Old flower show blooms again

A BEAUTY: Rose ‘Lamarque’ flowering in a Beechworth garden. Image: Jamie Kronborg

BEECHWORTH, Stanley, Murmungee and Wooragee gardeners are encouraged to enter Beechworth Arts Council’s revival this weekend – November 17 and 18 – of the district’s long-defunct formal Spring Flower Show.

The Arts Council has included the fresh show in its packed five-week Spring Arts 2018 program. It will be staged in Beechworth Town Hall, where it first was held on October 19-20, 1882. The Ovens and Murray Advertiser reported on October 21, 1882, that the North East Agricultural and Horticultural Association’s first spring flower show had attracted a “fair attendance” and that exhibits were “good of their kind”.

FLOWER POWER: Exhibitors admire blooms in this 1955 image of dahlias on show. Image: State Library of Victoria

Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg said the limited-category show was open to all. The only proviso is that exhibits must be grown and arranged by the entrant. He said the program had been devised so that anyone could enter exhibits from garden or kitchen. 

Intending exhibitors can collect an entry form Beechworth Visitor Information Centre or Beechworth NewsXpress or download it in PDF versions.

Exhibits are to be delivered to Beechworth Town Hall on Saturday, November 17, between 8:30 and 10:30am. Exhibitors must also complete an entry form and submit it with a gold coin donation.

The Spring Flower Show will open at 11:00am and run until 4:00pm on Saturday, offering opportunities for visitors to Beechworth Vignerons’ Spring Tasting in the nearby Soldiers’ Memorial Hall to take a short walk to see some of the North East’s finest cut flowers and kitchen garden produce. It will also open between the same times on Sunday.

Prizegiving will take place at 3:00pm on Sunday.

For more information call or text Jamie Kronborg on 0409 912 967 or email beechworthartscouncil@gmail.com.

‘Elements’ cuts new cloth

FINE CRAFT: Detail of casuarina and eucalyptus leaves and paddock flowers in Maggie Hollins’ ‘kilt’.

BENALLA and Beechworth textile and visual artists stepped into frontier interpretations of Beechworth Arts Council’s inaugural Elements of Indigo art-to-artwear project in Beechworth on November 10.

Maggie Hollins, Inga Hanover, Kay Hampton and Daren John Pope exhibited their radically distinctive takes on the brief for the Spring Arts 2018 project – to design and make a navel-to-knees garment that expressed connection to place in a way similar to that by which Celts display ‘cultural badging’ with tartan.

Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg said the creative idea stemmed from the tradition that forms and styles of clothing throughout history have evolved to identify a people’s tribe, clan, community, place, culture and even country.

EPHEMERAL: Beechworth artist Inga Hanover created this garment from recycled plastic shopping bags in native plant material from Beechworth Gorge.

“In this project, as the Arts Council’s contribution to the development of Beechworth’s longstanding Celtic Festival, participating artists were encouraged to tease apart the idea and tradition of tartan and re-work it to identify the communities of Indigo,” he said.

The two-phase project – a visual design and a created garment interpreting the form of a kilt – asked entrants to depict or express ‘elements of Indigo’ – its sky, landscapes, colours, seasons, geology, topography, plants, crops, animals and birds, and other inspirations.

TRANSLATION: Moss on rocks in Beechworth Gorge inspired Inga Hanover’s first design for ‘Elements of Indigo’.

“A kilt is a traditional skirt that covers from navel to knees and has a deep history in Gaelic, Norse, Mediterranean, Tartar and First Peoples’ cultures,” Mr Kronborg said. “The Old Norse word kjalta means ‘pleated’ – of a ‘garment or cloth tucked up and around the body’. Australia’s First Peoples wore skirts or coverings made from grass, bark, and kangaroo, wallaby and possum skins decorated with feathers and echidna quills and tooled imagery.”

Ms Hollins, from Benalla, used a re-purposed woollen blanket as the base for her work.

