This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Go Travel Windsor: Design, Art & The Macquaries

 11 November - 22 January 2017, at home Modern Australian Design

   Michael Wee Photography


Architecture, design and opportunity are wrapped tightly in the history of Windsor -- in the years of Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie. The two brought to this continent the artistic sensibilities of 1800 England. 


In Windsor alone, an Anglecian church, a courthouse, a government house, a wharf, a public accommodation for gentlemen (today a pub) -- all public works -- were designed by a former convict turned architect. To bring some semblence of governing, buildings were necessary and design as seen by English colonials of the 1800 would provide a 'sense of home'. 


An unusual 'sense of home' opened in the exhibition, at home, Modern Australian Design in Old Government House (Parramatta) reminding us once again of the Macquarie influence while offering us a new and contemporary lens. The juxtaposition of contemporary Australian materials, patterns and purpose-built in contrast to colonial (late Georgian) furniture and purpose-built design of Old Government House is unpredictable, delightful and thought provoking simultaneously. And, displaying the work of today’s Australian artists in the setting of a cultural icon of Australia’s history lends just a touch of shock value.


  Michael Wee Photography


From David Clark, former editor of Vogue Living and curator of the exhibition, ‘Some of the objects in AT HOME relate directly to the colonial collection in their design, use and materials. Some are ambiguous – that at first glance might fit neatly into the permanent collections but on closer inspection are modern in form or technique . . . others can only be products of the machine and digital ages and that directly contract with the aesthetic history of the interior.’


at home opened 11 November and continues through 22 January 2017, (10am – 4pm daily). We suggest you make a day of it and enjoy a morning/afternoon tea or a leisurely lunch under the shade of the long-vine verandah at Lachlan’s (restaurant) on the grounds. Lachlan’s is casual, yet the white linens offer just a touch of panache in fitting with iconic Old Government House setting.


  Lachlan's vine-covered verandah


Blue Mountains artist, Joan Ross.  First, a caveat . . . we (unfortunately) were neither acquainted with her artistic work nor her lens and viewpoint of our cultural world. The work is unusual, challenging, often overflowing into humour. Yet, through our viewer’s eyes, we are thrown into a state of confusion with her art which addresses the injustices of colonialism. Sadness and humour intertwine – evoking an unusual emotion.


Dr. Jacqueline Miller (feminist art critic) writes: Her material also includes what we likewise disavow in our personal lives — intense everyday neuroses like possessiveness, jealousy, and insecurity — and in our cultural identity as Australians — profound ambivalence towards the legacy of colonialism.


Hanging upon the wall of Governor and Mrs. Macquarie’s bedroom, a portrait of Lady Elizabeth is titled: Her life was never the same without him (2006) The Artist’s statement: With the portrait of Lady Macquarie I play with the possible emotions and projections abounding around history retelling.  She goes on to observe that fiction is often wrapped into the telling and that ‘history may as well be made up’.

A second Ross work, this time hanging in Governor Macquarie’s office, is created by a laundry marker on lino. . again, the Artist reminds us through the title of the absurdity of the situation it represents. The day a white man gave a black man (his) land (2006). 


   Michael Wee Photography

Works, large and small fill the rooms of Old Government House (Parramatta). A beautiful Advent Candelabra (2007) nickel and rare earth magnets by Charles Wilson sits perfectly in place upon the dining table. The Cage Pendant Light (2015) wrought iron and plaster by Anna Charlesworth found in the nursery struck our fancy. It is over-scaled for this room but would delight a child.


   Michael Wee Photography


The broached Colonial Tall Boy, again by Charles Wilson sits perfectly at ease in the historic setting, elegant, traditional and crafted of Blackwood with a French polish finish. Surprises along the way make the exhibition fun – Moon Table (2016) by Louise Olsen is crafted of resin. With its multiple legs connected to the tabletop, it forms a singular piece of resin. We can only imagine the challenge with its construction and its colour?  Seaweed Malachite. This is a delightful work. 


At the top of the stairs, gorgeous textiles, wall papers and unique interior fabrics by several artists fill a small room and are stunning. Sharyn Storrier Lyneham’s unique interior fabrics are digitally printed. Hanging from above eye-level, the movement of long swaths of fabric is at once warm and alternately cool – depending upon the pattern and weave.

We have highlighted only a few of this unusual exhibition. To give you a broader sampling, see this recent blog post with fantastic photos by Michael Wee.  at home design exhibition

We would love to hear from you with your favourite selections. Art, design and music are so personal -- we don't own the corner on taste or interest!

Go Travel Windsor: Down A Lazy River

We know the familiar song is titled Up A Lazy River, but a lazy afternoon cruise on the Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler takes you 'down' the Hawkesbury river. The Paddlewheeler might have looked more at home on the Mississippi River (USA) at the turn of the 19th century. And while those showboats were famous for gambling and partying on the river, on our Paddlewheeler you can plan a party of your own.




Phone: 0401 798 088

If you want to throw a birthday celebration, tie the knot, bring a quarrelling family to peace or shuck off the business suits and 'conference', the Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler makes for a 'cruisy' group venue on the Hawkesbury River.

For a couple of hours at a most leisurely pace - barely a ripple on the water - the group can relax, sing 'happy birthday', settle longstanding arguments or kiss the bride. You make your own fun - though you cannot throw a groom or a father-in-law overboard. Captain Ian Burns insist on 'no harm' and 'no mayhem.'

The food is fine - the wine chilled - and musicians on-board as the Paddlewheeler takes you up the river. Your group can total five - you're onboard with other revellers - or 50 if you want a private party. Keep your invitations to 100 as that's the maximum.



For private charter, your cruising time can be extended to two, three or four hours. With a central dance floor, the party can go on and on and on … Oh, plans for a very special Christmas cruise in December (or July) might just fit the bill!

Call for the many packages and arrangements for a DJ or live music. This is a great way to while away your afternoon!