Sophie Gaur


I visited Victoria and Simon barely a week after they moved into their glorious new space overlooking Pipe Clay Lagoon. The spirit of the house, both as a function of place, and, as a consequence of my hosts’ incredible positive creative energy, is transformative. Gazing across the bay watching the light change over the course of the day I had the privilege to be part of the unpacking, the making of place, and the creation of a new nerve centre of collective creative action. Within the week they had worked towards a music gathering and were setting up the foundations for a place to go to for immersion and creative inspiration.

Watching Simon reclaim painting within that incredibly short time, and Victoria retrace their collective history over book making across England, Ireland, China and Melbourne gave me this tremendous energy to return to Melbourne and immerse myself in my own creative work.

Given that the space at 1450 offers places to work, muck about, make music, cook, be connected, as well as offering walks across the extensive bush property and along the beaches a short drive away, the capacity for creative output is enormous. I left with my head buzzing with ideas for books and illustrations – some of which are now in progress.

One can never really separate an experience from the people one shares it with. Simon and Victoria, besides being the most gracious and glorious hosts, have a creative generosity that is both moving and completely energizing. Coupled with Scarlet’s enduring spirit presence, and Georgia’s haunting voice filling the evening air, the conversations, on family, art and life made my brief stay utterly magical.

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