“The choice of materials has been deliberate,” she said. “It was dyed with commercial indigo dye. Indigofera australis is a plant that grows in Indigo Shire and the First Peoples of this place used the flower of this plant to produce a blue dye. I want the viewer to remember their own blanket, how it felt safe and warm when it surrounded them. To highlight the landscape’s beauty I layered the base textile with vegetation. When heated pigments are drawn out of the plants and leave marks on the material.”

Ms Hanover created two designs and garments – one inspired by moss on rocks in Beechworth Gorge and the other using recycled plastic and partially-dried leaves, seeds and flowers.

“The influence for (the first) design has its starting point in the geology of Beechworth and the repetitive nature within a traditional kilt fabric. The repeated motif is taken from the left hand corner of the image below of lichen on granite from the gorge. I chose the granite as Beechworth sits atop a granite outcrop, with its ancient, degraded granite soil, in Indigo Shire.”

“In (the second), a wearable garment, I have sourced a selection of native grasses, seeds, leaves and blossoms from the Gorge. Using heat, these native items have been ‘trapped’ within supermarket packaging. These items are encased/laminated in clear and white plastic bags. In some sections, the natural items are covered by several layers of clear thin plastic and their colours are subdued and hidden, in other areas the colour comes through more vividly hidden only by one plastic layer. It’s a commentary on contemporary consumerism.”

HUMOROUS: Beechworth colourist painter and illustrator Kay depicted Indigo as a village scene with playful creatures and objects adding to the scheme.

Beechworth painter Kay Hampton created a rural village scene with a mixed farming landscape.

“It is a small snapshot of an intended larger finished work, which would be incorporated into a wearable garment showing this particular style of artwork,” she said. “It would be more comprehensive by including more villages so as to be representative of towns that make up Indigo Shire in Victoria’s North East.

“The colours I’ve used, while coming from an ancient landscape, have a contemporary relevance as the LGBTQI community uses them as the colours of diversity. This diversity, as illustrated, is also strongly evident throughout the Indigo community where wide diversity is paralleled by strong acceptance.”

CHALLENGING: Beechworth fabric artist Daren John Pope used overhead projector transparencies to craft his ‘Elements’ garment.

Beechworth fabric artist Daren John Pope explored photographic repetition using historic images of Beechworth and Indigo and smart phone images with a deliberate emphasis on casual, non-discriminatory composition.

“In transferring these onto a patterned tableau, these photo snaps have been printed up, arranged in a grid format and stitched together to create a single graphic.”

  • Elements of Indigo’s five interpretations will be exhibited in Beechworth Town Hall from November 12 to 25.

Fresh take brings history to life

PROUD ADVOCATE: Kay Hampton’s completed gouache depiction of Kate Sutherland and Max as Beechworth suffragette Margaret Trim and her dog. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

BEECHWORTH artists Nina Machielse Hunt and Alan Phillips on Saturday led a public art class ‘en plein air’ in Beechworth’s historic Town Hall Gardens – a feature of Beechworth Arts Council’s month-long Spring Arts 2018.

The pair helped to guide participants to translate in contemporary media a photograph of Beechworth’s Margaret Trim taken in 1891 by leading colonial-era photographer James Bray in his Camp Street studio.

Bray was highly regarded for the quality of his work by which he documented much of Rutherglen’s development after 1866, and Beechworth’s after 1870, and its people, including many associated with the Kelly Gang outbreak.

He was one of four photographers at the Glenrowan siege in June 1880, when Ned Kelly was captured and the other three in the gang killed.

GARDEN SCENE: Beechworth’s Margaret Trim and her Saint Bernard hound against a painted backdrop in James Bray’s Camp Street studio in 1891. Photo: James Bray

The image of Margaret Trim – modelled on Saturday by Beechworth Burke Museum Friends’ committee member Kate Sutherland, and Mrs Trim’s St Bernard hound, modelled by Max the brown labrador – was one of a series taken by Bray in 1890-91 to record the women and society organisations advocating for women’s suffrage, or the right to vote “on equal terms with men”.

