In 1947, eminent landscape painter Lloyd Rees (1895 -1988) built a holiday house, Caloola, at Werri Beach, and he and his extended family enjoyed family holidays there for many years. His iconic paintings of the Gerringong area, such as The Road to Berry, The Road to the Mountain, The South Coast Road, and Fire Haze at Gerringong, hang in the National Gallery, and in State Galleries around Australia.
From the 1940s until the 1980s, Rees taught drawing and art history part time at Sydney University Architecture Faculty. In Gerringong he was very friendly with his next door neighbour, Artis Medenis, the local vet. In the early sixties Artis was Vice-President of the Kiama High School P&C, where his children were pupils.
In 1962 Rees arranged with the Principal of the School, Mr McFaul, to provide mural paintings of the Kiama area for the new School Hall, and chose six of his architectural students to carry out the paintings. The students visited the area, researched the history of Kiama, and executed the paintings under Rees’ tuition. Mr and Mrs Medenis paid for the materials, and gave each of the painters an honorarium.
Early in 1963, the paintings were hung at the school, and became familiar to generations of teachers and students during assemblies, wet lunchtimes, and yearly examinations. At some point, presumably when the Hall was being repainted, the paintings were taken down, stored away, and the story of the paintings was almost forgotten.
The paintings will hang in Kiama Library until early 2017, when they will be returned to Kiama High School to be displayed in the Library there.
Lloyd Rees Legacy Project: Bobbie Miller, Andrea Hope, and Penny Sadubin
See website: Lloyd Reece Legacy
Richard Leplastrier is an Australian Architect and inspirational teacher who lives modestly with his family in a beautifully crafted home he designed over-looking Pittwater, North of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Richard grew up in Perth, Hobart and Sydney and studied architecture at the University of Sydney. He worked for Jørn Utzon from 1964 to 1966 and spent 18 months in Kyoto studying traditional Japanese architecture with Professor Masuda Tomoya and later worked with Professor KenzoTange.
Through nearly 30 years of practice he has been fascinated by the origins of human settlement and the ‘essentials’ of living. His unique contribution to architecture was recognised by the award of the RAIA Gold Medal 1999. He has been an inspiring teacher and is visiting Professor at Newcastle School of Architecture NSW and is a regular contributor to the Architecture Foundation Australia Masterclass programmes. His work and methodology continue to have a significant impact on many younger architects.
In 1996 he received the New South Wales Royal Australian Institute of Architects ‘Special Jury Award’. He was awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1999 and in 2004 was awarded the Spirit Of Nature Wood Architecture Award. In 2009, he was awarded the Dreyer Foundation Prize of Honour 2009 for his commitment to sustainability.
“It is not possible to summarise Richard Leplastrier’s contribution to architecture because it extends beyond the built work. He is an educator, craftsperson, facilitator and inspiration to all who meet him.”
(Peter Stutchbury, Architecture Australia, Melbourne, RAIA, Vol.88, No.1, Jan/Feb 1999, p.58)