Ivana Gattagna

My Triangle 2019.04

Just the beginning of a love affair

Like many people here, Ivana Gattagna found her heart overriding her head and the next thing she knew, she’d bought a block of land and embarked on the exhilarating, at times exhausting, process of building a home on one of the most beautiful places on the east coast of Australia. This was only the beginning of Ivana’s love affair with the Triangle area.

How did you come across this area originally?

My now ex-partner had an off-grid place, a weekender at the foot of Gulga. We would come down for holidays and weekends from 2010 till recently. As time passed, I realised I had a strong connection to the area and decided to rent a place for six months and try living here full time.

I still had a home in Manly which I loved. I had amazing friends and gorgeous surroundings including a waterfall in my back yard. It was a special place, yet I just knew I had to move to the Far South Coast.

Why do you think it’s such a special place?

I had been in corporate life as an art director for more than 40 years. It was time for me to reassess and get back to my essence. I had stopped creating art for myself and concentrated on art as a profession. Since moving here, I have reconnected with my art practice.

What are some of your favourite spots?

The national parks in this area are superb. I have a particular favourite which is Mimosa Rocks. Within a half hour drive, I am amongst such incredibly beautiful natural wonders. I love painting in the elements. My block is on the shores of Wallaga Lake and I have a studio space designed so I can paint from my own home.

So, living in such a paradise, is there anything you miss about Manly?

Sailing was a big part of my life in Manly. I love sailing and have always had something to take me out on the water. I still have a little sailing dinghy at Wallagoot Lake where there is a fantastic sailing club. I would love to have an active sailing group in Bermagui to enjoy yet another dimension of this stunning coastal area in my own back yard—so to speak.

So, there’s no going back then?

I had a list of things I could not live without. I needed good bread, which I found at Honor’s. A little bit of France, which is at La Galette. A little bit of Italy which is the Gelati Clinic. A cinema which is Kinema at Narooma. This area has all the basics and all the extras for me. I cannot imagine living anywhere else now. I still pinch myself most days to think I have found it!

Ann Maree Menager