Collator of history and stories

Hartland Steve Cook with wife Gill at his gallery.

Hartland Steve Cook is an artist, collator of stories and history, art collector and a journeyman.

In a quiet street in the suburban area of Victor Harbor there lives a man and his lovely wife Gill or “darling” as she is known to many.

H (stands for Hartland) Steve was born and raised in Minlaton of the Yorke Peninsula. He attended school there and then Minlaton High School, H Steve remembers his Art teacher clearly and felt inspired by the creativity.

When he left school, he went into the post office and remained with them in a variety of roles, including Postmaster, for 46 years.

He retired relatively early when the computerisation of the postal service took place and people began using email and much less post.

He then worked in post offices across South Australia which were now privately licensed.

This travelling from town to town enabled H Steve to visit galleries and continue his curiosity about art.

A chance encounter with work from the Hermannsberg community began a lifetime of collecting and fascination with not only the composition, the colour and light, but the stories of the people behind the art. H Steve has a large collection of Hermannsberg artists and in recent years has begun painting himself with great success.

He has attempted images in the style of the outback artists and then discovered his love of water colours to recreate the older buildings “urban sketching” in the Victor Harbor area.

He is often seen with his painting notebook dashing out a quick version of a building and then off home the re-create this on a larger scale.

H Steve is a generous community member and always willing to share his collection with others and to support other artists and encourage them with the understanding that it is never too late to begin something new.

H Steve is a member of the Friends of Victor Harbor Regional Art Gallery and takes part in their exhibitions.

Along with this passion, H Steve has also spent considerable time and effort collecting the stories of postmasters from across the state and created a wonderful anthology of these stories called ‘Past the Post’, which is very much appreciated by the members of that fraternity.

If you would like to know more about H Steve you can see a four part series at or meet H Steve when he opens his gallery to visitors by appointment.

You can also contact him via his email address.