Smith Family

Portrait of Wallace

Public Description: 

Wallace, the renowned stud thoroughbred, was the son of 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, Carbine, and is buried near the stables at Bundoora Park. Owned by J.M.V. Smith, original owner of Bundoora Homestead and Park and prominent horse breeding and racing industry identity, Wallace died in late 1917, aged 25.

From 1903 to 1915, Wallace was one of the most sought after breeding stallions in Australia and in 1915-16 he topped the Australian sire list with his progeny including Melbourne Cup winners Kingsburgh (1914) and Patrobas (1915). He competed in at least 949 races and won close to £250,000 in prize money.

The artist Mark Gawen was born in South Australia in 1861. He was best known as a sporting artist and was mostly self-taught apart from studying in Paris for a short time in 1891 during his thirties. He received commissions to paint many of the top race horses of his period. Gawen lived most of his life in Victoria and died in 1943.

Trafalgar

Public Description: 

This is a portrait of the golden haired racehorse, titled Trafalgar. Trafalgar was one of the most popular horses of his time within Australian horse racing circles. From 59 starts he had 24 wins, 11 seconds and 6 thirds, his most significant wins being the Sydney Cup in 1909 and the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1912. Trafalgar was a notable son of Wallace, who was the son of the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, Carbine. In 1900, Wallace was bought by J.M.V. Smith, original owner of Bundoora Homestead and prominent identity in the horse breeding and racing industry and came to stud in 1901.

The artist Mark Gawen was born in South Australia in 1861. He was best known as a sporting artist and was mostly self-taught apart from studying in Paris for a short time in 1891 during his thirties. He received commissions to paint many of the top race horses of his period. The commission to paint Trafalgar’s portrait most likely came from his owners Messrs P & W Mitchell of Bringenlong, near Corryong. Gawen lived most of his life in Victoria and died in 1943.

Bundoora Homestead

Public Description: 

Bangkok-born Srivilasa created the work Bundoora Homestead for a group exhibition held within the Access Gallery at Bundoora Homestead Art Gallery in 2006. His work responds to the history and architectural features of Bundoora Homestead through the use of motifs associated with the Smith Family, owners of the property between 1899 and 1920. The blue and white cylindrical ceramic vase, decorated with the race and stud horse, Wallace, and a swallow and butterfly design found within the stained glass windows in the building, are surrounded by eight small white sculptural hands.

Wallace, who was sired by the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner Carbine, was a thoroughbred at stud at Bundoora Park from 1901 to 1917 and earned a fortune for the Smith family via successful progeny including the champion racehorse, Trafalgar. Portraits of both Wallace and Trafalgar are part of the Darebin Art Collection.

The swallow and butterfly featured in the stained glass windows in the Homestead are attributed to August Fischer, a renowned glass artist of the late 19th century in Melbourne.

Srivilasa’s art practice is predominantly focused upon ceramics, and also includes animation, works on paper and sculpture. His recent work explores ideas of contemporary social, political and ethical issues, as well as his experience living between his two homes; Australia and Thailand. This distinctive blue and white style pottery is based on the Thai tradition of making Chinese style ‘blue and white’ under-glazed porcelain, sometimes called Ming porcelain (although the style originated earlier in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1378).