My solo exhibition at the Benalla Art Gallery has been brought forward to the 17th December 2011 and will run till January 29th 2012.
The Benalla Museum has commissioned me to paint an oil painting of the 'Fitzpatrick affair'. While there seems to be many versions of events this painting represents Fitzpatrick's account of what happened. A bit of background to the story is that the trooper was on his way to man a station at Greta. He decided to have a few drinks on the way then call in at the Kelly's to arrest Dan Kelly for horse stealing. Fitzpatrick was known to be on friendly terms with the Kelly's and was keen on the Kelly's 14 year old sister Kate. Dan submitted willingly to arrest but asked if he could have dinner before they went. While waiting Fitzpatrick allegedly made an inappropriate pass towards Kate. Neds Mother Ellen moved into action with her fireside shovel hitting the trooper on the helmet. Ned appeared in the doorway and fired a warning shot. As Fitzpatrick raised his arm to ward off another blow, Ned fired a second shot hitting the trooper in the wrist. Apparently a scuffle ensued and a third shot was fired, Dan was able to remove the troopers fire arm from its holster. Fitzpatrick is said to have removed a small lead pellet from his wrist. Ellen Kelly bandaged the wound while Ned concocted a story for the trooper to tell the authorities to put everyone in the clear but Fitzpatrick was not to be trusted. Soon the warrants were out for attempted murder.
I've had an idea in my head since Black Saturday and it's finally making its way onto canvas. It is now nearing completion...
My solo exhibition is now a reality, to be held at the Benalla Art Gallery later this year. It will open early December and finish in late January which should be good as it will encompass a good deal of the festive season and hopefully many locals and tourists will be passing through. I'm both excited and nervous as I've never done anything like this before. It gives me plenty of time to complete the series of paintings on Benalla and the surrounding local area.