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An important part of my art therapy process has been taking photos of people and places that I am most interested in. Looking through a camera lens and concentrating on framing up a story in the camera view finder, totally absorbs ones concentration. Spending the time reviewing them and deciding which will be a candidate for an abstract painting, also adds to the therapeutic process. I use photography as my visual diary for my abstract painting art work.
On the first Tuesday November 2008, I said to my husband, let’s go to the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Races – as I wanted to take a series of photos of this iconic Australian event. A number of days before hand, we had attended Derby Day at Flemington Races where I had taken a series of photos. I wanted to also capture photo images of the Melbourne Cup Day as well. These photos were used as a source of inspiration for four abstract paintings (Nos. 32, 33, 34 & 35). I have always loved fashion and the Melbourne Cup and for these reasons, it is certainly a stand out on Melbourne’s social calendar for socialites, politicians, Australia’s rich and famous; and the everyday Australian punter! The very first Melbourne Cup ran in 1875; a century and a half later it is still considered ‘the race that stops a nation’. For me this significant event is all about the horses and the fashion and on this day I took many photos of fabulously dressed women in their racing finery.
NB: This link leads you to a “Silent Clip” of the Melbourne Cup 1896 and is worth a viewing! Australian Screen. (2014). Melbourne Cup 1986 – Silent Clip. YouTube. Retrieved June 3, 2014 from http://aso.gov.au/titles/historical/melbourne-cup-1896/clip3/
My husband joined me to keep me company on this particular day. It was a beautiful day and once again Melbourne had turned on a great Australian Event!
I spotted a lady with a very large pinkish hat. This lady had a degree of gaiety and elegance. To me she seemed to epitomize the feeling of a Melbourne Cup Day. Later I was able to establish this grand lady was Helen Court! I loved her hat; the swath of material that had been manipulated into a work of art and topped with beautiful pink flowers, all in gorgeous pink – was very eye-catching,
These photos I took served as an inspiration for me and I painted this portrait of Helen Court. This portrait was one of four abstract paintings (Nos. 32, 33, 34 & 35) I did of different race goers during the 2008 Melbourne Racing Season.