Updated: Jan 9, 2019
Clara’s case. My interest in the women of the goldfields was initially driven by my grandmother.When I started the painting it was my grandmother I had in mind and the idea of leaving the goldfields and the closing of all those little towns.
However as I planned the larger work I found an old case at home, which is the one depicted in the painting and the one that contains the painting. Other items collaged in the case are from my extensive collection of junk. Some of these discarded items once belonged to a woman named Clara Lynch (nee Saunders), who was the first woman to marry in Coolgardie and who knew Paddy Hannan and Moondyne Joe. She had saved news clippings, photos and letters from the goldrush era which we found when we moved into the house and never had the heart to throw away. An article she had saved is collaged on the lid of the case and tells part of her story as does the clipping about the first gold nugget from Kalgoorlie – which she was given by Paddy Hannan.
Her story was published many years ago by Hesperian Press in a book called ‘Daughters of Midas’.