The Upwey Archies ‘17

Calling all creatives – now is your time to shine – a light on the people and faces of our community.

2016 Upwey Archies Winner Anette Woodward

2016 winner Annette Woodward

Local creatives of all ages and abilities are invited to celebrate the people of Upwey and be part of the 2017 Upwey Archies community portrait project and exhibition.

Inspired by the Archibald Prize and ‘Not The Archies’, The Upwey Archies portraits will be presented in an exhibition across the shops and businesses of Upwey Township between 15 October – 14 November.  Bringing together the creative voices and vision of our community, this project is a celebration of the people of Upwey.

This August the Upwey Township Group, in partnership with Burrinja Cultural Centre are calling for the people of our region to contribute to this project by creating images of the people who are important to them or to Upwey. Artists can register and collect their art boards from Burrinja between 11 – 27 August and get to work in any medium they choose. Artworks then need to be delivered to Burrinja between 29 Sept and 8 Oct.

Last year the Upwey Archies project saw over 50 portraits in variety of media by a diverse range of young, emerging and established local artists exhibited through Upwey township.

Saturday 14 October at 11am the community is invited to congregate at ‘The Pirate Ship’, Upwey Main St to celebrate the official opening of this important community project. We will also announce the winners of the most outstanding portrait and encouragement awards for both the youth and adult categories. Prizes include Burrinja theatre tickets, meal and book vouchers.

2016 Upwey Archies winner Ava Lind

2016 winner Ava Lind

The Upwey Archies is an initiative of The Upwey Township Group, in partnership with Burrinja. The project is sponsored by the Belgrave Book Barn.

Important dates:

  • Register to be part of the project and pick up your art board between Aug 11-27
  • Deliver artwork to Burrinja Sept 29 – Oct 8
  • Launch event & awards Sat Oct 14, 11am at the Upwey Village Green (near the Pirate Ship).
  • Exhibition display in Upwey township Oct 15 – Nov 14
  • Artwork collection from Burrinja Nov 16  – 19

Cost:   Adult $10 (includes board) 14 & Under $5 (includes board)
Burrinja:   Cnr Glenfern Rd & Matson Dr, Upwey
Open: Tues – Sun 10am – 4pm
Contact:   9754 8723
www.burrinja.org.au

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Daniel Rigos painting outside

Dance of the savannah

'Desert converges with the sea' by Daniel Rigos

‘Desert converges with the sea’, oil on canvas by Daniel Rigos.

Daniel Rigos a local artist from Belgrave has been part of Open Studios for many years but this year he was conspicuously absent. Perhaps it’s because he has been busy travelling Australia, painting for an upcoming exhibition in Healesville. A year long journey through the Australian outback is the heart of this exhibition. Daniel’s paintings bring together themes and feelings of the landscape whilst also drifting into the ether and beyond.

Painted outside in the elements, Daniel’s paintings are inspired by the landscape but delve into other mystical worlds, blending with elements of abstraction and the surreal. Some evoke the intensity of the arid dry expanse of Central Australia, while others merge into the depths of the sea, or the majestic splendour of the mountains. Yet nothing is as powerful as the endless wide expanse of the savannah. Daniel explains “when one is confronted by its immensity, with its perfectly flat horizon, one feels truly alone. Yet somehow in this infinite space one also feels truly connected.”

Daniel Rigos painting outsideDaniel Rigos van on his Australian travels

The journey itself has impacted Daniel’s works and this narrative has changed and shaped his paintings. Daniel is usually a studio based artist working in the comforts of the studio. This year he had to contend with the elements, from the 40 degree heat of the desert rapidly drying the oil paint, to the monsoon showers of Queensland. “Some paintings were started in one location then finished in a completely different landscape,” says Daniel. “Just as the body and the mind are effected by the sudden changes of travel, so are the paintings. Landscapes morph into each other. Scale becomes irrelevant. One world shifts into another.”

Daniel lives in Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges and has been exhibiting for over 14 years. This is his first solo exhibition. He has been part of the Dandenong Ranges Open Studios weekend for many years showing his work alongside his wood artist father Yanni Rigos at Wood Alchemy gallery in Kallista.

