Night Landscape Photographic Exhibition by Richard Tatti

Published on 20 October 2017

Unique night-time images of our star-strewn southern skies brooding over iconic Australian farmland scenes will be the focus of a special exhibition planned for the Loddon Valley later this year.

Bendigo-based professional photographer Richard Tatti is staging a free display of his work on Saturday 4 November at Rostrata Country House, located at Murphy’s Creek, near Tarnagulla.

Mr Tatti specialises in night landscape photography.

“That’s my passion and it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time researching and attempting to perfect for many years now,” he said.

“Central Victoria is where I spend most of my time and most of the images in the exhibition at Rostrata will be from that region – Kyneton, Woodend, the Campaspe River, Goornong and Elmore, but plenty from Tarnagulla, Newbridge and Marong.”

Mr Tatti has staged regular exhibitions in the past, run stalls at relevant markets and presented at numerous discussion groups and camera clubs.

“I’ve also led about 20 small weekend workshops at Rostrata over the past two years, with participants coming from all over Melbourne, from Gippsland, Geelong and Ballarat, Canberra, Newcastle, the Gold Coast and Perth,” he said.
“However, this will be the first time I’ve held an exhibition there.

“It will run for one day only, from 10am to 5.30pm, focusing on landscape images captured after dark, with pictures displayed right throughout the house. All will be for sale. 

“I’ll be there the whole time to chat with people while (Rostrata owner) Dorothy (Silke) will provide complimentary refreshments all day.

“There’ll be images on display you won’t see anywhere else.  This is a unique genre of photography – that’s why people come from all over the country to learn about it.

“It’s hard to capture some of these images.  None are manipulated – they’re all real and it’s as much art as it is reality.”

The Silke family has been in Australia since 1850, when John Silke emigrated from Somerset, England, with his wife and 10 children.

After 15 years running a grocer’s shop in Collingwood, they selected land at Murphy’s Creek (then Murphy’s Flat) when the government first opened up land in that area.

John’s grandson, Edward, built “Rostrata” in 1904 as a home for his new wife, schoolteacher Mary Warnock, and himself and it has remained in the family’s hands ever since.

Now known as Rostrata Country House, the homestead can sleep up to six in three bedrooms with lounge, separate dining room, kitchen, bathroom, enclosed veranda/sunroom, laundry and paved patio.

Dorothy Silke said visitors always enjoyed exploring the area, with its rich goldfields heritage.

“They get the Loddon Valley tourist guide and find their way around very well,” Mrs Silke said.

“As far as Richard’s exhibition is concerned, we have what we call a ‘nostalgia shed’, containing bits and pieces of old furniture and farming equipment, and I thought that would be a good place for the morning or afternoon tea.

“It won’t be a formal ‘high tea’, more a relaxed offering to promote Rostrata, Richard’s fine work and the area in general.”

A few kilometres away, Tarnagulla is an old gold mining town little touched by time.

Among the many points of interest are its historic churches, the Victoria Theatre (where Dame Nellie Melba and Lola Montez both sang), the evocative Waanyarra and Tarnagulla cemeteries and the Poverty Mine, allegedly the richest pocket of reef ever found.

Rostrata Country House provides guests with bikes and helmets, and offers guidance on bushwalks, birdwatching and photography opportunities.

Within easy driving distance are other tourist drawcards, such as Moliagul, Kooyoora State Park, Melville Caves, Dunolly, Newbridge and Bridgewater.

Loddon Shire tourism and marketing officer Robyn Vella said the exhibition was an opportunity for people to spend some time in the Loddon Valley, coming as it does at the start of the Melbourne Cup Day weekend.

“The next day sees the annual 2017 ‘Inglewood Alive’ festival fill the streets of that town with classic cars and motorbikes, live music, wood chopping, market stalls, children’s entertainment and much more,” Mrs Vella said.

“There’ll be plenty of great food available, town garage sales, free school concerts – even demonstrations of medieval sword-fighting.

“Also on the Sunday, the Wedderburn Lions Club is holding its annual Monster Auction for charity, with all manner of goods up for sale.

“Around these exciting events, there are abundant opportunities to explore the many natural assets of this area, from lakes and waterways to bush trails, granite outcrops, unique flora and fauna and our rich indigenous heritage.”

For more details, contact the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on (03) 5494 3489.

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