On a beautiful crisp clear spring day we headed out of Canberra down the Barton Highway towards Yass to visit Cooma Cottage and investigate ‘Sculpture in the Paddock’. We could see the historical settlement on the crest of a hill sparklingly in the sunshine.
The history of Cooma Cottage is fascinatingly Australian. Built by the famous Australian born colonial explorer Hamilton Hume (the famous Hume and Hovell expedition). He came to settle in the Yass area after he had completed his historic expedition to open up the back country of NSW and Victoria. Built in 1840, the main building has been beautifully restored by The National Trust of Australia.
As you walk through the homestead you see the juxtapose of a beautifully appointed house desired for its time in a harsh environment. Life would have been isolated and hard.
Tours of the Cottage are conducted by National Trust volunteers. Our tour guide Barbara was very knowledgeable giving us wonderful insight into the history of Hume and the local area.
If exploring one of the oldest surviving rural houses in Yass is not enticing enough the National Trust is hosting Sculpture in the Paddock. Open until 8 October 2017 it is an exhibition of sculptures with over $3,000 in prize money.
Apparently, the Yass Valley Shire boasts an unusually high proportion of sculptors, which helps to understand why Yass created such a unique event. This is the second time we have visited the exhibition and this year we enjoyed the quirky, inspiring and just down right puzzling sculptures.
We are no art experts but here is a list of the ones that caught our interest.
- Rhythms of my Heart. Naomi Ryods. Winner of the 2017 Yass Soldiers Club Encouragement Award.
Something about the silhouette of each pole against the back drop of the green Australian bush and bright blue sky caught our imagination.
- Mould. Brian Evans Winner of the 2017 ANU School of Art Award
Ugly but beautiful all in one sculpture. We had the most fun with this one…..
- Unfortunately, this next one we didn’t take note of its name or who its creator was but it quickly became our favourite. Made from filling chicken feeders full of plaster and then pocking sticks in them, if you photograph them the right way they became ‘War of the Worlds’ meets ‘Day of the Triffids’. Magic.
The sunshine and green pastures provided the perfect backdrop for both exploring Cooma Cottage and enjoying the Sculpture in the Paddock. If you’re in the area for the next few weeks make sure to take time to visit. It’s only a 40 min car trip from Canberra.