Wonderful Wildlife, Wine and Art on KI

People flock to Kangaroo Island to see the wildlife and landscape, but it only when you stop to meet the locals, that their stories reveal its human face and how 10 per cent of the population are artisans.

We come each year to the island to watch birds and sunsets, try local wines, eat marron and to count the wallabies, who live in the sheoaks in the back yard at American River.

We are always anxious to arrive to settle into the peacefulness of Eastern Cove, but this year we meet the locals to be astonished at the depth of talent here.

Instead of dashing from the ferry to American River, we notice for the first time, a primitive old fisherman’s cottage on the main road at Penneshaw, close to the Information Centre.

It stands stark and boxy on the clifftop, silhouetted against the endless blue sea with an A-frame outside advertising “art for sale’’.

We are lured in through the old open wooden door, into an extraordinarily simple, yet spectacular art space.

Two blokes are sitting on hay bales pushed up against its four walls and one glance reveals that the rough fieldstone walls are hung with exceptional art – Australian landscapes, surreal, contemporary and abstract expressions.

The men introduce themselves as the artists – Bryon Buick and Richard Musgrave-Evans,- and point out their respective artworks.

“We have been here for three weeks now and have done very well,’’ says Bryan Buick, a Kangaroo Island local.

“And on Sunday when we pack up, this little house will become Richard’s studio.’’

I cannot decide what is more of a surprise – the  tiny cottage with its century-old coffered pine ceilings and original paned colonial windows or the diverse art, or the rare treat to find two gifted artists in the same place selling their art.

They tell us they are both professional artists and friends, too, and that they met a few years back while both painting in the Flinders Ranges.

Bryon has his roots in Kangaroo Island, because his great-grandfather, John Buick, a ship builder, was a pioneer who settled American River in 1842.

“That’s my great grandfather, John,’’ says Bryon.

However, Richard is a newcomer to the island, which is now his home and was invited to paint its unspoiled beauty by Bryon. Richard adds how it didn’t take long for the lone artist, painting en plain air on Kangaroo Island for a local girl to show interest, not only in his work, but also in him.  And now he is a permanent resident.

The men have been part of the evolution of Kangaroo Island into a vibrant artistic community.

The talent on this isle of unspoilt wilderness, is as prolific as the wildlife whichdelights tourists who visit South Australia’s largest island.

Quality art galleries at Baudin Beach and Kingscote and in private studios dotted along the roads bear testament through the exquisite local handicraft, jewellery and diverse artworks they sell.

We discovered that the talent on this isle of unspoilt wilderness, is as prolific as the wildlife which delights tourists who visit South Australia’s largest island.

Be Sociable, Share!

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply