Event Details

Under the guidance of artist Idris Murphy, explore the heritage towns of Gulgong, Mudgee, Hill End + Rylstone through the eyes of its artists, artisans + growers.

What’s included: Daily workshops, excursions + interactive experiences; daily breakfast + a selection of other organised meals; accommodation at the Ten Dollar Town Motel in Gulgong; transport to excursions + local dinners.

Price: $3990 pp

The Artists Eye is an exploration of aesthetics, art and the relationship between local artists and their place of work and living. It seeks to inform the attendees personal artistic appreciation as well as providing an insight into a fascinating region through the lens of its history and its artists.

Idris Murphy, a leading contemporary figurative landscape painter and academic, will facilitate interactions with local artists such as Luke Scibberas at Hill End, Chester Nealie and Jan Irvine in Gulgong, as well as artisans and makers throughout the region. Added to this roster of creative talents are epicurean delights sampled with visits to vineyards and various growers.

The Artists Eye is informed by the ways each of these people have interpreted the country of Mudgee, Gulgong, Rylstone + Hill End, and then enhanced the local cultural environment with their work. Added to that story is the real story of the Aboriginal and European culture.

This is powerful country that breathes story and character: from poet Henry Lawson to the gold miners of Gulgong and Hill End; from the heart-wrenching tale of Jimmy Governor (Chant of Billy Blacksmith) to the local artists who have made this country their muse.

The Ten Dollar Town Motel in Gulgong acts as a home base for the week long immersion, a perfectly centred in the middle of this wonderful heritage town allowing for easy explorations into the surrounding areas.

The Artists Eye is an ambitious program that seeks to explore country through other’s eyes so that their passion, perception and sensibility can inform yours. In the work of the artists and artisans; in their beautiful work spaces and in the stories of their journey to these places, lies a deeper appreciation of the both their creative output and the entirety of the artist’s life.

Idris Murphy will enhance that story by placing it within the broader context of art, its meaning and value. He will encourage attendees to document their experiences with writings, sketches and journaling so as to better absorb and assimilate this profound experience.


This itinerary may be adapted as required, either to enhance its quality or to cater for any COVID19 considerations or weather conditions.

Not assigned in the itinerary are ongoing sessions with Jan Cornall punctuated throught the day that integrate the story and encourage attendees to document their experiences with writings, sketches and journaling. Also not assigned are structured interactions with local people invited to present their personal and family narratives.


Theme – The Holtermann Museum + Welcome Address

Arrive 1pm in Gulgong – check in to accommodation – Welcome at the Holtermann Museum – Introductory talk by Jan Irvine on the development of the Museum before extended personal exploration of its treasures – Dinner at local Thai Restaurant.


Theme – The Town of Gulgong

Morning talk on Wet Plate Photography at the Holtermann with photographer Adrian Cook explaining the process used by the Holtermann photographers (Adrian will stay for the week to offer small masterclasses and photograph the program) – Gulgong walk with locals: absorbing the town – visit Henry Lawson Museum with costumed commentary – Story of Billy Governor (Chant of Billy Blacksmith) – Dinner at Motel.


Theme – Aesthetics

Visit to the home and studio of Chester Nealie and Jan Irvine – Aesthetics and Art – Place and Practice. – Dinner in Gulgong.


Theme – Artists of Hill End

Visit selected artists of Hill End including a masterclass with Luke Scibberas – enjoy a town walk and local activities. Dinner in Mudgee.


Theme – Artisans

Framed as a day of creative delights. Visit Lue and the Bonsai Academy with a lecture on the philosophy of bonsai. Enjoy traditional dumplings in Rylstone, visit the Convent and Chapel Wool Shop and explore the historical township. Meet with local characters in Kandos – Brett Nutting of Ad Hoc Furniture and Alex Wisser, convenor of the Cementa Festival – discover how this unique festival invigorates the town of Kandos. Dinner in Gulgong.


Theme – Food Glorious Food

Explore vineyard sculptures, meet cheese makers, visit a working olive press. Local dinner to be confirmed.


Theme – Music

Visit Gulgong guitar maker Gerard Gilet, and meet with Alan, violin player in a charming Gulgong antique store. Enjoy a Performance from local comedian + actor Jude Bowler and a catered evening meal.


Reflect on the week that was and depart after breakfast.

  • A bus will be organised to pick up from the nearby town of Mudgee which can be reached by air, bus or train. A return link will be offered back to Mudgee on the final Sunday morning at 9am.
  • Attendees are welcome to drive directly to Gulgong for the work.
  • A luxury coach will provide links throughout the week to the various excursions, however attendees will be welcomed to follow in private cars if they prefer. None of the drives are more than 2 hours.
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The Artists Eye with Idris Murphy

Ten Dollar Town Motel, Corner of Mayne + Medley Street, Gulgong NSW 2852


0414 929 768

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