About the current owner
Before Vatu, Roslyn Premont was busy with Gallery Gondwana, which she founded in Alice Springs in 1990 and which today is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of Australian indigenous art. Her love of the arts easily spilled over and into the design of Vatu Sanctuary, much to the delight of local and international guests.
Gallery Gondwana also has a gallery in Fiji under the management of Rusiate Lali Rusiate’s murals add a luscious touch to Vatu, adorning the exterior walls and roller doors of the sanctuary gallerygondwana.com.au/rusiate-lali.
Since operating more online, Roslyn has been freed up to curate exhibitions and dive into extensive archives, writing tributes to the many wonderful artists she has had the privilege to work with.
While looking forward to sharing more time with family on the Sunshine Coast, Roslyn will still operate Gallery Gondwana from its Showroom/Office just a couple of streets away from Vatu Sanctuary.
History of the property
When Roslyn first came to the property to purchase Emily Kngwarreye paintings, from art dealer Rodney Gooch, the place was owned by a company comprised of three friends. It was such a creative space, (spawning great ideas including CAAMA Radio and subsequently CAAMA Television,) that she fell in love with it and in 1993 she managed to purchase it. Now known as Vatu Sanctuary the property is rich in the memory banks of many Alice Springs locals and the broader art community.
Up until 2006, Vatu was Roslyn’s family home and worked beautifully for entertaining people from all over the world; gallery guests, friends and family visiting from interstate. Periodically, she would rent out two of the units and at other times artists who had become special friends such as Dorothy Napangardi or Linda Jackson would live there.
Roslyn was spending a lot of time travelling to and from her Sydney gallery in Danks Street, Waterloo and to various art fairs. She no longer needed the large residence all the time but wanted to be able to check in whenever she wanted. The majority of the time when back in Alice Springs, she spent in the large open plan space of the Studio with its large purpose built storeroom.
Subsequently, Roslyn found running the property as a short-medium stay accommodation suited her perfectly. She had a home to return to that was nurtured and cared for by a Manager and it paid for itself.
The creation of Vatu Sanctuary in 2006
The idea came to create Vatu Sanctuary as a live-in gallery so people could spend time with the artwork they were considering buying. People could make a selection beforehand and the paintings would be hung in their chosen apartment. Needless to say, it was a great success.
At other times the whole property was booked out by film crews (including Samson and Delilah), weddings, numerous events, television shows, even the US Batchelor was filmed on site.
However, the stable base for the business since 2006 to now has been the repeat corporate client, booking a month at a time for up to 9 months a year, in one or both of the apartments.
Preparing for Retirement
Two years ago Roslyn’s personal circumstances changed when her son came from Fiji to live with her. She decided to move both of them onto the same premises as her office, so she could always be there for him.
Now Roslyn is preparing for retirement. She will continue her involvement in Aboriginal art but is planning to devote more time to family.
Golden opportunity now presents itself
This means a golden opportunity for someone else to have Vatu as a business or as a large extended family home - the way Roslyn enjoyed it for years.
Trade in your suburban home and come to a new opportunity …