The Jacaranda


The Jacaranda 45.5cm x 35.5cm Original Oil on Board by Werner Filipich

“Painted after my recent trip to Grafton to attend the Jacaranda Festival I came across what was once a grand homestead situated on the side of a hill and surrounded by magnificent jacaranda trees. The sunlight was highlighting the sides of the homestead creating a contrast of bright colours.” This homestead is on the western side of Grafton just off the Gwydir Highway. The mountain range in the background is the Gibraltar range, which is a rugged steep climb up to Inverell. Every now and then, you just have to stock up on the feelings that remind you that life – and the world – is beautiful. Grafton’s Jacaranda trees are a way to plug into that sense of wonder. In mid-October and early November, the streets and parks of this Northern NSW city are transformed into something out of a dream when the Jacarandas explode in all their purple glory. There are streets after streets lined with Jacaranda Trees around Grafton. Whether you want to take a stroll, ride a bike or drive a car.

Grafton, located nearly 50 km from the coast, is a substantial and gracious rural city characterised by wide streets, elegant Victorian buildings, a superb location on the banks of the Clarence River, a sense of solidity and permanence, and a long-standing concern with civic beauty which is obvious from the 24 parks which adorn the city. The first ornamental trees were planted as early as 1874 and the city’s famous jacaranda stands, which are celebrated with an annual festival, were planted in 1907-08. The city is situated on, and divided by, the Clarence River. The Clarence with its tributaries – the Nymboida, the Orara, the Mann and the Coldstream – constitutes the largest river system on the northern New South Wales coast. It drains over two million hectares and contains over 100 islands. Grafton is the major settlement on the Clarence River and the commercial centre of an extensive agricultural and pastoral district. The fertile river flats are used for dairying, sugar cane and mixed farming. Fishing, the raising of pigs and cattle, and the processing and marketing of primary produce are also important to the local economy.

Werner says: “After our recent move to the hinterland area of the gold coast settling into the small but popular township, situated only 15 minutes from the famous gold coast area. Together with the additional work involved in setting up a new home, the time has come for me to get back to my passion of painting. I am now ready to reach out and explore the beautiful coastline and Hinterland of the Tweed Valley areas. Werner was born in Austria in 1943. In 1950 Werner and his parents migrated to Australia. Whilst Werner is by trade a hairdresser his great love of his new country inspired him to paint. He is mainly self-taught and is a dedicated traditionalist artist painting mainly in oils and specialising in rural and coastal scenes.

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