Hill End is raw & authentic – the past is closer there. Creating a country hideaway in this old Gold Rush town and artist colony has inspired my design and photography. It’s a kind of laboratory for ideas – ways of integrating landscape with interior space.
Hill End is an old Gold Rush town. In the 1870 the population was estimated at 8,000. There were two newspapers, five banks, eight churches, twenty eight pubs, an opium den and an oyster bar. The photos taken in that era - the magnificent Holtermann Collection are inspiring with their considered compositions, excellent typography and pioneering spirit. Some of the gold miners look like they come from the 60’s group The Band.
Art has played as big a part as gold in Hill End. In the 1940s Russell Drysdale and Donald Friend discovered the town and it quickly became an artist colony. Brett Whitely, Jeffery Smart and John Olsen lived and painted there. Today a significant part of the towns small population are artists and there is an artists residency program.