Artist and designer Robert McCaffrey
It’s a week ago today we found ourselves in the small country town of Kellerberrin on the Great Eastern Highway. One moment we were standing on the dusty pavement as a road train trundled past on its way to Kalgoorlie, the next we were in a room, grand in its scale, and opulent in its contents, with warm hues, 14ft high ceilings and Mary and Joseph towering above us either side of the antique sideboard.
We were in the home of artist, menswear designer and TAFE lecturer Robert McCaffrey. His home is a work of art in its own right - eclectic and diverse, it was an outward expression of all that is Robert.
In years past it was the town’s bank - the front section was once the main business area with the bank manager’s office off to the side. There’s also a heavy metal door in the corner that opens to reveal the walk-in safe, now chockablock full of Robert’s finished artwork, some of which has recently returned from an exhibition at the Subiaco Arts Centre.
Beyond that is what would have been the bank manager’s home with rooms leading off a long corridor. Each and every room has its own flavour, with beautiful artwork hanging on its walls. Along one side of the house, running from front to back is a narrow room that is Robert’s studio. At every turn there is something beautiful or quirky (often both), and each time you return to a room you notice something new. It was the most incredible world to find ourselves in, far removed from the dry and dusty Wheatbelt outside the front door.
What was originally planned as a quick photo shoot became a lunch date that turned into a full day’s visit.
Robert McCaffrey, what a joy you are to be around - as ready to laugh at yourself as laugh at the world. Generous with your time, your hospitality and with your space - letting us roam from room to room taking it all in in our own time. Engaged and engaging; inspired and inspiring. ‘Authentic’ gets bandied around a lot these days but you truly are the real deal…you are living life your way and living it well.