A Day At The Races
It is quite likely A Day At The Races is not the correct name of this Hugh Sawrey painting but it is quite fitting. Hugh Sawrey painted the piece in 1959 and gifted it to the Dalby and Northern Downs Jockey Club not long after.
For the avid Queensland race goer there is one glaring error with the depicted scene. The horses are running “the southern way”. Whether in error or artistic license, the painting is indicative of Hugh’s style. And represents a significant part of Dalby’s early history.
In the mid seventies the Dalby Race Club committee held their meetings under another well known Hugh Sawrey. A rather large stockman scene that hung in the back lounge at Mary Barry’s Commercial Hotel.
Seeing the painting many years later Hugh Sawrey thought it needed a bit of touching up. So he took the painting home and reworked the original.
Home for the painting was the Dalby Race Track right up until the mid 1980’s. The race committee thought Hugh’s painting was too valuable to be left at the premises. As a result the painting was moved to the office of the Town Clerk Dan Phillips (who was also a race club member). Since that move the painting has not been on public display. Until recently it hung in the office of the Western Downs Regional Council CEO.
A Day At The Races was on public display as part of Dusting of Those Memories Gallery 107 @ Dalby. The exhibition showcasing work from the Dalby Art Collection. At the opening of the Dixie Schwerin, then Events Co-ordinator for the Dalby and Northern Downs Jockey Club expressed delight on seeing the painting on public display. She had never actually seen the painting until seeing it as part of the exhibition.
At the request the Dalby and Northern Downs Race Club committee the Hugh Sawrey was to have a permanent home at Gallery 107 @ Dalby. While it has been some time coming Hugh Sawrey’s A Day at The Races is now on public display for all to see.