Spring Arts dyes Indigo identity

BADGING: Beechworth Arts Council’s ‘elements of indigo’ project is encouraging a new take on the traditional kilt.

BEECHWORTH Arts Council has devised an ambitious art-to-artwear transformation project as one of the keys to its third ‘Spring Arts’ program, which is to run from October 26 to November 25 this year.

Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg said the project had been inspired by traditions of cultural ‘badging’, where particular forms and styles of clothing throughout history have evolved to identify a people’s tribe, clan, community, place, culture and even country.

“Following an approach from the Beechworth Celtic Festival, which is being staged between November 9 and 11, we’ve come up with and developed the concept in such a way that participating artists will be inspired to tease apart the idea and tradition of tartan and re-work it in a highly contemporary way to identify the communities of Indigo.”

WEAVING: ‘Elements of indigo’ in a Beechworth paddock. Image: Jamie Kronborg

The shortlisted visual designs will be exhibited and the artwear entries modelled in Beechworth’s historic 1859-built town hall during the Celtic Festival. A complementary design competition called ‘Get yer kilt on!’ will take place in Indigo schools in the lead-up to the exhibition.

“The Arts Council believes collaboration offers wonderful opportunities for creative and cultural expression, and working with the Celtic Festival is one example of this approach in this year’s ‘Spring Arts’ program,” Mr Kronborg said.

“We’re likewise delighted to be working with the Robert O’Hara Burke Museum and Beechworth’s Anglican Christ Church community to stage ‘Spring Arts’ events.

INTERSECTION: Springs Arts will explore Indigo’s colonial art heritage, including works by Nicholas Chevalier, who in November 1860 in Melbourne Punch depicted ‘The Great Australian Exploration Race’ led by Ovens District former police inspector Robert O’Hara Burke. Image: State Library of Victoria

With the Burke, these include an exhibition of archive images depicting costume as part of our ‘elements of indigo’ project, and the museum as a springboard for a series of guided walks that tell the story of Indigo’s art heritage and the ways in which the lives of ‘great Victorians’, such as artists Eugene von Guérard and Nicholas Chevalier, administrators like Burke, and surveyor Georg von Neumayer, among others, intersected in Beechworth.

“With Christ Church – in a ‘Spring Arts’ first – we’re collaborating to bring four young Opera Scholars Australia graduates to Beechworth to sing ‘La Primavera’, a program of Baroque arias, in this fine, historic building.”

Mr Kronborg said the placement of ‘Springs Arts’ events in significant heritage places extended to ‘Set the scene’ – the innovative use of Beechworth’s streetscape for a large-scale participatory art event.

Other major features of this year’s ‘Spring Arts’ include a curated, open-entry exhibition of artworks exploring ‘Indigo landscape’, a revival of Beechworth’s spring flower show – last held in the late 1930s, and self-drive tours of National Trust-classified landscapes in the Indigo hills.

Program information and entry forms
‘Elements of indigo’
Project information
Entry form
Jamie Kronborg
President
E jamiekronborg@me.com
M 0409 912 967

‘Indigo landscape’ group exhibition:
Daren Pope
Springs Arts co-ordinator
E beechworthartscouncil@gmail.com
M 0497 236 195

Spring Arts yields blooms of note

FINE VOICE: Opera Scholars Australia performers sing at Opera in the Alps in Beechworth. Image: Jamie Kronborg

FOUR opera scholars will sing ‘La Primavera’, a program of baroque arias, in a first for Beechworth Arts Council’s month-long Spring Arts celebration this year.

The Arts Council is collaborating with Beechworth’s Anglican Christ Church and Opera Scholars Australia to present the 75-minute performance, which will take place in the historic church at dusk on November 23. The program will include works by 18th century composers Händel, Vivaldi and Mozart.

Opera Scholars Australia participants perform annually in Beechworth ‘Opera Week’ in the lead-up to Opera in the Alps, and at the main performance in late January. The OSA program provides unparalleled study, training and performance opportunities for young artists pursuing singing careers in Australia. It is based in Melbourne and offers up to 25 scholarships each year to classical singers aged between 18 and 24. Performance coaches include renowned Australian soprano Yvonne Kenny. Wangaratta’s Touchstone Pianos is generously supporting ‘La Primavera’.

Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg and vice president Daren John Pope believe the addition of performance builds a program which extends Spring Arts across the range of creative practice. This year’s highlights will also include a curated exhibition exploring ‘Indigo landscape’, a film screening, a visual arts transformation project and exhibition, talks, walks, and a wild opportunity for en plein air (outdoor) art participation in Beechworth’s streets and parks.

  • The Arts Council’s Spring Arts program will be published in September, when bookings will also open for ‘La Primavera’ and other ticketed events.

Readings refresh poet’s legacy

INSIGHT: Beechworth Secondary College former English teacher Jean Memery reads ‘Enlightened age’, a poem by Ada Cambridge published five years after she came to Australia in 1870.

BEECHWORTH Arts Council next year is looking to establish a permanent honour in recognition of writer Ada Cambridge and her contribution to Australian literature and colonial life in Beechworth and Yackandandah.

The words of the poet and gender equality advocate and descriptions of her times were recounted in the town’s historic Christ Church on Friday (July 6).

The English-born writer between 1885 and 1893 lived in Beechworth where her husband, George Cross, was Christ Church priest and rector.

Reverend Cross had earlier held ‘livings’, as church pastoral appointments were known at the time, in Wangaratta, Yackandandah and Coleraine.

The 44 people attending the readings – hosted by Beechworth Arts Council and Christ Church priest Thomas Leslie and parish council – heard that a deal of Ms Cambridge’s well-regarded literary work was written during her husband’s Beechworth posting.

The appointment coincided with the approach of Australian federation when women, in a changing political climate, were agitating for the right to vote.

Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg read an extract from a July 1887 Ovens and Murray Advertiser editorial in which then-editor Richard Warren wrote that “such a revolution should not be attempted without much more general consideration…”.

“Women are, undoubtedly, well-fitted to succeed in all the ordinary walks of life, but we very much question whether the arena of politics is suitable to their nature, their habits of thought, or their idiosyncrasies,” Warren said.

Ms Cambridge in 1891 was one of almost 30,000 Victorian women who signed ‘The Great Petition’, by which the colonial parliament in Melbourne was asked to give women the right to vote “on equal terms with men”.

Artist, printmaker and former Indigo Shire arts officer Chris Dormer described Ms Cambridge’s life and work to the audience before she introduced readers who included Wangaratta High School English domain leader Lesley Milne, artist and teacher Valerie Crosse, former Beechworth Secondary College teachers Helen McIntyre and Jean Memery, college current principal Patricia Broom, historian Jacqui Durrant, and Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor.

Fr. Leslie said Friday’s readings were the start of what he hoped would be an ongoing collaboration between the Arts Council and Christ Church to develop the 1858 building as a centre for cultural activities and events.

Take sherry with Ada on Friday

WARMING WORDS: Enjoy sherry at Beechworth Arts Council’s Ada Cambridge readings in Christ Church on July 6. Image: Jamie Kronborg

HEAR Beechworth and Stanley women in the arts, education and community advocacy bring to life the works of Ada Cambridge – Australia’s first significant colonial-era woman poet and Beechworth resident – in the town’s Anglican Christ Church on July 6.

Teacher Lesley Milne, teacher and artist Valerie Crosse, former Beechworth Secondary College teachers Jean Memery and Helen McIntyre, printmaker and former Indigo arts officer Chris Dormer, historian Jacqui Durrant, Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor and poet Jill Keith will read poems they’ve selected from Cambridge’s literature: some of them in the very place where they were penned.

The English-born writer, poet and keen social observer lived in Beechworth between 1885 and 1893 during her husband’s tenure as vicar of Christ Church. She was in her 40s at the time and was considered avant-garde by some of her peers for her views on a woman’s role in marriage, sex, gender equality and suffrage.

EQUAL RIGHT: Ada Cambridge’s signature, using her married surname of Cross, among those of Beechworth women who signed the 1891 Great Petition. Image: Parliament of Victoria

Cambridge was one of many women in the North East who signed the 1891 ‘Great Petition’ to Victoria’s parliament in which almost 30,000 throughout Victoria sought the right to vote “on equal terms with men”.

Chris Dormer said Cambridge’s writing was widely read in Australia, England and the United States. “Her work was extremely modern in addressing the conditions of women and the social issues of her time,” she said.

Williamstown Literary Festival annually awards prizes named in Ada Cambridge’s honour for biographical prose, poetry and young writers’ work. She moved with her husband from Beechworth to Williamstown in 1893 when he was appointed rector in the bayside western port. She died in 1926. More information about her life and works can be found in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Event information
Where: Christ Church, 27 Ford Street, Beechworth Victoria 3747
Date: Friday July 6, 2018
Time: 7:00pm
Ticket: $10 includes refreshments: book now

 

Reading Beechworth’s Ada Cambridge

Ada Cambridge at about the time she lived in Beechworth. Image: National Library of Australia

COLONIAL Australia’s first significant woman poet —who expressed thoughts on the ‘limitations of sexual love’ and concern for the underprivileged in a book of sonnets published while she lived in Beechworth in the late nineteenth century — will be celebrated with readings in the town’s Anglican Christ Church on July 6.

