Louisa Atkinson's name has a long association with the Southern Highlands.
Born at Oldbury Farm on Golden Vale Road, Sutton Forest in 1836, her writing, art, journalism and storytelling made her one of the most influential women of her time.
Janet Cosh, Louisa's granddaughter, donated one of her watercolours, the Possum, to the National Trust (NSW). The painting is dated 1860 and was on display at Harper's Mansion in Berrima last year, attracting many visitors.
With the original work now safely in the Trust's collection care to ensure its vibrant colours are protected for the future, a full-size print now takes pride of place in the Harper's Mansion dining room.
And now a sandstone sculpture continues a link to Louisa's possum.
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A group affiliated with the Berrima Residents Association - who make jams and chutneys - recently commissioned Arenaria to make a sandstone replica of the possum, complete with gum leaf, for Harper's Mansion.
The sculpture was placed in the garden in time for the recent Harper's Mansion Garden Fair, in a flower bed which at this time of year is full of white aquilegias.
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Clive West, one of the group known colloquially as the 'Jam Ladies', says "the garden at Harper's is open to the public every weekend and we are always keen to add new interest. As we have Louisa's painting in the house, a sculpture of her rather fat-looking possum seemed apt. The real possums, of course, prefer the safety of our Hazelnut Walk."
To find out more about the possum and Harper's Mansion visit the website - www.harpersmansion.com.au
Harper's Mansion is open every weekend between 10.30am and 4.00pm.