Life has become even more rewarding for Canberra artist/gallery owner, Margaret Hadfield (Zorgdrager) and Canberra based historian author, Dr Kathryn Spurling. Dubbed, ‘The Artist and the Historian’ they are also proving age is no barrier for creativity. One is ‘over 60’ and the other is ‘over 70’. Margaret and Kathryn have combined their talents in many endeavours.

For her book Inspiring Australian Women Kathryn interviewed Helen Reddy, Natasha Stott Despoja, Matilda House, Geraldine Cox, Fiona Wood and Lauren Jackson, over a period of four years and each of these remarkable Australians ‘sat’ for Margaret. Their portraits were included in the book.

This month their creative endeavours have once more been recognized.

Margaret has again been named a finalist in The Gallipoli Art Prize. She was the inaugural winner in 2006, a finalist numerous times, with ‘The Gallipoli Club’ purchasing several of Margaret’s paintings. This year her painting is of Canberra veteran, Anthony John. His grandfather served with the Australian Army during WWII, and his father won a Military Cross during the Vietnam war. ‘AJ’ had a distinguished SAS career, including in Afghanistan. Like many ADF veterans Anthony suffers from service injuries and, has Parkinson’s Disease at 58. The artwork is titled ‘Duty Done’.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, 14th April 2021.

Dr Spurling, herself a ADF veteran and, a war widow, is the author of several military history books two of which have included Margaret’s artwork. ‘Margaret and I both like to feature the human face of war and the legacy left by service and sacrifice’.

This year they highlighted this in the form of an installation titled: ‘The Industry of War’. The installation has been selected for the Jindabyne Lake Light Sculpture, an outdoor sculpture exhibition and competition held along the foreshore of Lake Jindabyne from 2nd to 5th April 2021.

They had started Artistic Vision Gallery within Margaret’s The Artists Shed gallery and art school in Wollongong Street, Fyshwick. Rescuing and upcycling original Australian art was a work of love more than profit making venture, so it was important to use recycled material in the installation. It all started with a vague idea and a few trips to Canberra’s ‘Green Shed’.

Margaret painted ‘the industry’, one that is worth billions and employs millions. The frame and the base were strange heavy cardboard structures which were fibre-glassed and painted. Then residues of conflict were attached. The installation will be transported to Jindabyne on 31st March. Once secured on the lake shore two crosses will be placed in the foreground and the artwork will be illuminated – fitting for the month of April and ‘lest we forget’.

AllyCat Productions a Canberra based film production company has been filming the creativeness of ‘The Artist and the Historian’ for a submission in this year’s Veterans Film Festival and other short film festivals here and overseas.