Diana Boyer’s sketchbooks

Diana Boyers sketchbooks 2Diana Boyer kept sketchbooks recording everyday life around the farm on Bobbara Creek, in the Binalong district of southern New South Wales. The National Museum of Australia now houses some of them.

Diana Boyers sketchbooks
Apparently she carried pencils, ink, brushes and watercolours everywhere so she could record what she saw on the spot. Trained as a botanist in Argentina Diana Boyer’s observed the property’s changing landscape, native plants and local animals, so that her sketchbooks reveal the how climate change impacted on the environment.

Diana Boyers sketchbooks4In 2006 Diana Boyer created Time Change, an animation using a series of small watercolour painting some of which are on display.

Diana Boyers sketchbooks
In 2007 the Boyers left Bobbara Creek and now live in the UK. The sketchbooks and artworks were donated to the National Museum of Australia by Diana Boyer in 2008

Visit the National Museum of Australia website for an article about Diana Boyer with links to her animation Time Change

The Saw Doctors Wagon

The saw doctors wagon colour schemeI saw a curious thing last Sunday. Since Canberra presented us with cold blustery day we paid a visit to the National Museum of Australia.

The saw doctors wagonThe large main hall of the museum now houses a number of “big objects” from the collection. These include vehicles that are well travelled. One very Australian story held my fascination – the saw doctors wagon.

The saw doctors wagonThis large trailer is brightly painted decorated with geegaws, tools, family photographs, and hand made signage that served to advertise Harold Wright’s mobile home and workshop.

The saw doctors wagonIn Australia during the Depression of the 1930s, unemployment levels reached to over 30 per cent and many people survived by becoming itinerant workers, travelling from town to town to get work.

The saw doctors wagonThe wagon started its life in the 30’s as a horse drawn vehicle, but as times and the economy changed the wagon was refurbished and enlarged, fitting it onto the chassis of a truck, and towed by a tractor.

The saw doctors wagonNamed the Road Urchin, the wagon travelled throughout north-west Victoria and New South Wales for 34 years, housing Harold Wright, his wife Dorothy, daughter Evelyn and dogs, cats and chickens!

The saw doctors wagonAs a travelling blade sharpener, Harold Wright made little money. Apart from reflecting a family’s itinerant lifestyle what fascinated me about this vehicle was all the scrappy bits and pieces the trailer was decorated with accompanied with the sense that each item was probably picked up on the road and probably had a story attached to them.

The saw doctors wagonI wanted to hear what it was like when the trailer moved as I am sure it would have rattled as it made its way around the back blocks.

The saw doctors wagonInterspersed between tools, knick knacks and gee-gaws were photographs of family and friends.

The saw doctors wagonAlso dotted all over the wagon there are handmade signs many clipped from newspapers and modified to suit the message.

The saw doctors wagonIf the story intrigues you on the Culture Victoria website there is a short film about Harold Wright, his life and you old footage of the vehicle being driven.

The saw doctors wagonI came away from my visit  feeling this country has been home to some strong individualists indeed.

The saw doctors wagonYou can visit the National Museum of Australia website to see more photos and read about the Saw doctor’s wagon

Most of the photo credits go to  Jerry Everard (my dear husband). The good ones are his and dodgy ones are mine!