‘Unbelievable’ crowd flocks to final day of Australian National Field Days

NOT TOOLS OR TRACTORS: Glenn and Fiona Morton at the Morton Gallery exhibition at the Bert Whiteley Pavilion at the Australian National Field Days. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA 1028drfield3
NOT TOOLS OR TRACTORS: Glenn and Fiona Morton at the Morton Gallery exhibition at the Bert Whiteley Pavilion at the Australian National Field Days. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA 1028drfield3

In three days the Australian National Field Days have attracted around 19,000 people.

During the final day on Saturday, organisers said visitors arrived at the site in Borenore from 9.30am and many spent the rest of the day there.

“Saturday was unbelievable,” field days manager Jayne West said.

“Everyone was thrilled with the turnout, we had 300 more pensioners on Saturday [compared to 2016] and it’s always good for families.”

Mrs West said following the event exhibitors had not only started paying deposits for a space next year, but had asked to expand.

She said one exhibitor sold 30 water tanks.

“We’ve come off a really dry winter so people are looking to store more water,” Mrs West said.

Strong livestock prices over the last year for cattle, sheep and lamb had supported machinery sales.

Mrs West said one exhibitor was forced to take 10 orders for sheep handling machines because there wasn’t enough stock on site.

While it was a touch warm in the sun during Saturday, there was one place visitors could cool off and relax.

The early morning crowd on Saturday at the Australian National Field Days. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA

The early morning crowd on Saturday at the Australian National Field Days. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA

The Orange Art Society hosted an exhibition in the Bert Whiteley Pavilion with 150 works by amateur artists.

Society vice-president Wanda Driscoll said seven paintings had been sold.

“People come in and they see the paintings and they say they just have to have them,” Ms Driscoll said.

As well as the local artists, Cowra siblings Ann and Glenn Morton displayed around 60 of their own works from the Morton Gallery.

Originally a builder Mr Morton started painting after he was unable to work.

“Ann’s a full-time artists and started competing against adults at age nine, she’s been an Archibald Portrait and Doug Moran [Portrait Prize] finalist,” Mr Morton said.

Mr Morton’s focus is landscapes and he often takes commissions when farming families leave a property or buy a new one to record the event.

“What I’ve realised with our work is they’re historical records that represent a place in time, within families or people,” he said.

Mr Morton said visitors said they like the diversity in the work and had asked about lessons.

“Teaching scares me but helping people achieve with their paintings is great,” Mr Morton said.

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