Belgrave Carnival 2014

Belgrave Carnival

Belgrave Carnival 2014

We covered this Carnival in last years Autumn issue for it’s premier event. It’s almost that time of year again… when the hills come together for the annual Belgrave Easter Carnival! So you can support the Good Friday appeal without having to head out of the hills.

This wonderful family event is held on Good Friday, April 3rd 2015, from 10-3pm at St Thomas More Primary School, Belgrave. It brings local businesses together in support of a fun day out for local and visiting families. At the same time, it also raises much-needed funds for children’s medical care at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Carnival Head Coordinator, Bek Milikins of local children’s store Hugs for Kids says, “If ever there was a time to ride a donkey in support of our children’s hospital, it’s at Easter!”

“Join us this year for a fantastic family carnival – with something for little kids, big kids, parents and grandparents. Best of all, it’s happening right here in your local hills community,” Bek adds.

This year, the Carnival will feature:

  • Exciting rides, including a jumping castle for littlies
  • An animal farm and reptile petting zoo
  • Face painting
  • Delicious local food

There will also be a great range of prizes on offer in the Spinning wheel and Raffle… And of course, the inaugural Easter Egg Hunt!

At least 70% of all ticket sales will be donated to the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Good Friday Appeal. This is made possible by the incredible generosity of local businesses. Many of them are covering the costs of the day themselves, volunteering their time, and paying for the rides and food as their donation.

To find out more go to the Belgrave Carnival facebook page. Bring the whole family for a great day out and help to support a worthy cause.

BelgraveCarnival_DL no crops

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from chasm to cave editioned

From Chasm to Cave

from chasm to cave editionedFrom Chasm to Cave limited edition bookJustine Walsh and Shelley Krycer

In keeping with our new collaborative projects which we’ll be including in the hillscene this year, here’s a perfect example of how collaborations can serve to extend and inspire us as artists. This Thursday at tiffaney bishop COLLECTIVE (tbC) in Belgrave, local poet Justine Walsh and visual artist Shelley Krycer launch a collection of exciting new works on paper collaboratively created by the two, including a limited edition art book ‘From Chasm To Cave’.

The collaborative process has been both an inspiration and a supportive framework for the creation of the three bodies of work to be exhibited this week. While Shelley and Justine first crossed paths in 2012 through many hills based artistic projects, events, and both participated as artists and mentors at tbC, it wasn’t until 2014 when collaborating on a live art performance that their ongoing collaboration was born. One large sheet of paper was shared and used to respond to speakers at the Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Management (OELLEN) AGM. Justine wrote and Shelley drew. Moving around and across each other to form richly layered text and image, their lines interconnected, overlapped, grew out of each other. Over a couple of hours, from the front of the AGM, an artwork was created and a new way of working was discovered. They left the event inspired and excited to see where else this could go.

Justine Walsh and Shelley Krycer

Previously, they had been familiar with each other’s work, both finding a deep interest and respect for each other’s practices. Through this creative play they discovered mutual interests in making works that are earthy and ethereal, delicate and powerful, personal and universal. These dynamic energies and contrasts have allowed Shelley and Justine to create engaging and highly evocative work.

Shelley Krycer at work

The process of creating the live artwork struck a resonance in them. On the way back from the AGM, discussions led them to a concept; a book consisting of Justine’s text and Shelley’s art – simple but powerful with room to explore a range of ideas. They began working on it that very day, and discovered a while after choosing the poem that Shelley was in fact present while Justine was workshopping it with another poet in 2013 drawing the two engaged in the creative process for an ongoing collection of drawings. Such organic encounters and connections play a large role in the inspiration behind their work.

Justine Walsh at work

The collaborative process has been naturally intuitive and playful, with both artists finding joy in following the work and seeing where it can take them. Intensive studio sessions proved prolific, and their mutual adoration of texture, tone and nuance has led them to many unexpected and wonderful places. The works reflecting this interaction are unique and diverse, clearly created with wonder and tenderness.

