The sun was out, it was a perfect day to visit Hahndorf and “The Cedars” home of Sir Hans Heysen, a well known Australian landscape artist. Sir Hans Heysen has had the Heysen Trail walk named after him. More details about “The Cedars” here Welcome to Hans Heysen
The Studio from where he painted, inside it is bursting with natural light.
Sir Wilhelm Ernst Hans Franz Heysen, was born in Hamburg, Germany on 8th October 1877 and died in Mt Barker, South Australia in July 1968. His home and studio are still owned by the Heysen family (third generation) and they are open to the public, every day except Mondays (unless a public holiday).
Heysen won the Wynne Prize an outstanding nine times between 1904 and 1932. The Wynne Prize is given annually to the artist who paints the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours.
Heysen also won The Crouch prize in 1931, and the Maude Vizard-Wholohan prize in 1957. Heysen was knighted in 1959 for his services to the art world.
The Heysen family home and the studio that he worked in are still very much the same today as they were when Heysen was alive, unfortunately, photos of inside either property are prohibited, but post cards are available for sale. The present Heysen family still call the house home and stay there regularly.
As soon as you walk into the house, you can feel the warmth of the family that lived there. It is awash with charm and character, Heysen and his wife Selma (Sallie) had eight children (daughter Nora was the only one to follow in her fathers footsteps and became an acomplished artist in her own right). I am sure it would have been a very happy home, there are many paintings adorning the walls, probably more than he would have had when he was alive as it is now also a showcase of his paintings for us, the general public to appreciate.
Heysen was a keen gardener and even now there are rose bushes still flowering that he planted many years ago, in fact the bushes he planted, also flower for the longest time throught the season and they are regularly picked and placed around the home.
Scattered around the property are various sculptures, each very different and fit in their new surroundings perfectly.
more details about the sculptures can be found here Heysen Sculpture Biennial
Artists were: Trevor Wren, Helen Printer, Liz Williams and Ron Rowe
More pictures from the 2012 event, which unfortunately I missed, in fact I have missed them all since conception of the first Heysen Sculpture Biennial in the year 2000, but now I am aware of the Heysen Sculpture Biennial, have put in my diary for 2014!
Heysen loved painting the Flinders Ranges and used to travel up there regularly with his son David they travelled in Heysen’s 1928 A model Ford and his own pop top caravan built in 1931, the caravan was used as a bird cage in later years until it was fully restored by the son of the man who made the original.
Our tour guide was Annette and she obviously enjoyed her job as a volunteer, if you have a spare couple of hours it’s well worth the drive!