After a recent trip on an agriturismo stay in Sicily I and "foodie" friend and travelling companion Pam, hired a Fiat and sojourned our way through ancient farmlands and narrow tangled, cobbled, streets of medieval villages and cities of decaying beauty.
After 25 centuries of foreign occupation Sicily's forefathers have left an indelible cultural legacy in architecture and cuisine - spicy and sweet flavours dominate the palette ,a fusion of italian arabic flavours unique to Sicily.
After sampling the rustic fare brought to our table at farm stay in an old fortified provincial farm, dating back to 1000 AD with an arabian well used for preserving produce and its Norman Tower rising in the centre of the farm dating back to the 1200's , this sowed the seeds and inspiration for our collaborative work on an up-and-coming cookbook ‘Rustica Siciliana - notes and sketches from a slow food journey'.
Cheryl Westenberg is a practicing visual artist living on the South Coast of New South Wales, known mostly for her work as children’s book illustrator, but also as a painter and sculptor.
The last 20 years of Cheryl’s life have found their way through her quirky humour into the children’s books she has illustrated, which include;
Banjo’s Animal Tales by A.B. Paterson (1994)
Banjo’s Tall Tales by A. B. Paterson (1996)
Gala Koala of La Scala by Cheryl Sawyer (1998)
Little Wombat by Chris Mansell (1998)
What's Dad Doing? by Susan Hall (2013)
Night Monsters by Nina Poulos (2013)
I Wish I Could Be A Superhero by Susan Hall (2017)
For ten years Cheryl met at Barbara Blackman’s home 'Indooroopilly' just out of Berry, with a dodgers dozen of local women artists and authors. In this artistic milieu Cheryl and Barbara’s 2002 exhibition 'Doggerel' was born. A set of Cheryl’s dog drawings was offset by Barbara’s verse and the idea for the book Dogs and Doggerel, was devised. In 2011, Dogs and Doggerel by Barbara Blackman and sketches by Cheryl Westenberg was published by Halstead Press.
In 1999 Cheryl won an International Women’s Day Award (City of Shoalhaven) for her contribution to youth art. “How better to describe and edit one’s life than to put it into story form and draw illustrations about it”, says Barbara Blackman. “While Cheryl’s humour is for all ages, she has worked for years with school children in special art classes, private tuition, and on public works.
Her work has featured in; Country Gardener (Autumn/Winter, 1999); Coast and Country (Summer, 2005); several issues of Australian Country Style; South Coast Lifestyle Magazine (Launch issue, 2003); Art and Australia Quarterly Journal (1998); South Coast Style (Summer, 2009-2010); and South Coast Style (Autumn, 2014).