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.

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.

Spring Arts flower in Beechworth

EXPRESSION: Spring Arts 2017 program cover. ARTWORK: Alicia Marshall

BEECHWORTH Arts Council’s month-long Spring Arts 2017 celebration of visual arts is blooming as November opens.

The program in the historic Indigo community starts with a weekend of open studios on November 4-5 — and with another artist also opening her mountainside studio near Tawonga — in the wake of an exhibition by King Valley artist Anita Laurance in Milawa’s Off Centre Gallery from November 3. Michael Ashby opens Under a blue sky on November 5 and it runs until December 4.

Les trois — an exhibition of printworks by Beechworth artists Chris Dormer and Tania Sutton and Stanley artist Janet Sutherland — opens at Indigo Library Beechworth on November 8 and runs to November 26.

Another Beechworth artist, Therese Shanley, exhibits Rain and good weather in the historic confines of Old Beechworth Gaol, opening on November 10 and running for nine days 10:30am-3:00pm.

Works by Woolshed Valley artist Nina Machielse Hunt show in the 1858-built Old Stone Hall in Beechworth November 10-26. The abstract landscape painter’s Wild is the wind opens on November 18.

A lively discussion about inspiration and tension in regional and metropolitan art featuring leading curators and gallery directors takes place in Beechworth’s Old Stone Hall on November 11. The art chat participants include former Art Gallery of South Australia director and NGV curator Christopher Menz.

Art under the rotunda, an exhibition of works by children from Beechworth and St Joseph’s primary schools, Montessori School and Wooragee Primary School, runs in Beechworth’s Town Hall Gardens on November 12.

The personal landscape — a major group exhibition — will open in Beechworth Town Hall on November 15 and runs until November 26. It ill be opened by Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor.

Mayday Hills Art Society marks the sesquicentenary of Beechworth Lunatic Asylum with a show of artists’ works from November 23 to December 3 at its gallery in the asylum grounds. The asylum opened in 1867. It became Beechworth Mental Hospital in the mid-20th century and closed in 1995.

Spring Arts also features workshops exploring abstraction and painting for beginners.

 

North East artists open studios

OPEN: A satin bowerbird’s bower on Three Mile Creek near Beechworth. IMAGE: Jamie Kronborg

NORTH East artists in Beechworth, Wooragee and Tawonga will open their studios this weekend to launch Beechworth Arts Council’s November-long Spring Arts 2017.

Visitors to the studios will be able to meet Beechworth’s Chris Dormer and Kay Hampton, Wooragee’s Catherine Stewart and Tawonga’s Bärbel Ullrich, discuss their creative practice and view their works.

Chris’s practice includes printmaking, etching, and collagraphs. Kay creates landscape and still life colour works in acrylic. Catherine creates paintings and works on paper. Bärbel’s practice includes printmaking, drawing and mixed media.