Rhonda Rhettke’s studio was the height of organisation and space, taking up a whole floor of her house, complete with dedicated kitchen and every possible tool and piece of equipment she could need, plus an abundant store of materials.
John Gerritsen shows us what a minimalist studio looks like. A man who can get by with an open-sided shed on a hillside, a few makeshift racks and equipment under tarps and still produce beautiful work coveted by many is to be admired.
Everywhere you look there is something John has collected – driftwood, old floats, interesting bits of metal, and more. His imagination, his considerable skill with his hands, his know-how about many ways things can be done, and his enthusiasm for finding solutions, all contribute to the way he turns this collected flotsam and jetsam into something more than junk.
John is one of those men who magically produce a tape measure seemingly from nowhere whenever there is talk of measurements.
For his major work for Now and Then exhibition he has chosen to work with part of Gympie’s mining history, core boxes from the Gold Mining and Historical Museum. During the initial stages of mineral exploration, apart form surface sediment sampling, the next best method of obtaining samples, especially those of sediment or rock beneath the surface is core drilling. The drilling brings up samples from beneath the surface allowing geologists to analyse the material beneath them. The cores are often split into sections and stored in core boxes. to allow the safe storage and transportation of samples as well as allowing geologists to easily analyse the core samples when needed.
John’s work takes the idea of sampling to a different place with his own specially constructed core box and its contents.
He has also prepared a series of wood cut prints documenting the mining and woodworking industries that have been so vital to the development of Gympie.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to John and Sandy’s lovely property just outside Gympie. His ‘studio’ and its surrounds suit his personality perfectly. Everywhere you look is a new thing, something you hadn’t thought to see. And you know John will find a way to turn it into something wonderful, make it useful for something, or just leave it lying around to be admired and thought about.