Fay Gray, a charming and dedicated Steward of the Singleton Show discovered in the local archives that one Julian Rossi Ashton had judged The Singleton Show in September 1910 – one hundred years ago. Excitedly, she contacted me, asking if I could come up and fulfil the art judge’s role this year. Of course, I said yes.
The tranquil town of Singleton is about 100 kilometres from Sydney, inland from Newcastle in the Hunter River basin The judging was held on Saturday the 18th September 2010 in the same corrugated iron vaulted building in The Singleton Showground in which Julian Ashton had fulfilled his duties all those years ago. In the well lit interior, decorated plentifully with the original wooden lattice and soaring corniced columns, I was delighted to find an impressive array of artworks from the region.
The decisions were difficult and there were lots of works to be highly commended. It was rumoured that Julian Ashton was asked to judge the wood chopping too but I think it most likely that he confined himself to the art and perhaps the crafts. How do you judge children’s art? Their work is all so marvellous. Well you can’t leave it to the mothers. I guess that is why the organisers ask someone from out of town.
Thank you, thank you Singleton, and the Northern Agricultural Association. I enjoyed every minute of it.