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Judy Jackson’s inspiration

We are looking forward to welcoming current exhibiting artist Judy Jackson to the Gallery as Artist in Residence from the 28th of August to the 3rd of September.

It is always such a pleasure to have our exhibiting artists onsite, for visitors to have the opportunity to meet the artist and to hear for themselves the passion and the stories behind the art work.  With Judy this will be no exception: Her current exhibition ‘And The People Will Come’ currently on display in Gallery 8, is inspired by a story that is of great significance to the Cradle Mountain region.

Judy Jackson


Judy’s use of bold, passionate and colourful layers of thick paint are inspired by Kate and Gustav Weindorfer who’s vision was to share the beauty of this unique landscape with others, a vision that proved pivotal to its protection as a National Park. Their life story, along with Judy’s own connection with the region, has inspired this body of work that explores historical themes, love, nature and the wilderness in a series of acrylic and oil based paintings. In preparation for Judy’s residency we want to take this opportunity to share with you, in Judy’s own words, a little more of the life of Gustav and Kate Weindorfer:

Charles Sutton, Gustav Weindorfer, Kathie Carruthers and Kate Weindorfer at Cradle Mountain, December 1911. Picture: Ron Smith.

Gustav Weindorfer was born in Spittal a der Drau, Carinthia, an alpine province of Austria-Hungary.  He met Kate Cowle in Melbourne at a botanical society in the early 1900’s after he arrived from Europe. She was 10 years older than he and was born in Northern Tasmania where her father was a successful businessman.  They were both interested in nature and botany, and would often visit the botanical gardens in Melbourne. They married in 1906 in Tasmania then honeymooned for 5 weeks on Mt Roland.  Exploring the wilderness of Tasmania, they discovered Cradle Mountain where Kate became the first white woman to reach its summit. Gustav had a vision and when he reached the peak with Kate he exclaimed that he would build a chalet “and the people will come”.

It was not easy but they stayed true to their vision, purchasing a farm at Kindred in Northern Tasmania & land at Cradle Mountain, near the beginning of the Overland Track. Kate spent many weeks minding the farm while Gustav built a chalet at Cradle Mountain out of King Billy pine. There are accounts of Gustav taking supplies and also a stove up when there were no roads.

Gustav did finish a small cottage which they called “Waldheim” to welcome guests, who had to walk up an 8-mile track to get there. He worked tirelessly extending the property, clearing and marking out tracks for his guests as well as lobbying the government to build a road.

Unhappily Kate became ill and was in hospital for many months at the beginning of World War One. Gustav would bicycle down to see her. Sadly Kate died after only 7 years of marriage. Gustav said, “I have lost my friend”.

The reconstructed Waldheim Chalet

During the war some rumors were spread that Gustav was a spy working for the German’s. He was very hurt by these accusations and consequently sold the farm & lived on the mountain as a hermit until he died.  This did not stop his determination to make Cradle Mountain a National Park.  He entertained guests who visited and he wrote continually to the Government of the time. His vision was always “build a chalet, and the people will come”. Today they come in there thousands. 200 people a day are on the Overland Track in Spring. Recently the Tasmanian and Federal Government announced a major development project for Cradle Mountain to improve facilities for tourism. Over a hundred years on since Gustav proclaimed the people will come and his vision is being realized.

Judy will be in residence from the 28th of August to the 3rd of September, 2018 and welcomes visitors throughout her stay.

To learn more about her arts practice, her current exhibition and this story that inspired it you can also join her for artists talks in the Gallery on:

Friday 31st August, 4pm

Saturday 1st Sept, 9:30am (including a visit to the historic site of Waldheim Chalet).

Sunday 2nd Sept, 4pm

The talks are free of charge, all are welcome to attend and no bookings are required.