Celebrating The John and Gillian Borrack Federation Bequest.
One of Australia’s finest landscape artists, John Borrack invites us to look at and reflect on the history and transformation of our ancient land, the Australian landscape. On one level, this significant collection of paintings is a record of human intervention in the Plenty Valley region; on another, it represents an insight into the artist’s stylistic development through forty paintings created over a period of forty years, from 1961 to 2000. This collection is also about a narrative, a human story of an artist who dedicated his life to observing the landscape and interpreting it. Borrack’s paintings depict his affinity with the land, painted in watercolour and gouache en plein air (meaning ‘painted outdoors’) - they capture the moods of nature.
John Borrack’s deep connection to the Plenty Valley region stems from his ancestral roots. His mother, Augusta Caroline Borrack, was a descendant of the Ziebell family, pioneers who established the Ziebell Farmhouse in Thomastown in the 1850’s. The artist’s childhood experiences of country life and exposure to the beauty of the land were firmly imprinted in his memories and visual sensibilities, providing him with a lifetime of rich subject matter to explore in his art.
You can view some of John Borrack's works at Council's Civic Centre in the foyer and outside the Council Chambers.
The John and Gillian Borrack Federation Bequest was generously donated to the City of Whittlesea by John and Gillian Borrack in 2001.
This video includes interviews with John and Gillian Borrack, and a presentation given by the artist explaining his work.
Copyright City of Whittlesea © 2003
The Edge of Development
A documentary produced by John Doggert-Williams and supported by the Whittlesea Creative Communities Fund in 2020, featuring an interview with John and Gillian Borrack.
See the full documentary on the PAUSED Exhibition page.