“It was a retrospective exhibition at Callamondah in 1996 when I first met May Barrie. After hearing so much about this amazing person the meeting with her was extremely memorable.
May turned eighty the year I joined her at Callamondah. Fifteen years followed with weekly visits of one to two days at a time. I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
Callamondah was such a visually stimulating space nestled within the escarpment. With the buildings blending into the landscape it was so relaxed, comfortable and inspiring.
An environment so conducive to creativity with all the talent, commitment and support of May Barrie.
The work area was a place of few conversations…a knowing look, a gesture, an understanding silence and gentle acknowledgement was all that was needed for communication. Take a look…observe the work in progress…time for a coffee break.
May’s major influence and inspiration was from the strength of her creativity and her intuition of the rock. Many moments of reflection, stillness, looking with confidence and hungry determination.
Without compromise May would be creative. So wonderful to be part of that energy.
May also taught me to take on the challenge of working with large rock. To have patience, to trust and nurture, to observe the simplicity and strengths of an individual piece and to never lose integrity or belief.
The Sculpture By The Sea was a major highlight for May when she received further recognition with the top award in Sydney in 2009. Hard work and persistence…another lesson to be learnt.
May encouraged me to exhibit and my proudest moment was exhibiting alongside her work. I felt complete and safe.
After nearly thirty years of sculpting rock I often reflect on our moments together. If any challenges occur in my pieces I ask myself,,,how would May approach this? Stand back, observe and see.
Thank you May and I miss you.”