Buda is a house, a garden, a place to visit and appreciate how the world has changed...
But of course it also encompasses a story. It is a story that goes all the way back to the gold rush when Ernest Leviny decided to come to Australia for about three years. Then stayed.
It is the story of the family that he nurtured here at Buda.
There is, quite particularly, the story of the unmarried daughters that spent much of their time at Buda. They were strong women who weren't extreme enough in their activities to attract a lot of attention, yet were fascinating. Hilda travelled and worked while the others seem more 'stuck' at home. Kate forged a life in Sydney for a while but then came home to settle at Buda and spent time developing the works on paper collection of the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum. (Apparently she was a particularly strong woman, not to be messed with...) And Dorothy, with all her early self doubt didn't ever stay away from Buda for too long... but she worked towards making quality metalwork that is her legacy. Apparently she was the gentler sister, picked on by the other stronger ones. One thing I have particularly enjoyed hearing about Dorothy is that she went to RMIT in her early sixties to do further study in metalwork.
My understanding of these women is from sketchy information that allows room for interpretation. I am not an historian. I am not wanting to 'correctly' present this story, because I don't want to miss out on the fabulously inconsistent details that allow the story depth and complexity. But I am interested to tease out the various elements of the story, and acknowledge the shades of grey.
And Buda is also the story of creative and intellectual rigour. Ernest inspired and still inspires a commitment to quality of making. And in a contemporary community rich with 'makers' of all shapes and sizes, what a wonderful history to share.