& GATE 6 Cardinia Road Berwick


In 2015 members of SECAN (South Eastern Contemporary Artist Network) travelled to the high country of north-eastern Victoria to look for inspiration in the remote rural location.

Cudgewa Blue is the resulting exhibition of works.

Janine Good, High Country Road, Oil on canvas,  112x102cm

One thing that struck me about the high country around Cudgewa was the way the road wove through and around the landscape like a ribbon of blue-grey. Because of the high altitude and openness of the rural landscape the road is visible intermittently. This painting is the first of a series I’d like to do about this aspect of the region, featuring the main means of transportation now in this region and in many other remote places in Australia where the roads are so important.

In this painting the receding shape of the road is juxtaposed with the receding line of old telegraph poles, another important means of communication for remote rural areas.

Janine Good, Rabbit Chiller Ghost, Pastel & charcoal, 43x65cm

I was curious about this building with its founder’s name H.K James and interesting rabbit emblem before I knew its’ history. Rabbit Chillers were places set up to keep the rabbit carcasses cool before they could be shipped for butchering and distribution in a nearby city, probably Albury in this case or they would even be shipped to Melbourne. Rabbit meat during the depression was an important source of protein for people, with food being scarce during tough times. Rabbits as we know were a huge problem of plague proportions so a bounty was set up for the trapping and shooting of rabbits as a meat and fur (felt) source but also to stop vast areas of the country being denuded of foliage due to the sheer impact of rabbits on the landscape. The income received for catching rabbits was often the only thing to sustain some families.

In this drawing I am trying to use different areas of colour to signify the different eras. A ghost-like image in sepia colouration of an old hunter is bringing his catch of rabbits to the chiller during the 1930s in contrast to the present day image of the building looking derelict with its rich colouration of rusted iron and discoloured timber. The landscape behind the chiller takes on the quirky shape of a rabbit, to play with the title – is it the hunter who is the ghost or a giant rabbit ghost lurking as a reminder of the days of the plague and the many rabbits who met their end in the chiller?