A striking painting of slate quarryman Billy Lock, titled The Rapture of Billy, now greets visitors to Willunga Slate Museum.

It has recently been acquired by Willunga National Trust from the artist Yvonne East who exhibited it as part of the Fleurieu Landscape Art and Environment Project at Fox Creek Winery in November 2011.

Billy Lock is well known as the proprietor of the Bangor Slate Quarry at Willunga. Visitors to the quarry have been enthralled to hear Billy’s enthusiastic explanation of the qualities of Willunga slate and to watch him demonstrate his skill at cutting and splitting slate. He has also given demonstrations at Willunga Court House during special events such as the opening of the Slate Museum extension in 2009.

Billy’s enthusiasm and commitment are powerfully conveyed in this painting by Yvonne East, an award-winning local artist based in Goolwa. Her most recent solo exhibition was “STRATUM” presented at Artspace Gallery, Adelaide Festival Centre in June 2012 as part of the Breaking Ground Award granted by Country Arts SA for which Yvonne was the inaugural recipient in 2011.

Yvonne was a finalist for the 2012 and 2011 Portia Geach Memorial Award, semi-finalist for the 2012 Doug Moran Portraiture Prize and finalist in the 2008 and 2009 Dobell Drawing prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She was a top 10 Finalist for the SALA Advertiser Business SA Contemporary Art Prize for both 2010 and 2011. For more information visit Yvonne’s website at http://www.yvonneeast.com.

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to acquire this powerful work of art and to display it in the Slate Museum where it adds a further dimension to the fascinating story of Willunga slate.

Billy Lock demonstrates his skills.

The Slate Museum is open at 61 High Street Willunga on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. Phone 08 8556 2195 or email willunganationaltrust@gmail.com  for more information. We look forward to your visit!

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