The miners who made their fortune during the gold rush in Victoria were rare. Fortunes were made, right enough, but they were made by mine consortia, general goods suppliers, transport and post companies and, last but not least, saloon owners.

Gold Workings After Rain, 2008, oil on linen, 60 x 80 cm
Gold Workings II, 2008, oil on linen, 60 x 80 cm

When I’m bushwalking and painting out in the Goldfields I think about those miners, mostly single men but sometimes whole families, hacking at the ground, hoping to unearth a valuable nugget that would change their lives or, more likely, cover their increasing debts at the general store, and enable them to continue hacking at the ground hoping to unearth…

It seems to me that most folks who make a decent living in the so-called Art World are those who service and create that world: gallery directors and curators, critics, editors and journalists, art supplies stores, framers, foundries and printers. The artworks that we make provide the raw materials for careers and profits for a wide range of people.

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