Beechworth Arts Council has joined with Christ Church to present readings from the works of writer Ada Cambridge, who lived in Beechworth between 1885 and 1893 where her husband, George Cross, was vicar.

It was from these parish experiences and Cambridge’s keen observations of colonial society that she wrote Thirty years in Australia, which was published in 1903Her earlier ‘rebellious book of poetry’, Unspoken thoughts, was described by academic Margaret Bradstock in 2006 — in a new introduction to a reprint of Thirty years — as ‘evincing a strong social conscience and investigating a freeing-up of sexual mores and religious conventions’. Publisher George Robertson said that Unspoken thoughts when published in 1887 placed Cambridge ‘among the immortals’. It was later republished in 1913 in a curtailed, toned-down version as The hand in the dark.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography’s Jill Roe wrote that Cambridge began writing with purpose during snatched leisure in 1873 ‘to add … to the family resources when they threatened to give out’. ‘Her fluent and unpretentious work attracted attention at once: Up the Murray which was published as a serial in the Australasian in 1875, the first of several to appear in the next 15 years in those pages, gained her passport into the society of the Anglo-Australian aristocracy which she found so congenial and portrayed repeatedly in her novels.’

The Arts Council readings will take place almost 92 years to the day after Cambridge’s death in Melbourne in 1926. She was 81.

Event information
Where: Christ Church, 27 Ford Street, Beechworth Victoria 3747
Date: Friday July 6, 2018
Time: 7:00pm
Ticket: $10 includes refreshments: book now

Take tea and talk with ‘Vincent and me’ artist

FERTILE FIELDS: Artwork by artists and filmmaker Michael Rubbo. Image: Michael Rubbo

BEECHWORTH Arts Council is pleased to support Quercus Beechworth’s morning tea on Thursday – April 12 – with brothers Michael and Mark Rubbo.

Michael is promoting his book ‘Travel with my Art’ – an amazing life told through Michael’s gorgeous paintings. Mark is Readings Bookstores’ managing director.

The talented and creative brothers were featured in the The Age Good Weekend in ‘The two of us’ on January 27 this year.

Quercus and the Arts Council would love you to join us for morning tea at 11am at what will be a delightful excursion through story telling, art and conversation in the garden at 30 Ford Street. Please let Quercus know if you’ll be attending by calling 03 5728 2386 or email. You might also forward this post to others who could be interested.

Go to Michael Rubbo for more information about Michael and his work.

Creativity shines at fair

FINE YARN: Work by Beechworth spinner and weaver Rose Gardner at Golden Art Fair 2018. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

BEECHWORTH Arts Council’s inaugural ‘Golden Art Fair’ opens on Easter Saturday in association with the community’s Golden Horseshoes Festival.

The invitation fair features works by Beechworth sculptor, painter and installation artist Jo Voigt, spinner and weaver Rose Gardner, printmaker Chris Dormer, artist and illustrator H. Fish, painters Inga Hanover, Tania Sutton and Kay Hampton, jeweller and painter Judy Hawking-Burnett, photographers Pamela Thomas and Holly Borschman, textile artist Maureen Cooper, Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance Wangaratta members Jacquie Coupe, Helen Hill, Kathy Whelan and Maggie Hollins, and Yackandandah basket-maker Jan Clements.

The fair – with demonstrations by Rose, Kay, Tania and Chris – will be open daily in Beechworth Soldiers’ Memorial Hall between 10am and 4pm. It runs until Easter Monday.

Participating artists

Basketwork by Yackandandah’s Jan Clements.

Print works by Beechworth’s Chris Dormer.

Photography by Beechworth’s Holly Borschman.

 

Golden opportunity: Burke wants ball-makers

HORSEPOWER: Billson’s Brewery’s Nathan Cowan and Burke Museum’s Cameron Auty clean the National Trust Victoria’s heavy waggonette in Beechworth in October last year. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

BEECHWORTH’S Burke Museum has put out a call for helpers to make papiermâché balls in Beechworth tomorrow (Thursday, March 22) for its Golden Horseshoes Festival float.

The museum entry for the festival’s Easter Saturday grand parade is themed on a colonial-era gold escort and will feature the 50-centimetre diameter balls to represent the extraordinary quantity of gold found in Beechworth after the first discovery in 1852. The balls are modelled on one in the museum, made from steel, which is equivalent to one imperial ton of gold.

On today’s bullion market the total weight of 153 tons officially recovered from Beechworth and Stanley alluvial fields and diggings would be worth more than $8 billion.

