My first job: Lynne Moriarty

A passion for Highlands art: Lynne Moriarty (left) with Leanne Booth at the Bowral Gallery opening. Photo: supplied.
A passion for Highlands art: Lynne Moriarty (left) with Leanne Booth at the Bowral Gallery opening. Photo: supplied.

That first taste in the workforce isn’t always that bad as BDAS’s Lynne Moriarty discovered when she met her husband on the job.

At the age of 17, Lynne landed her first job at a Sydney photographic studio as a trainee photo-colourist which she described as “a now ancient art.”

On an average day, the trainee would smooth out wrinkles and bleach out freckles using a cyanide solution.

She would then handcolour the photographic portrait using oil paint and Vaseline to replace missing teeth, hair and eyelashes and match the skin, eye and hair colour.

“I loved improving imperfections and achieving a natural looking result,” Lynne said.

However, she wasn’t a huge fan of the regimentation and process line required to meet the delivery schedule. 

That downside turned out to be worth it though as Lynne said she met her husband during her first job.

“As the junior, I was assigned to making tea for the office staff,” she said.

“Tom Moriarty was a photographer working in the office on this particular day when across a crowded teapot, I dropped a tray of cups and saucers, and he came to my rescue.”

Tom introduced Lynne to the Southern Highlands in the 1970’s. 

They would often come down to visit Tom’s uncle, Mac Cott, who at the time was the editor of the Southern Highland News.

“We would come down on weekends to spend time with the wonderful extended family,” she said.

“Tom would give Mac a break and cover the local events with an ancient news camera and develop the films in a dank darkroom at the office.”

“We would wait for the papers to be printed late Sunday night and deliver them on our way back to Sydney through Picton, Bargo, Thirlmere, etc, over the old and treacherous Razorback Range.”

Lynne is now a volunteer publicist for the BDAS Bowral Art Gallery where she has worked for almost two years.

The volunteer wears an important hat in her role.

“I liaise with media and stakeholders for the gallery’s exhibitions and seek publicity,” she said.

“As a not-for-profit community organisation, we have a very limited budget.

“The funds raised are put back into the workshops and gallery for the benefit of members.”

While Lynne loves the work she does, what makes her job is the people she interacts with.

“I share this role with Leanne Booth, an accomplished artist with an astute business sense,” she said.

“Leanne handles the process of keeping all the ducks aligned and the technical web-based information rolling along smoothly.

“Together we share a camaraderie of trying to achieve a space for the community to enjoy the works of many of the talented artists of the Southern Highlands.”

However, with every busy job comes it difficulties which Lynne said she had experienced.

“One of the downsides of the job is trying to achieve so much with so little,” she said.

“Everything we do is voluntary which puts a lot of pressure on trying to spend both sides of the coin.”


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