What are you involved with at Hazelhurst?
I have been part of the Hazelhurst family since 2010 when I joined the volunteers and started working on the desk outside the main gallery. Before 2010 I had attended pottery classes at Hazelhurst at night. For a couple of years after I became a volunteer. I also assisted students with disabilities in the studios for pottery and mosaics on a weekly basis.
How long have you been a Hazelhurst guide?
In 2014 I undertook the training to be a guide. It was a fantastic experience and I learnt so much about Hazelhurst, the art works on display, the important and tireless work performed by the curators and installers, the contribution the guides make to the community and the support given from fellow guides.
What is your favourite part about being a guide?
My favourite aspect of guiding is the joy and excitement my work contributes to the education of school children and the general public. It is tremendous to be able to enable people to be able to see beyond what is in front of their eyes when looking at pieces or art. It is important for them to be able to understand what the artist has achieved and how this has occurred.
Why is art important?
Art works express one’s feelings and observations and also provide a statement about emotions, thoughts and life messages. Many visitors to the gallery say they are not artistic and cannot draw but sometimes they just need encouragement and a helping hand to understand that art takes many forms and we can all be creative. Art is everywhere - colours in nature, architectural designs, beauty in people and so much more.
What does Hazelhurst mean to you?
I was involved in helping to develop submissions to the Sutherland Shire Council to create Hazelhurst as an Art Centre when I was a member of the Port Hacking Potters Group in the late 1990s. Since the opening of Hazelhurst there have been so many excellent exhibitions that have enable people from all over the country and overseas to visit this gallery and experience all that Hazelhurst has to offer. I have formed wonderful friendships from being part of the Hazelhurst family and love coming to my volunteer shifts and guiding duties on a weekly basis.
What has been a memorable moment for you at Hazelhurst?
It is hard to think of just one memorable moment of Hazelhurst. I think fondly of training to be a guide, the frightening first guiding session I undertook at a George Gittoes exhibition and the important role of being the face of Hazelhurst as a volunteer.
Tell us about your art practice
I was a primary school teacher and loved providing exciting art lessons for my students. While I was still working I learnt how to be a potter and loved making pots for a long time. Since retiring I have become obsessed with quilting. I also love making wire jewellery, creative embroidery, dyeing fabrics and almost everything to do with creative arts.
Images courtesy Gail Sadleir.