In every age and art form, good models give birth to ideas by exciting the imagination. This is a heritage we have collectively inherited in the stories reflected in the historical design and decorative arts of the western world.
The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) offer a diverse array of opportunities for locals and visitors alike to engage with the houses and gardens and other buildings they watch over, making heritage accessible for all ages.
At North Caulfield in Melbourne is the stunning French and Renaissance styled house and garden Labassa. From high society to hippies and now a band of passionate volunteers looking to help you enjoy the experience, this house has seen it all.
On open day you can enjoy a guided tour and discover the house and its amazing history of survival, so integral to an Australian heritage in architectural design, societal and cultural development.
These include talks, seminars and lectures by specialists in their fields from time to time, as part of an ongoing commitment by the National Trust of Australia to expand knowledge.
They also extend an invitation to both professional and private groups to hire this stunning property for their significant celebrations.
Dinners in the dining room, weddings and photos in the drawing room, seminars and delightful concerts in the acoustically sweet music room, vintage cars on the driveway and high tea in the garden, this is a place where special things happen.
If only it could talk the magnificent stained glass Palladian style window on the staircase in the entry would have a tale to tell. It is a great favourite, forming the perfect backdrop for wedding photos. Its four roundels of glorious stained glass in the centre panel represent very appropriately, the four seasons.
Just recently the former tennis pavilion in the rear garden gained a new lease of life as a canopied miniature stage. Just perfect for small plays, magic events for children and more.
Like painting and sculpture, architecture is a visual art.
Buildings are a product of human imagination and often explain the nature of a society, what mattered most to people who built them and the values they shared.
There is no doubt Labassa, with its delightful decorative details, inspires a passionate pursuit of knowledge.
During the age when Victoria was known as Terre Napoléon until the era when those living during the halcyon days prior to World War 1 many things changed.
During their visit to National Trust of Victoria houses like Labassa you can discover the intimate world of the fashionable from the villas of ancient Rome to the chateaus of France along the Loire and on to the stately homes of England.
It is all there in its architectural style. This included the gentle art of china, glass and little things, as well as interiors, gardens, gardening and gardeners.
Above all the stories fold by our heritage houses is an emboldening one, underpinning the whole of our 21st century enlightenment.
By studying all forms of art we can feel elated or uplifted or, just as easily respond in a negative way. How we respond depends on our knowledge or, how our imagination is stimulated visually.
Buildings such as Labassa transmit an impressionistic picture of their age. As such, many believe they should give pleasure to the onlooker as well as honour nature.
While knowledge of the past will not provide us with all the answers, it certainly provides us with a springboard for inspirational and innovative ideas.
Simply irresistible…the arts, in all their forms, enliven our experiences, inspire our endeavours, expand our enterprise, shape our identity and contribute to our wellbeing.
Plan ahead for your visit to the National Trust Australia in Victoria’s house Labassa, where you can expand knowledge of our considerable heritage in art, design and style.
Watch the Trailer
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015