Lloyd Rees introduced the Kiama High School project as a competition open to all students in his Fine Arts class, third term of 1962.
The late Ken Murray and I were close friends. The late Clem Cummings was also an out-of-towner (Canberra). It is very possible that Rick Le Plastrier and Lawrence Neild made a visit to Kiama and sketched in the Redfern area at weekends. I was not aware of this.
Clem, Ken and I shared in the research. I believe that high school students were not involved in any way.
As I recall, Clem, Ken and I spent some time in the Fisher Library. I think the three of us were quite familiar with Kiama. We had all travelled to the South Coast separately prior to the project being given to the class.
My recollection is that all class members prepared a sketch proposal, and the students who had submitted the six submissions that were chosen then worked individually on the full size paintings.
Below are copies of letters from Lloyd Rees to Neville:
“37 Cliff Rd
Dear Mr Clouten,
I hope you won’t mind me enclosing these stamps as payment for the morning tea items you purchased the other day.
The amount is small I know but I did ask you to get them for me & so a principle is involved.
I notice you are well & truly “on the job” at the Opera House & I hope you find it interesting.
The Kiama pictures go down on Friday I expect, but I think we will all be invited to an official unveiling!
I appreciate immensely your work on these panels & I know the people at Kiama feel likewise.
With every good wish to you for Christmas & the New Year and for a long and happy future as well.
” 37 Cliff Rd
Dear Mr Clouten,
Whilst I realize no monetary thoughts entered into your head in connection with the Kiama picture – it would give the donor, Mr Medenis, much pleasure if you would use the enclosed amount for the purchase of a book or some memento of your wonder contribution to the Kiama High School.
I have seen the pictures at the School hall this morning and they made me feel both proud and thankful that young men of today should turn their thoughts and energies to such an achievement. The Headmaster was deeply moved.
With all my good wishes for Christmas & for your future.
Yours Sincerely Lloyd Rees “
” Gerringong 23/1/65
Greetings to you both and our congratulations on your American appointment.
It was most kind of you to write and send us Christmas good wishes and all your interesting news about your work and travels.
The invitation to join the faculty at Columbus was indeed an honour but a fully merited one, if I might say so.
I can well understand your own and your wifes happy reaction to it all and we both wish you a very happy and fruitful period there but one which, we hope, will not permanently separate you from Australia.
We are enjoying our usual summer break on the South Coast in rainless but strangely cool weather. Painting takes up most of my time and my wife is happy to have leisure to read and relax and also enjoy the company of the members of her family who are in the next door cottage.
There is no Professor in Architecture yet. Ron Meyer is in charge and handling things very well. Indeed it could be quite a good thing to continue as we are for a year and give the adopted policy a chance to develop particularly in view of the appointment last year of some young and interesting new lecturers.
The Department at the other University (N.S.W.) continues to expand but I think it is wise for Sydney to remain limited so that the two may compliment one another.
There are still plenty of digging and building in Sydney City and the Opera Shells are beginning to show against the skyline.
It will be a great pleasure to hear from you again and I close with the warmest good wishes to you both from the two of us.