Outback Art & Ode to Wildlife at Arkaba

Jun 18, 2018

Rosemary Woodford-Ganf is a South Australian based wildlife artist, whose skills flourished while living in Africa, where her father was a vet and spent his time researching wildlife diseases in Uganda.  Since the early 1970s Rosie has lived in Australia and devoted her skills to the painting and sculpting of Australia’s native wildlife.  Her artwork adorns many of the walls at Arkaba and her creative mind is behind the recycled and bush inspired décor at the Arkaba Homestead. 

In 1974 Rosie migrated to Australia and settled in Adelaide where her skills in wildlife drawing found her commissioned in 1976 to illustrate a three volume set of limited edition books called “The Marsupials of Australia” the third volume of which contained the Kangaroos, Wallabies and Rat-Kangaroos with text written by the late John Henry Calaby. Limited edition prints of this volume now hang on the walls of the guestrooms at the Arkaba Homestead. The three volume project would ultimately take more than 15 years to publish, with Tim Flannery stepping in to take over as author of the final volume, after Calaby’s passing.

On completion of the book Rosie holds the exclusive title of being the only person to illustrate every living Australian marsupial, an unprecedented achievement unlikely to be repeated by anyone, much less in the same extraordinary detail. These illustrations have since been published as a single volume with a new text by Dr. Christopher Dickman, called “A Fragile Balance, the extraordinary story of Australian marsupials”. This book won the Whitley Award for the best publication on the natural history of Australian animals, in 2008.

When the heritage homestead on Arkaba was restored, updating to modern conveniences, keeping a sense of history and connection to the land was of the essence. Who better to assist in providing the quintessential Australian charm than Rosie, who has lovingly crafted bedheads fashioned from recycled fence posts and fleeces, Gumnut tassel curtain ties and floor lamps made from early explorer’s tripod theodolites. A wonderful selection of her wildlife paintings and prints take pride of place on the walls throughout the homestead and are admired by Wild Bush Luxury guests from all over the world.  

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