The From Chasm to Cave launch & exhibition opens 6-8pm on Thursday 26th March at tiffaney bishop COLLECTIVE, 1658a Burwood Highway, Belgrave. Limited edition copies (edition of 75) of From Chasm to Cave will be for sale for $30. There will also be performances by Justine of both song and spoken word poetry. The exhibition is also open over the weekend 12 – 3pm Sat and Sun.

Both artists will be involved in Open Studios Weekend – April 18 – 19

Form Chasm to Cave exhibition

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A Natural Love Affair

Melinda Wallis feathers

Post by Adriana Alvarez

I was lucky earlier this month to step into Limerence on the opening night of their first exhibition for the year, ‘A Natural Love Affair’ by Melinda Wallis. It’s a moment of firsts because this is Melinda’s first exhibition. Despite her reservations about exhibiting, her work shows the confidence of an artist with a natural affinity for colour and design. Melinda said she normally paints, but in this exhibition she has explored other mediums. Putting together a series of natural objects like feathers, beads, branches and fabric to create beautiful sculptural works. The organic nature of the objects is enriched by arranging them in a subtle symmetry to enhance their beauty. We talk to Melinda about what inspired her to create and exhibit these pieces.

Tell us a bit about your current work.

So at the moment I’m being inspired everywhere I look! A beautifully shaped branch on the ground on the side of the road is all it takes. I wanted to combine the beauty I see around me with some of my favorite colors at the moment, and mix them together to create a beautiful wall piece that made me happy. This is a very indulgent group of pieces!

Why did you decide to have an exhibition?

This exhibition was the perfect next step for me, not too daunting, but still more pressure than I’ve previously put on myself in the last twenty years. I love the feel of the shop, and knew I could contribute in a unique way. It was just the right time.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges, and is the environment you live in important to your making?

I’ve only lived in the hills for three and a half years, but my heart and soul has always been here. I grew up not too far away, but the Dandenongs have been such a special place over the years, and such a saviour at times. I feel at peace the minute I start the climb up the hill from Upper Gully! I always knew I would live here, I never imagined settling anywhere else, and I am never leaving, I plan to be buried in my backyard!

Melinda Wallis exhibitionMelinda Wallis feathers

What motivates you as an artist?

Lots of things motivate me, other artists are a big one. I love to see what others are doing, a colour combination or new texture might send me off on a whole new train of thought. Nature and my surrounds inspire me, especially beautiful shapes and colors.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

In the three or so years I’ve been here I feel like my family and I have settled into hills life pretty well ! My daughter goes to Belgrave Sth Primary, and I’ve lost track of the hours I’ve spent up there in one capacity or another. I’m currently working with the whole school to produce gorgeous works of art to be auctioned at the fete. I go to a weekly art class to engage with like minded others. I always shop locally as I feel that its so important to support those around you. My daughter also attends various activities like dancing and scouts, and I try to involve myself as much as a can.

Do you have any strange obsessions that you care to share with out readers?

I definitely have a fabric obsession. You should see my house ! Color really speaks to me. A particularly beautiful shade can take my breath away.

What do you wish you knew about being an artist before you got started?

There are so many things I wish I knew earlier about the creative process. The biggest is about removing the clutter from your life to allow the creative you to come forward. Art can be whatever moves you, you don’t have to fit into a nice little category, just do your own thing. I think also for me, I know now that I won’t be happy unless I am expressing myself creatively in some way. The medium will change, but there always has to be an outlet.

Melinda Wallis textile work

Who are your creative hero’s?

I don’t really have any creative heroes, no one that jumps out at least. I love the work of Mia Oatley, a Queensland artist. I love Amanda Brooks and Joel Rea, yet at the same time one of the young girls in my art class constantly inspires me with her free spirit, as does my eight year old daughter.

Where can people find more information on your practise or upcoming exhibitions or projects?

Nowhere!! I don’t have a website, etsy page or facebook page ……. Maybe I should sort one out! I thought I would see what the reaction was like to my first exhibition before I got too carried away with self promotion!

Something else you want us to know? Here is your chance!

Nothing else to add really. I would love to hear any feedback or questions about my work, including commissions. My email is melinda.wallis@ – thanks for reading!

‘A Natural Love Affair’ by Melinda Wallis is showing at Limerence till March 25.
2/1642 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave.

Melinda Wallis exhibition