62 Miller St
Oil on canvas, September 2020
72cm x 61cm x 1.5cm
Not sure about this one. It’s a bit lurid, but I’m ready to move on to something else. It’s our house, 62 Miller St.
When we first moved back to Canberra from Sydney, where we had lived in a beautiful old 1860’s cottage, I was adamant that I didn’t want to live in a 1960’s Downer house (like the one I grew up in) and so we brought an ex government, heritage listed, Tocumwal. The Tocumwals were fibro houses moved from the army base at Tocumwal, Victoria during the housing shortage in Canberra after the war. I used to joke that Canberra was the only city in the world which would heritage list a fibro (asbestos) transportable house.
I think that houses in my paintings can often be viewed as symbolic of the self. A hard, dark, slightly gloomy and well worn exterior hiding a warm, soft inner self under a colorful sunset? Maybe.
I do like to think about the history of our house, children raised, lives lived etc, although as Kim helpfully pointed out, I’ve actually depicted the new extension that we added 15 years ago and not the original bit. Both look the same and we reused the windows from other Tocumwals around the neighborhood so I think that counts for something.