For the travels around Australia Daniel and his wife Shakti hand-outfitted a campervan with the help of his father. They incorporated unique and rare Australian woods with antique Chinese screens to create a truly one-of-a-kind campervan.

Daniel Rigos Van interiorDaniel Rigos Van

‘Dance of the Savannah’ exhibition by Daniel Rigos
Where: The Memo, Healseville
When: Friday June 9th – Sunday July 16th
www.danielrigos.com

Polar Convergence, oil on canvas by Daniel Rigos.

‘Polar Convergence,’ (oil on canvas) by Daniel Rigos.

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burrinja makes the top ten

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Post by Adriana Alvarez.

It looks like the secret is out. Burrinja is one of the top ten places to visit in Melbourne according to UK Guardian. The post by their Australian reporter mentions it in regard to getting in touch with “traditional owners” making reference to Lin Onus’ Fish and Leaves artwork as one of it’s highlights as well as exhibitions, music and theatre.

Burrinja Cultural Centre

And indeed Burrinja is a great place to see indigenous art as it manages a rare public collection of over 600 items of Aboriginal and oceanic art from Papua New Guinea. The collection was donated to the Shire of Yarra Ranges in 2001 by Neil McLeod, a local resident and renowned photographer, book author and field collector.

But this is not the only thing on offer at Burrinja.With multiple gallery spaces for touring exhibitions, a large 400 seat theatre for live productions and artist studios and workshop rooms, it’s a hub for creative locals who can find great inspiration within it’s walls. With workshops and activities for people of all ages and abilities Burrinja encourages community engagement and inclusion. It’s support of local artists, projects (like the hillscene magazine and hillseneLIVE), festivals and events fosters a vibrant creative community, living up to it’s mission of “creating community through the Arts”.

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A visit to Burrinja isn’t complete without wandering through the Art of Place Indigenous Cultural Garden, a place to reflect, learn about and celebrate the local indigenous culture. Take in one of it’s many exhibitions, grab a gift in the gallery shop, see a show or enjoy a great coffee and meal at the Skylark Room which features brilliant music in the evenings and weekends.

Skylark Room food

So it looks like is right in naming Burrinja, one of the top ten treasures in the ‘world’s most livable city’. And we’re lucky to have it right on our doorstep.

Find out more and see what’s on at Burrinja here.

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The Arties exhibition at Burrinja

A New World; Created Through Art

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Post by Makayla Rimington

Burrinja’s Mission Statement endeavours to ‘build community through arts’ and a shining example of this is the Burrinja ‘Arties’. The Arties is a Burrinja Planned Activity Group who, in 2016, celebrate a decade of weekly meetings. The program involves adults of all abilities, from many different circumstances, joining together to create individual, expressive art.

Edges & Echoes is the chosen title for this year’s upcoming celebration. This involves gaining inspiration from subtle realms of both the imagination and reality. An opening song, followed by performances and exhibitions are planned for this significant occasion. Lynette and the volunteers have worked with The Arties for many weeks in preparation, including a dress rehearsal to practice the meaningful opening number.

Managed and funded by Burrinja and The Department of Health and Human Services, The Arties gives people that may feel outcast from the public a chance to fit in, to be accepted by a group of like-minded people in a community and arts focused facility while creating and performing. An extremely positive outcome from this Burrinja Arties program is mental wellbeing; giving people aged 20 to 70 a chance to use their individual abilities to overcome obstacles, both physical and mental.

It is an arts-based skills and learning program that emphasises cultural participation while enriching understandings of culture and community. The program also teaches socialisation skills and many art techniques.

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Lynette Forrest, an experienced Creative Arts Therapist, facilitated and designed the program that assists members of the community who are affected by mental illness and expands social support for those who are ‘at risk of homelessness’. Many of the people involved have had experience with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but having the involvement of working with other Arties gives a sense of achievement, peace and connection. Arties ‘challenges the participants to take positive risks by trying new activities, learning with artist mentors, exhibiting, performing and more’.

Lynette believes in the healing power of art, it moves beyond language and understanding, becoming instead about the physical and the pleasure of ‘doing’. ‘Anyone can do it, they can’t fail, they trust me to help them create and learn’ says Lynette.

