Hand crafted furniture, contemporary works of art, Italian masters and vintage cars – turn your next visit to the Avon Valley into a real cultural experience.
Jah Roc Gallery in York is one of the state’s most acclaimed furniture producers. Surfing mates David Paris and Gary Bennett started the gallery 12 years ago and it has since become an influential design outlet attracting collectors from around the country.
The company’s environmental policy of using timber that others view as only waste means the furniture is truly unique. Some pieces feature materials taken from old wool stores, warehouses, demolished bridges and fallen trees discarded on the forest floor. Others cleverly combine timber, stone and iron to create functional art.
Jah Roc produces all types of furniture – from wine racks and bar stools to bedroom suites and dining tables. They’ll also undertake work on commission. Best of all, it’s free to browse.
While in York, classic car lovers can get their fix at the Motor Museum, which has one of the finest private collections of veteran, vintage, classic and racing cars in the country.
Originally owned by collector Peter Briggs, the museum houses around 150 vehicles, including the Williams FW07, which Alan Jones drove on his way to becoming 980 World Grand Prix Champion. There are three main display halls, each with a theme related to different eras of motoring. As well as detailed information about each of the cars, there is also a display of historic posters and photographs. Entry to the York Motor Museum is $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids.
For a taste of European culture, head to the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery, which contains one of the finest collections of moveable heritage in the country. See paintings by Italian and Spanish masters and an Australian contemporary gallery, as well as religious paintings, sculpture and craft created by the local monks.
The highlight is a cartoon by Renaissance master, Raphael. Entitled “Head of an Apostle”, the cartoon is part of a larger scene commissioned by a 16th century Pope. The rest of the scene has been woven into a tapestry that hangs in the Vatican.
As well as the permanent collection, the gallery also shows visiting exhibitions. A visit to the museum and gallery costs $10 for adults, or $23 if you include a two-hour guided walking tour.
Northam is home to two museums, including Morby Cottage, the first home built in the town. The house has been restored and converted into a museum, showing what life was like on the land during the 1800s.
The Old Railway Station in Northam is a magnificent old building listed with the National Trust. Once the main entry point into the town, the building is now a railway museum complete with stream train at the platform. Entry to both museums is $2.
For works of local art, including local Aboriginal pieces, visit the Avon Valley Arts Society Gallery in Northam. Entry is free.
Jah Roc Gallery, (08) 9641 2522.
York Motor Museum, (08) 9641 1288.
New Norcia Museum and Gallery, (08) 9654 8056
Avon Valley Arts Society Gallery, (08) 9622 2245.