A beacon for artists since the late 1940s, Hill End’s distinctive blend of landscape, gold-mining history and vernacular architecture continue to attract generations of Australian artists.
The Hill End Artists in Residence Program has its genesis in August 1947 when Donald Friend and Russell Drysdale made a trip to explore the former gold rush towns of Sofala and Hill End.
Friend was so engaged by the character of Sofala and Hill End that he eventually bought a little cottage in Hill End now called Murrays Cottage and lived there with his partner Donald Murray for a number of years.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Hill End and its cottages became miniature artistic hubs. A number of iconic paintings were produced, including Drysdale’s The Cricketers (1948), Friend’s The Apocalypse of St John the Divine (1949), and Margaret Olley’s Hill End ruins (1948).
By the end of the 1950s, the first wave of artists had moved on but the magnetic attraction of the region remained. A second wave of artists travelled to the region in the 1960s and 70s. During 1994, when Gavin Wilson was researching the artistic heritage of Hill End and the region for his exhibition Hill End: Art, Life and Landscape for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, a third wave of artists were invited to respond to the landscape.
Haefligers Cottage was now under the management of the Department of Environment and Heritage NSW Parks and Wildlife Service.
In partnership with Bathurst Regional Council and Gavin Wilson, a series of residencies were offered at the cottage and the foundations of the Hill End Artists in Residence Program were laid.
Visual artists, writers/curators and new media/film/video artists are invited to apply for the 2017 season of residencies at Hill End. Successful applicants spend four weeks living and working in either Haefligers Cottage or Murrays Cottage during the period March 2017 to March 2018. Applications close October 31. Visit www.hillendart.com.au