Mrs Trim was one of 30,000 women throughout Victoria who signed what became known as the Great Petition, tabled in Victoria’s Parliament in September of the same year with the support of Premier James Munro.

The petition also played an important role in Federation in 1901, when Australia became the first nation in the world to give women both the right to vote and the right to stand for Parliament – although women did not achieve the right to vote in Victorian Parliamentary elections until 1908.

Bray took the Trim photograph in his Camp Street studio against a painted backdrop of a forest glade or garden, the Arts Council’s inspiration for setting Saturday’s class in Town Hall Gardens.

Artists Kay Hampton, Tania Sutton, Jill Keith and Daren John Pope and photographer Pamela Thomas participated, their workings across the morning attracting the interest of passers-by in the park and on Ford Street.

FINE FRAMES: Nina Machielse Hunt and Alan Phillips helped to guide participants in ‘Fresh take’. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

KEEN EYE: Pamela Thomas sets up her Leica camera to photograph, as Daren Pope prepares to paint, the Margaret Trim ‘fresh take’. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

ART GARDEN: Kay Hampton with her gouache sketch of Kate Sutherland as Margaret Trim with her dog. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

FRESH TAKE: Kate Sutherland as suffragette Margaret Trim and Max the brown labrador as Mrs Trim’s Saint Bernard hound in Beechworth Town Hall Gardens for ‘Fresh take’. Photo: Jamie Kronborg

Walk treads Indigo art heritage

LEGACY: Kate Sutherland (left), James Toole, Jill Keith, Daren John Pope and Pamela Thomas took Beechworth Arts Council’s Spring Arts inaugural ‘Art walk’ through central Beechworth to the Gorge on Saturday, where Eugene von Guérard 156 years earlier sketched Chevalier’s Mill. The mill, owned by the family of painter Nicholas Chevalier, operated below the house in the background. Image: Jamie Kronborg

BEECHWORTH Arts Council again on Saturday (November 3) offers the opportunity for people to tread the canvas of Indigo’s art heritage with two ‘Art walks’.

Participants on October 27 took the inaugural walk – a feature of this year’s Spring Arts program – to explore the legacy of art, science, literature and horticulture in Beechworth.

The walk, devised by Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg, retraces the interaction of the ‘Great Victorians’ on the Ovens goldfield in the post-1852 colonial period and the links which developed between them.

The principal characters included meteorologist and magnetician Georg von Neumayer, artists Eugene von Guérard and Nicholas Chevalier, botanist Ferdinand von Müeller, police superintendent Robert O’Hara Burke, colonial photographer James Bray, writer and poet Ada Cambridge (Cross) and early twentieth century landscape and figurative painter Hilda Rix, who grew up in Beechworth.

ROBUST STYLE: Beechworth-raised painter Hilda Rix. Image: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (photographer unknown: 1910)

Rix came to Beechworth as a infant when her father, a teacher and poet, was appointed schools inspector in the region. Her mother, Elizabeth, was an accomplished painter and a member of Melbourne’s prestigious Austral Salon, who had attended the National Gallery of Victoria School with artists Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin, Rupert Bunny and Emanuel Phillips Fox.

Hilda Rix went on to study at the NGV School – which Eugene von Guérard established – where she was taught by McCubbin and where von Guérard had been first master of painting. She later went to England with her mother and sister before painting in France and Morocco, where she is believed to have met and perhaps worked with Henri Matisse.

Her works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and Victoria, National Portrait Gallery, Australian War Memorial, Art Galleries of South Australia and Western Australia, and Musée du Luxembourg in France.

  • For reservations in the 90-minute ticketed walks at 10am and 2pm go to https://www.trybooking.com/YMOI : $10 adults, $5 children, Arts Council members free. The walks leave from the Burke Museum in Loch Street. 

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 and background
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.

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.