Twenty years ago the ABC Country Hour broadcast a program on how country people were coping with the present drought and how it changed their lives. One particular woman caught Primrose Moss’ attention, and set her thinking.
The woman spoke as an artist, married to a farmer who had to take a job in town, sell the major part of their stock and leave her to run the property and educate the children, leaving her no time to paint while she tried to keep the farm. She spoke of the isolation, with no artists in the area to talk to and no art supplies within 150 kms as shops in town had closed.
This was a person who had been an artist all her life. It was not just a hobby, but her life’s work. Primrose realised that she may be one of many such people for whom practicing art in the bush is not that easy.
In June 1995, Primrose’s sister, Penny Meagher an artist, died she remembered all the pleasure that Penny had from her passion, art and in 1997 the Windmill Trust awarded its first scholarship to Esad Muftic, an artist, a refugee from Sarajevo, living in regional NSW who had both outstanding talent and need. Since then over 20 artists have benefitted from the Windmill Trust.
Primrose Moss said “People often ask why the Windmill Scholarship. When meeting with Mary Turner and Jane Raffin at the beginning, I remembered how my sister when she was in hospital used to ask if their new windmill on their land was turning. The windmill is an Australian country icon, but it also means dynamism and the creation of energy, which is what the artists selected by the judges have certainly shown. “May the Windmill keep turning”.