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 and background
M 0409 912 967
‘Indigo landscape’ group exhibition:
Springs Arts co-ordinator
M 0497 236 195