Drawn to the sea
HAVING lived and worked in New York and Paris, it is now Dodges Ferry which artist Patricia TurnerSmith has chosen as a permanent base.
While still travelling the world to paint, it is her studio- residence overlooking Park Beach which she ultimately comes back to.
Originally living up the road from the property now known as 1 on Park, Patricia and her daughter Eve used the space for many years as a full- time gallery and studio, creating a community hub for Dodges’ residents.
As a painter and mosaic artist, Patricia’s illustrious career spans decades.
She was one of the original Salamanca stallholders and had one of the first galleries in Hobart in the 1960s, called the Art Boutique, which was opened by Barry Humphries.
Barry also picked up one of her pieces and a thank you letter sits in pride of place in her home.
Patricia also lived alongside Brett Whiteley in New York and sold her work at Wendy Whiteley’s gallery.
However, settling by the water in Tassie was a natural move, Eve said.
“Mum and I are both inspired by the sea,” she said.
“Our ancestors lived over at Carlton River but we didn’t know that originally, but were still drawn to this area by the sea.
“We were meant to be here I think. I’ve travelled a lot and even though it’s cold in winter, there’s something unique about this place.”
The mother- daughter team worked on renovating the 1970s gem about two years ago to create the nautical- inspired artistic haven which now incorporates gallery space for the two and a loft bedroom space overlooking the beach for Patricia.
“Upstairs is very peaceful and because I travel a lot now, it’s nice to come back to,” Patricia said.
“There’s always something to look at. I get up about 7am and there are always lots of surfers out there, so you never feel alone.”
Not afraid to get her hands dirty, Eve pulled up her sleeves and got stuck into the renovation.
“It was very drab looking, nothing had been touched since the ’ 70s,” she said.
“I rendered it all inside and out; it nearly killed me.
“It was in the middle of winter and my hands were freezing to the point that they would seize up around the trowel.”
Now living in her mum’s former home up the road, Eve has taught herself to surf.
However, it was on a kayak, rather than a surfboard, when she had a close encounter with a creature of the deep.
“About eight years ago I was on my kayak and there was a massive pod of whales,” she recalled.
“I was keeping my distance and wasn’t going to go near them. I was sitting off the headland and looked down into the glassy water and this huge whale was coming up underneath me. I just froze. It lifted me up out of the water on its head and I was panicking trying to reach the water with my paddle but I couldn’t. It was absolutely insane. Then it put me down so gently back into the water.”
A large mosaic surrounding the wood heater in the living room was the first thing Patricia added in the renovation and other mosaics can be found scattered throughout the property.
Sections of the wall have been cut away like large port holes in a ship and shells from the beach adorn a support column in the living room.
The 1970s kitchen remains in all its retro glory.
Paintings by Patricia and textiles by Eve fill every corner and wall space throughout the gallery and the living spaces, with their water themes refl ecting back against their ultimate source of inspiration – Park Beach.
Read Patricia and Eve’s blog at http://1onparkartgallery.blogspot.com.au