The Fair Maid of Perth was the name of a mare, belonging to Ernest Giles, who disappeared in the Gibson Desert in 1874, in mysterious circumstances. The disappearance of the mare is a subject in my Horse myths project. She is pictured here wearing the Baird Tartan, in acknowledgment of the Scottish origins of her name.
The question here is why did Giles named his horse "The Fair Maid of Perth"? I have a notion that the events described here could hold the answer.
Earliest mention of Scottish legend concerning the Fair Maid of Perth, first referred to as Catherine Glover, the Glover's daughter.
Parts of the Fair Maid's house in Perth Scotland date the house as the oldest secular building in Perth.
Simon Glover did live in this house at this time, with his pious daughter, according to Sir Walter Scott in his novel published later. Glover Corporation purchased the property in 1629 and occupied it for 150 years.
Building sold to Lord John Murray and leased back to Glover.
Sir Walter Scott writes his historical novel "Saint Valentines Day" also referred to as "The Fair Maid of Perth". The novel was roughly based on historical and legendary materiel from Rob Roy, The War of the Clans in 1396, and many other events in Scottish history with little regard for timelines.
Earnest Giles arrives on the Victorian Goldfields. Visits Marvellous Melbourne on numerous occasions. Giles was reported as a bit of a dandy around Melbourne, enjoying the pleasures of Gold Town.
Celeste De Chabrillan, wife of the French Consul to Melbourne arrives 1854 and sets up home in St Kilda. Celeste makes a big impression on Melbourne society, with her notorious past and grand balls. I imagine Giles was enchanted by Celeste and her Celeste wrote 3 Australian novels. ref "The French Consuls Wife" by Patricia Clancey and Jeanne Allen.
Celeste is widowed and returns to France, where she establishes herself as a novelist.
Giles embarks on his career as an explorer in Western NSW.
French composer Bizet meets Celeste De Chabrillan. He later claimed Celeste was an inspiration for the character Carmen in his Opera of the same name, written in 1875.
Bizet is commissioned by Carvalho to compose "La Jolie Fille De Perth" an opera based on Scotts novel, "The Fair Maid of Perth".
Bizet's "La Jolie Fille De Perth" is first performed at Theatre Lyrique, Paris.
Dr Mueller organises an expedition into the centre of Australia, led by Ernest Giles.
Second expedition organised by Giles. He sourced and named his chosen mare "The Fair Maid of Perth". I speculate that Giles, as he is about to depart into the loneliness and remoteness of unknown territories, gives his mare a sentimental name that invokes his fond memories of Celeste De Chabrillan.
The mare disappears in mysterious circumstances in the Gibson Desert.
Lin Baird has been successful in being selected to create public seating/sculptural artwork for the Albury City. Using ancient Red gum timber salvaged from the the demolition of Fallon Cellars, Lin has asked me to collaborate and develop some etched plated to inlay in the seats.
The theme he has developed is titled Billabongs, and will be ideal for the site, adjacent to the Murray River in Hovell Tree Park. I plan to etch the designs into aluminium plates, produce a limited edition print run from the plates, then embed them in the seats.
Music, Ned Kelly's favourite horse was at the Kelly Gang's last stand at Glenrowan, June 28th, 1880. At dawn she broke free from where she was secured behind a stand of trees and appeared in the morning mists, standing between Ned and the police positions. She was shot in the hindquarters by Sgt Moore and took off into mystery and myth.
Music is a subject in my Horse myths project.
Visited friends Mark and Clemmie Wotherspoon, currently in "residence" at Clifton Pugh's artists colony Dunmoochin.
Set in the bushland of Cottles Bridge, in the hills north of Melbourne, Dunmoochin was purchased by Pugh in 1951. Artists, potters and others also settled at the site. In order to protect and jointly control the area they formed the Dunmoochin Artists Co-operative. Artists who worked or resided at Dunmoochin have included Rick Amor, Frank Hodgkinson, John Howley, Helen Laycock, Peter Laycock, Mirka Mora, Kevin Nolan, John Olsen, John Perceval, Alma Shanahan, Albert Tucker, Frank Werther, Fred Williams and Peter and Chris Wiseman.
Murray Art Museum Albury - MAMA was opened for the first time on 02/10/2015. MAMA invites visitors to embrace "fantastic, controversial, confronting art."
After the party was over, The Fair Maid of Perth digital stencil mysteriously appeared on an Lorraine Connelly-Northey artwork.
The Fair Maid of Perth, F-MOP, may have been sighted in Brunswick. Not my horse stencil, but I have digitally sprayed over. #stevebairdart #fairmaidofperth #horsemyths
F-MOP steps out of the shadows and into an old sketch from my travel diaries. I like the shadow of her head.
Limited edition print created for the Animalia Print Project.