29 Nov, 2019

 

Haefligers Cottage, Hill End

Haefligers Cottage, Hill End

Haefliger’s Cottage sits proudly on Denison Street in the heart of the former gold mining town of Hill End.

The cottage has hosted a variety of prominent Australian artists since the early 1950s, including Russell Drysdale, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, David Edgar Strachan and Donald Friend.

The cottage was originally owned and subsequently bequeathed to NSW National Parks and Wildlife by the artist Jean Bellette, and her husband, Paul Haefliger, a painter and art critic for The Sydney Morning Herald.

The rustic kitchen with original fuel stove.

The cottage is equipped just the basic facilities and utensils, harking back to simpler times.

During the years that Jean and Paul spent in the two-bedroom cottage, they added an artist’s studio, tacked on a front verandah and revived the interiors, filling the home with Australian colonial pieces and swiss antiques inherited from Paul’s mother.

The cottage remained largely untouched when the Haefligers moved to Majorca in 1957. They left behind many artworks from friends and colleagues which remain in pride of place on the cottage walls, as well as their substantial library which line the hallway shelves.

The living room centres around the large, open fireplace.

The property also features a prolific country garden which the Haefligers planted during their renovations, with an abundance of fruit trees, wisteria vines, climbing roses and white iris which have been thoughtfully planted and have flourished here.

 

The interior of the studio available to artists in residence.

Artist, Camie Lyons at work in the studio.

The ghosts of artists past at historic Haefliger’s Cottage, Hill End, New South Wales

On Denison Street in the heart of the former gold mining town of Hill End, the historic Haefligers Cottage sits proudly, having hosted a variety of prominent Australian artists since the early 1950s.

It now operates officially as an Artist’s residence and is managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. However, it was originally owned and subsequently bequeathed to them by the artist Jean Bellette, and her husband, Paul Haefliger, a painter and art critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, who purchased the cottage in 1954. Jean and Paul were members of revered Sydney art circles in the mid-century, and as such, their cottage attracted many artist friends for visits, including Russell Drysdale, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, David Edgar Strachan and Donald Friend, who each produced works during their time here, and were said to have been unanimously inspired by the landscape and light of the regional area.

During the years that Jean and Paul spent in the two-bedroom cottage, they added an artist’s studio, tacked on a front verandah and revived the interiors, filling the home with Australian colonial pieces and swiss antiques inherited from Paul’s mother.

The cottage remained largely untouched when the Haefligers moved to Majorca in 1957. They left behind many artworks from friends and colleagues which remain in pride of place on the cottage walls, as well as their substantial library which line the hallway shelves, leading through to the living room which centres around the large, open fireplace. The property also features a prolific country garden which they had planted during their renovations, with an abundance of fruit trees, wisteria vines, climbing roses and white iris, which have been thoughtfully planted and flourished here, the landscaping expertly designed.

Jean and Paul’s artistic interest in the area, as well as that of their many friends and visitors has greatly contributed to the cultural development and identity of the town over the years. Jean also regularly taught art classes on Saturdays in Bathurst during the 1950s, and an oil painting she produced at the cottage, Still Life, won the first Carillon City Art Prize in 1955, and was the founding work of what is now Bathurst Regional Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

Since 1994, over 300 residencies at Haefligers Cottage have been granted to artists from a range of disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, textiles, new media, writing, animation, film, sound and performance. These artists have each produced works during their time here in response to the landscape and heritage of the town, and perhaps also, that they were inspired by the artistic energy that reverberates throughout the cottage itself, as the legacy of its guest book which records over half a century of Australian Art, lingers. 

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The Hill End Artists in Residence Program is based in Hill End, and managed by Bathurst Regional Art Gallery in partnership with the Department of Environment & Heritage NSW Parks and Wildlife Services. Visit Hill End Art for more information. Applications for the 2020 Hill End Artists in Residence Program have now closed. Applications for the 2021 Hill End AIR Program will open in early 2020.

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Artist Camie Lyon’s exhibition, ‘A Physical Response’ is on now until 1 December at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery with a suite of new works created during her residency at Haefliger’s Cottage last year. Visit the gallery website here for more information

 

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