Hazel Dooney

by Ken McGregor and Ashley Crawford, photography by Hari Ho. Craftsman House, 2002, ISBN: 187700426X (hardcover, colour, 288 pages, 35.5 x 29 x 3.5 cm), available to buy online here.

In 2001 ten artists set out on an adventure that would take them into the heart of Australia. The tiny settlement of William Creek, perched on the edge of barren Lake Eyre in South Australia, became a studio for the creation of the important body of work now known as "William Creek & Beyond".

With their disparate styles, John Olsen, Tim Storrier, David Larwill, Robert Jacks, Rodney Pople, Mark Schaller, Jason Benjamin, Jeff Makin, Hazel Dooney and Andrew Sibley, tackled one of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet.

The artists set up their base at the William Creek Hotel, on the rugged Oodnadatta Track, while a remote encampment, accessible only by a one hour helicopter flight, was established west of the Warburton Groove and south of the daunting Simpson Desert.

From Lake Eyre, a number of the artists continued on to take in the sights of Coober Pedy, Dalhousie Springs, Chambers Pillar, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, and the imposing natural monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). The journey embraced the Aboriginal townships of Papunya and Kintore where the travellers met such noted Indigenous artists as George Tjungurrayi, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa and Makinti Napananka.

The journey was organised by art consultant Ken McGregor who, along with writer Ashley Crawford and photographer Hari Ho, set out to document the proceedings.

Australia has had a long tradition of artists' journeys into the bush and the William Creek expedition sought to reinvigorate this tradition. The result is an aesthetic and creative tour de force; a roller-coaster ride of ideas, images and personalities; a unique physical and artistic adventure; a book about an unforgettable journey.

Related documentary:
"The View from Here", Liz Jones (director),
"Sunday Afternoon", ABC Television, 8 June 2003

Related exhibition:
'William Creek and Beyond', Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Touring Exhibition, 2003 to 2005:

Nov 2003 - Feb 2004, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria
Apr - May 2004, Shepparton Art Gallery, Victoria
June - July 2004, Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW
Sept - Oct 2004, New England Regional Art Museum, NSW
Dec 2004 - Jan 2005, Noosa Regional Art Gallery, Qld
Jan - Feb 2005, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Qld
Mar - May 2005, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, Qld
May - July 2005, The Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra
July - Aug 2005, Cowra Art Gallery, NSW

Related articles:
"Dooney Does Lake Eyre"
Lisa Cugnetto,
Yen Magazine, February / March 2003

 "A flaming good idea", Paul Sheehan,
State of the Art Magazine, December 2002 - February 2003.

"Incident at William Creek", John McDonald,
The Australian Financial Review, 28 November, 2002.

"Art's white knight... or, some would say, its devil in a sharkskin suit", Sharon Verghis,
The Sydney Morning Herald, 16-17 November, 2002.

"Demolition Dave's $1m outback sortie rocks the art world", Sharon Verghis,
The Age, 16 November, 2002.

"Commission, Impossible", Jan McGuinness,
Melbourne Weekly Magazine, 7-13 July, 2002.

"Wild at Art", Harbant Gill,
Herald Sun Weekend, 13 July, 2002.

"Trip into the art of our Nation", Harbant Gill,
The Daily Telegraph, 13 July.