House debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Constituency Statements

Golder, Mrs Doris Eileen, OAM

10:28 am

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to pay tribute to the late, great Doris Eileen Golder OAM, who passed away at Lockhart on 4 February at the grand old age of 97—a life well lived. She was raised on a farm at nearby Boree Creek, and she was known far and wide as an exceptional wool artist, which is not that easy to do—weaving wool and making sure it can be an artistic piece.

Her stunning work has been exhibited throughout New South Wales and Victoria, and even in this place. But, most importantly, a gallery featuring 26 examples of her wonderful work created between 1982 and 1993 is one of the feature attractions at the Green's Gunyah Museum at Lockhart.

Doris was no ordinary artist. She used naturally coloured sheep wool to create extraordinary artworks, including portraits, landscapes and animal poses. Amongst her portraits are Doris's former local federal MP, deputy prime minister and Leader of the Nationals, the late Tim Fischer AC; former prime minister the late Bob Hawke AC; former member for Farrer and Hume and federal minister the late Wal Fife, who was also a member for Wagga Wagga in the state parliament; Paul Hogan; the late Slim Dusty; Ita Buttrose; Greg Norman; Evonne Goolagong Cawley; and the late Fred Hollows, his wife Gabi and their twins, Ruth and Rosa.

Some who have visited the Doris Golder gallery have said that they were absolutely impressed—almost blown away—by the intricacy of her portraits. Others have described the collection as amazing and incredible. It took Doris 18 months to create the Hollows piece. It was her last artwork. According to the artist herself, it was the most difficult to do. She was a perfectionist. If you ever go to Lockhart and see the portrait, you will see perfection.

As a devout Christian, Doris followed what is described as the four Ps to make her wool pictures perfect—patience, persistence, perseverance and prayers. Doris used one of the Riverina's and, indeed, one of Australia's greatest resources—wool—for her art. The wool was naturally coloured. She used no dyes, yet in the eyes of some of the animals there is the illusion of greens and yellows, such was the magic of her talent. She once said that it took a long time to get the eyes right, the expressions correct and every little detail on the face. 'Every wrinkle on their face had to be their wrinkles and their eyes had to be their eyes. It took a long time,' she said.

Doris as an artist was largely self-taught, although she took some art classes with renowned Wagga Wagga artist Heather Bell in creating fine pencil drawings and oil paintings before a friend sent her a newspaper clipping of another person who was doing wool art, which inspired her to take on the medium.

We owe her a great tribute and credit. I certainly hope that those going to the veranda town of Lockhart visit her collection at the Greens Gunyah Museum. You can see her amazing works at 45 Urana Street, Lockhart, the veranda town. We pay tribute to her. May she rest in peace. Vale, Doris Golder.