Desmond Freeman: Southern Highlands Impressions in Ink

Acclaimed artist Desmond Freeman presents a new series of works featuring places in the Southern Highlands, including Retford Park.

Following on from his highly regarded series on the great cities of the world, Desmond Freeman turns his attention to the built environment of the Southern Highlands in this exhibition of new works.

While the magnificent natural landscapes of the region have been explored by many painters and photographers, surprisingly few artists have chosen to use the built environment as the subject of their work. Tucked away within or on the natural landscape is a rich mixture of built forms from the Colonial, Victorian and Federation eras, to striking contemporary architecture.

Working in pen and ink, Desmond’s pictures include an incredible level of intricate detail, expressed in shrubs, garden beds, trees, hedges, brickwork, cast iron decoration, tiling and roofing materials. Of particular interest to him are shadows and reflections on glass; sometimes unexpected in tortured planes and weird fragments of what they are reflecting, sometimes half-revealing what is inside.


Artwork: The White Cottage Gallery Retford Park, Desmond Freeman


Desmond studied art and design at the National Art School, Sydney and later graduated with a Master of Arts from the prestigious Royal College of Art, London. While working as a designer in London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore he earned a reputation as a leading interior and museum designer never abandoning his passion for painting and drawing. Desmond’s career includes academic appointments as Professor of Design and Head of the Design School at the University of Technology, Sydney and leadership of the Design Institute of Australia, twice as Federal President, President of the Australian Academy of Design and Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts NSW.  He is currently a member of the Academic Board and Chairman of the Scholarly Activity and Research of the Virtu Design Institute.

His first book, Desmond Freeman Venice: Impressions in Ink, attracted international attention, winning the Gold Medal in the Fine Art Books section at the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards in New York from entries from around the world.


Artwork: Retford Park Belvedere, Desmond Freeman


Exhibition details

On display in the White Cottage from 10am – 4pm, Thursday – Sunday, Thursday 3 August to Sunday 24 September 2023.


How to book your tickets

This is a free exhibition.

Tickets for house and garden tours can be purchased separately for those wishing to get a glimpse inside historic Retford Park and its impressive surrounds.

Book house and garden tickets via Eventbrite where possible, to guarantee a spot.


Plan your Visit

Retford Park


1325 Old South Road, Bowral
(See directions above)

02 4861 1933
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