The Gold Rush Movement

During the early settlement years in New Zealand, the era of the Gold Rush movement was booming in the Thames Region. Charles, like many of the other hopeful young men traveled to Thames in the hopes that riches would soon be bestowed upon them. Nineteen years of age, surrounded by people who clearly were succeeding in finding the hidden treasures, it seems as though Charles was attracted to a different kind of beauty. The below is an exert from the book, Charles Blomfield his life and times, penned by Muriel Williams.

..”although he did not find gold in the literal sense, Charles struck a vein which yielded him rich rewards in the development of his artistic powers….” …”he was so struck with its surpassing beauty that he determined to transfer its charms onto canvas. Having no teacher and no facilities for learning the practical details of his art, he persevered with his efforts until he had mastered the technique.”

As an artist myself in the modern times, I often reflect over some of the hardships my ancestors had to overcome whilst travelling through a region to get to their intended destination. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would have been like first of all, carrying all the artistic supplies and travel gear via horseback or walking. Secondly, how the constant fear of attack, either mistakenly or purposeful, from the Maori who were at the end of their civil war but still very much aware. Thirdly, imagine the conditions in which Charles would have been in and to even be able to create the beautiful pieces we can now see in galleries. It constantly blows my mind how talented he was and it is very humbling to be carrying on that creative (albeit a different genre and style) legacy.