One willing and deserving rural library has the opportunity to inherit a vast collection of more than 300 books.
Artist Geoff Ireland, Sutherland, would like to donate between 300-400 primarily art plus individual artists, art history and philosophy books to a country library, which otherwise might not have the opportunity to obtain such sought-after titles.
Mr Ireland, 74, who operates from his art studio at Taren Point, has been a contributor to the Sculpture in the Gardens at Mudgee for a number of years and at the Wollombi Sculpture in the Vineyard.
He was Head of Sculpture and Head of Studies (Deputy Director) at the National Art School, Darlinghurst, for some 30 years.
Over the years, he has travelled to country NSW frequently painting, particularly in the Central West, where he further developed an appreciation for rural Australia. His late father had a property at Cullen Bullen before retiring at Cowra.
"My father and my wife's family lived in the country, she was born in Yass, and I visit my cousin's place often at Quirindi," he said.
"I've been going out there for more than 34 years, I adore the country, and if I had my time again, I would have liked to be a farmer.
"I've just been photographing my latest paintings from Quirindi, and I thought regional and rural NSW really is not looked after."
The book collection includes topics covering:
Mr Ireland has been diagnosed with cancer twice in the last six years, so he feels now is the right time to donate the collection.
"I'm turning 75 this year, I'm retired, and after discussing it with my children, I thought, I've got all these books, and someone would probably make much better use of them than me," he said.
"There are a few expensive ones which are very good books."
According to Mr Ireland, his friends were always bemused by his interest in military history.
"There are some military history books - wars change culture completely and recalibrate society, so I have had a long-time interest in that," he said.
"There's a wealth of excellent books, and there are probably tens of thousands of dollars worth of books here.
"If there is a library that would like them, all they have to do is collect them. I can sort them. It's free for the taking."
For more information and to make enquiries about the collection, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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