The ball-making working bee will be held at Pat Doyle’s house at 148 High Street between 10am and 5pm. Burke Museum and Beechworth historic precinct and Indigo heritage manager Cameron Auty said all volunteers would be welcomed at any time and could let him know by message or text to 0400 558 866 of their intended help.

Another feature of this year’s Horseshoes festival will be a display in the historic precinct of vehicles from the National Trust Victoria’s Beechworth carriage collection, which is usually housed at Billson’s Brewery.

The collection includes a Beechworth-built Victorian-era hearse and a heavy waggonette once owned by colonial pastoralist James Tyson, about whom poet Andrew ‘Banjo’ Paterson wrote a poem, ‘T.Y.S.O.N.’, and which is said to have been used to carry NSW governor Lord Victor Jersey in 1892 on a tour in the western Riverina. Tyson died one of the world’s richest men in 1898, leaving an estate valued at more than £2 million – equivalent to about $285m today.

Sculptor ships a message

RECYCLING: Beechworth sculptor Jo Voigt is seeking more PET bottles to complete her ‘Liquid gold’ installation for Beechworth Arts Council’s Golden Art Fair which opens on Easter Saturday. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

BEECHWORTH sculptor Jo Voigt is chasing contributions of clean, recyclable plastic drink bottles for a major installation she’s creating for next week’s Golden Horseshoes Festival’s Golden Art Fair.

Jo is using the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and chicken-wire netting to build a large art piece called ‘Liquid gold’. It will feature at the entrance to the fair in Beechworth Soldiers’ Memorial Hall which is expected to be a major drawcard from March 31 to April 2 during the town’s Golden Horseshoes’ Easter festival.

Jo said the work would point to the high intrinsic cost and environmental costs of bottled water, which has been at the heart of a contentious campaign in the Stanley community in the past four years.

The community has wanted to protect its groundwater for productive agricultural use but late last year the Victorian Appeal Court rejected its bid to have a decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal that allowed water to be taken for bottling overturned.

Jo said the installation also tapped bottles’ centuries-old use as a means by which someone in distress could launch a message of help or rescue.

Golden Art Fair will feature smaller works by Jo and other North East artists will also participate, including spinner and weaver Rose Gardner, Beechworth printmaker Chris Dormer, Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance members Jacquie Coupe, Isobelle Sirianni, Kathy Whelan and Maggie Hollins, artist and illustrator H. Fish, painters Inga Hanover, Tania Sutton and Kay Hampton, photographers Pamela Thomas and Holly Borschman, basket-maker Jan Clements and quilter Maureen Cooper.

The fair will be open daily between 10am and 4pm. Bottles can be left in wheelie bins near Splatoons’ cartoon shop in Beechworth’s High Street.

See http://www.beechworthgoldenhorseshoes.com.au/program for more information.

Young photographer fronts Golden Art Fair

TALENTED: Holly Borschman (front) with Beechworth Secondary College fellow 2017 VCE art students Indigo Rowe and Elvie Rooney and art teacher Nina Machielse Hunt within a montage of Holly’s VCE photographic entries. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

AN emerging Beechworth photographer and a frontier installation sculptor are among North East artists and crafters who will demonstrate arts practice and show works at Beechworth Arts Council’s inaugural ‘Golden Art Fair’ during Easter.

VCE 2017 graduate Holly Borschman and established sculptor Jo Voigt are two among 12 who have been invited to show representative works from their portfolios during the town’s annual Golden Horseshoes Festival.

They will be joined by Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance members Kathy Whelan, Jacquie Coupe, Isobelle Sirianni and Maggie Hollins, Beechworth printmaker Chris Dormer, spinner and weaver Rose Gardner, artist and illustrator H. Fish, and painters Inga Hanover and Kay Hampton at the three-day fair in Beechworth Soldiers’ Memorial Hall.

Quilter Maureen Cooper, painter Tania Sutton, photographer Pamela Thomas and basket-maker Jan Clements complete the line-up.

Jo will also use hundreds of recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to create a major installation through which people will walk to enter the fair.

It is to be called ‘Liquid gold’ and will interpret the high intrinsic and environmental costs of bottled water, which often retails well above the pump price of petrol, yet is an elemental compound almost freely available from a tap and vital for life, farming and food. The fair will be open March 31-April 2 between 10am and 4pm.

Golden Horseshoes celebrates Ovens goldfield miners’ hard-won right to elect their first Victorian parliamentary representative in 1855 and is Beechworth’s major festival of the year.

It attracts up to 20,000 people for numerous events in the town’s historic heart, including a grand parade on Ford Street on Easter Saturday afternoon.

See http://www.beechworthgoldenhorseshoes.com.au/program or beechworthartscouncil.org.au for more information.