Paula Xiberras

When I catch up with Katherine Boland she is getting into her car after a giving a presentation at Bega Valley local library. This is familiar territory for the Aussie girl whose artistic talent allowed her to explore the world.

Katherine and her family migrated to Australia from England setting up home in Gippsland Victoria but were constantly on the move and living periods overseas including time in a Spanish convent for Katherine.

While Katherine has many international connections, those to Tasmania are strong. Katherine’s ex-husband John Boland now lives at Swansea where he is involved in the sustainable use of the noxious weed gorse in producing briquettes for fuel and removing it from Tasmanian paddocks.

Sustainable living hasn’t been far from Katherine or John’s lives right from when they began their married lives as idealistic hippies the story of these happy halcyon days is covered in Katherine’s autobiography “Hippy Days, Arabian Nights”.

The second phase of Katherine’s life is also covered in the book … when Katherine is accepted for a number of overseas scholarships and residencies – including one offered by the Egyptian government to complete an art project there.

It was in Egypt that Katherine met her soulmate an Egyptian translator; together they realised no translation is necessary in the language of love. It seems appropriate that at one emotive moment Katherine sang to her love the theme song from the musical West Side Story and is called ‘There’s A Place For Us’.

Katherine’s book is a beautiful one and she ‘exhibits’, pardon the pun, a wonderful talent for writing. So much has she enjoyed this project of writing her memoir that she admits to me she might rate writing in front of the visual arts as her favourite mode of creative expression.

“Hippy Days, Arabian Nights” is out now published by Wild Dingo Press

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times, an extract from Hippy Days, Arabian Nights …

Wattle and Daub …