Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Art, Headwaters 2000

What can you do with ink, paper, glue?

Last week I took you shopping in Braidwood where we happened upon Altenburg & Co, the delightful art gallery and gift shop situated in the middle of Braidwood's main street.  That's where I spotted "Headwaters" hanging behind a rack of clothes in the corner of the store looking like that lone puppy in a pet shop just waiting for someone to spot it and fall in love.

Artist Cecile Galiazzo transported "Headwaters" to Canberra last week and helped us to hang this masterpiece in a space that had been waiting for something special to arrive for the ultimate Goldie Locks "just right" moment.

As Cecile and I stood marvelling at the majesty, we both agreed, it had found its rightful home.  A spot that looked like it was designed with "Headwaters" in mind.

Seeing it hung at Altenburg gallery I knew right away that the colouring, size and vibe of the piece was perfect for our wall, but before I purchased "Headwaters" I needed to hear its story.   If it had no story, what was the point?

Looking very much like bark art, I had the shop attendant call Cecile so I could find out more about this ink, paper and glue creation.

Headwaters (created in 2000) - the back story

"Headwaters" is a depiction of the Shoalhaven River which is a river close to my heart as it rises on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range and flows north past Braidwood, through gorges near Goulburn and emerges in Nowra.  The Shoalhaven is a spot we used to swim when I was a kid and is the focal point of an area we often pull into to let the dogs out on our way to the coast. It's the spot of picnics and rock climbing. From my childhood the Shoalhaven has flowed right through the childhood of my own offspring. 

As it turns out, the Shoalhaven is also something close to Artist Cecile's heart.  She fell in love with the Shoalhaven River after moving to Braidwood in 1982 as it became a place of endless summer picnics, winter fires, birthday parties and celebrations. She describes it as "the thread of a long story of relationships formed on its’ banks and in it’s clear waters".

Cecile says "the river is the flow of life itself, giving life and refuge to flora and fauna……….and people too. Life blood." 

This new piece that now hangs in our aqua themed lounge room is "the story of growing up children, laughter and tears, mother country, special places, love and memories".

Cecile says that her art practice has been informed for several decades by the Shoalhaven River and surrounds of the tablelands. She has hiked into the headwaters where the river rises, basked on its sandy beaches, climbed into the deep gorges and watched it disappear into the sea. She returns to the river, over and over, and while the mood may have changed, and her children have grown up and moved away, there are other children playing in the shallow sandy rock pools with the black cockatoos crying the same song.  The Shoalhaven River is just as it's always been.

And now it hangs in my home.

Of course now that I have welcomed Cecile into our home, heard her story and adopted her art, a bond has been formed and I have no doubt we'll be seeing more of each other.  In fact, she's recently discovered my books and has offered a space for them at Altenburg & Co.  We share more than just the Shoalhaven. We share a passion for finding creative ways to tell our story.

Follow Cecile and Altenburg & Co here and here.

Do you have art that tells a story?

How much do you know about the artist?

What can you do with ink, paper and glue? 

Today is Thursday which means it's the day we get to celebrate the little things.  What are you lovin' about life this week? Join us in the Lovin' Life Linky and check out these fab writers as they share their stories.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. I love so much about this post - and you have made me want to go to Braidwood too!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing the story behind this stunning new piece of art in your home and its creator too. It is such a privilege to have the artist themselves deliver their work to you.

    SSG xxx

  3. I love stories behind art works and photos and this one is the best. The connections to your past and the now...all in that beautiful art work...where it was meant to be.

  4. That is awesome. I have a paprus that I picked up in Egypt that tells a story.

  5. I have driven through Braidwood before but I don’t think I’ve stopped there. That’s such a lovely piece of work!

  6. How wonderful that you have beautiful artwork with a story to compliment your home and now it connects you and the artist.

  7. Love it - the art, the connection & the story. It looks perfect.

  8. So very nice. I have a piece or two that I picked up and was able to talk to the artist about it.

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