a mother with her son and daughter to go to one of the least known and remote parts of Australia at a time when there were only horse tracks and less than a handful of settlers.....(these are) stories of unbelievable determination, courage and endurance. But what made then do it?

Gary's paintings and large ceramics explore that very question. Gary's research included travelling to Balladonia to explore the essence of the country. Images of camels, history and the isolation and harshness of settler life are captured in his work.

As last year I spent two weeks walking 200 kms through the Simpson Desert with camels encountering all the challenges that come from relying on camels for support, the exhibition was fascinating for both the artwork as well as the recollections of my own remote outback experiences. Gary  is pictured here with his work Samarkand Dreaming.


  1. He does good work Rae...I like it very much. The camel is wonderful.

  2. Wonderful colours in this piece Rae - and I can imagine wonderful memories!

  3. It really is hard to imagine what drove the early settlers, can only think the life they left behind must have been so bad that it was the incentive to start fresh. What an achievement Rae to walk the Simpson Desert, my husband was so interested when I told him,he did the whole of the Bibbulmun Track last year from Kalamunda to Albany in 5 weeks, he loved it!!

  4. Ah, I have yet to get onto the Bibbulmum Track for any length of time although I have done small parts of it in day walks. Five weeks seemd like a very good achievement for doing as walk. I have had some great treks though in both Australia and other distant and remote places. Love the feeling of connection to the land that walking brings.

    Craig have posted a bit more today about my experiences of camels. Interesting animals, but did grow to like them.

    Thanks for your comments Dianne and Luis.