Detail photos for this Artwork
This charming little painting, completed by Hugh Sawrey in 1997, was a Christmas gift to his wife Gill when they were living in Lurg, near Benalla in Victoria. It has been held in the Sawrey family’s private collection for 26 years.
Gill and Hugh were married in April 1963, and they had two sons, Anthony and Jon. Hugh Sawrey passed away in 1999, and Gill passed away in 2021.
The painting is a typical Sawrey farming scene portraying sheds, a windmill, horses, and a simple homestead – most likely inspired by Sawrey’s experiences and memories of living and working on the Darling Downs in south west Queensland.
The painting is historically significant, not only because of its wonderful provenance as being owned by the artist’s wife, but also because it was very rare for Sawrey to gift a painting to his wife, because for most of his career, the demands on him to paint for galleries and clients was so consistently strong that very few works were able to be retained by the Sawrey family for their own enjoyment.
In some instances Sawrey wrote inscriptions to his family and wife on the back or front of paintings (as is the case with this lovely painting), as a way to reserve paintings for his wife and family. The personal inscription from Hugh for Gill that appears on the painting is:
Happy Christmas Gill!! Hugh 1997.