Benalla Art Gallery is situated in the heart of north-east Victoria - an area known for its sheep and cattle production, cropping and many other rural enterprises. The locals of this region know how to ‘work the land’. It is their bread and butter, their passion and livelihood. Skills are passed down from generation to generation that enable cultivation of the land and breeding of animals and plants to feed, sustain and enhance the lives of others.
Farming and agriculture is celebrated in this region and within the Benalla Art Gallery permanent collection. Our major benefactor, Laurence (Laurie) Ledger was a local stock and station agent in the Benalla area. He had a strong affiliation with the land and this was reflected in his collecting practices. Many of the works donated by Laurie and his wife Erma focus on primary production throughout Australia.
The works on display in this exhibition are from a variety of time periods but all share a common thread - they celebrate the Australian farming community and the wonderful contribution the passionate and hard-working people of this industry have made to the Australian way of life.
Image: Anne Marie Graham, Vegetable Garden, Glasshouse Mountains, 1984, oil on canvas. Gift of Mr L. H. Ledger, 1987