The Lloyd Rees Legacy project has been a labour of love for Bobbie Miller and Andrea Hope.
A chance remark by Lloyd Rees’ son led to a search of Kiama High for murals painted by the artist’s architecture students for the new hall in 1963.
The paintings were found lying in a corridor against a wall, very much the worse for wear. At some stage the hall had been painted, and the paintings never rehung.
As they have great significance by showing the influence of a famous Australian artist on his students, Bobbie and Andrea took on the challenge of raising funds to clean, restore, frame and exhibit the paintings. Christ-abel Blackman advised on the restoration, which was completed by her brother, local painter Auguste Blackman. Andrea Hope carried out the framing.
Efforts were made to contact the six artists, who all became prominent architects. Only four are still alive. Both Lawrence Nield and Rick Leplastrier are Gold Medal winning architects, and still teach at universities. Neville Clouten has recently returned to Australia from many years as Professor of Architecture in Michigan, USA. Ross Bonthorne was principal architect for Lend Lease, and now works on large scale urban projects around the world. Clem Cummings, who died in1997, was a well known Canberra architect. Ken Murray designed projects for local government, particularly in the Shoalhaven, and died in 2005.
“The architects all speak of the debt they owe to Lloyd Rees as teacher and mentor, and of how important the Kiama project was to them in developing their painting skills,” says Bobbie Miller.
After the paintings have been exhibited publicly in Kiama, they will return to Kiama High and be on permanent display in the school library.
The project has been funded by private donations, including school sausage sizzles, and any surplus funds will given to Kiama High’s art department.
Details : 2-6 September, Old Fire Station, Kiama
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