Being treated as welcomed and individual members of the public is integral to supporting and encouraging the Arties participants to create art that tells their story.

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Each week the partakers create art-work that they have a chance to exhibit and sell once a year at the annual Arties Event. This involves painting, photography and construction all the way through to dance, music, drama and narrative.

‘The Arties get so much out of special programs like this, it is wonderful to experience’ – Dr. Ross Farnell, Executive Director, Burrinja.

‘If only everyday could be Friday’ was remarked to Lynette recently, each meeting is looked forward to by the artists, and the yearly exhibition gives the participants and their works prominence and appreciation from the community.

Lynette has found a link between art, music and mental wellbeing, she observes a positive transformation in her participants; ‘when they return next time, with a little spark, I can see that it has been a lasting change’.

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Lynette puts these amazing outcomes down to music and the arts changing and improving a participant’s self-esteem and mental wellbeing.

The latest event fell on November 4th and the Arties’ had planned an opening song with the help of Nicole from Harmonious Melodies. ‘Edges & Echoes’ is an exploration of the thresholds of imagination, space and time. The theme centres around making meaning out of reality and dreams, and the pieces created are an echo of each member’s world. The song, with the assistance of Nicole, has been written by the group, with the chorus ‘chase those bad dreams away’ coined by a participant. The song takes the members to the edge of their imagination, meeting both good and bad aspects.

The Arties exhibition

Celebrating 10 years of The Arties at Burrinja is an incredible achievement and shows the passion and determination of its facilitator, Lynette Forrest. ‘It’s amazing, my favourite job. I wish I could do it every day’. Lynette creates a happy place, an environment where the members can understand themselves and learn creative techniques to express their individuality. This year’s milestone gives recognition to the great work of Lynette, the volunteers and of course, The Arties.

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The Arties exhibition launch on November 4th.

The Exhibition runs from the 27th October to the 27th November at Burrinja.
Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Dr, Upwey.

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students inspired to have a heart

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VISUAL Communication students from Mater Christi College recently entered a Victoria-wide student art competition, Our Sunset, My World.

This Exhibition is a very special one. The theme, Our Sunset, My World, is to inspire students to appreciate and value the rich diversity of our world and their place in it through their art. The Exhibition will have the dual purpose of highlighting students’ art while raising awareness and funds for disadvantaged children in Cambodia, providing them with much needed opportunities for education and a future. All student artwork will be sold through a SILENT AUCTION process.

Students from over 100 schools entered artworks for the competition run by Have a Heart Cambodia. Find out more about Have a Heart Cambodia on their facebook page.

All six Mater Christi students that entered were selected to have their work exhibited and sold at the exhibition. This event will be held in the Atrium and the Edge Galleries at Federation Square on Saturday, 23 July. The exhibition will form part of the Cambodian Arts and Cultural Festival.

Year 10 student, Madison Winkler, said the Cambodian situation inspired her work. “My design juxtaposes the developed society that we live in, with that of Cambodian children, by illustrating key factors of everyday living in the two scenarios, through a series of playing cards,” she said.

Another successful entrant, Molly O’Bryan said, “Through my artwork, I wanted to depict the independence of Cambodian children and highlight their vulnerability”.

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Pictured are Mater Christi College students (left-right) Madi, Molly, Stephanie, Jocelyn and Stacey with their work. At the front right are portraits by student Renee.

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navigating the personal

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On October 30, the fourth hillsceneLIVE event was held in a deserted shopfront in Monbulk. It was a night of contrasts, of intimate works that needed to be viewed closely and intense bold pieces that confronted their audience. “hillsceneLIVE: navigating personal territories” looked like it had been planned perfectly to suit the space in which it was shown but as with all great performance what was on the surface is only a small part of the picture.

Everything seemed smooth and seamless on the night but these words by the festival’s artistic director, on a zine published by the creative team and available on the night for free, offer audiences further stirring insight into this extraordinary festival and the dedication it takes to lead it.

I haven’t slept properly for weeks.
I have had more anxiety this year than any other.
We lost our venue for hillsceneLIVE last Friday.
There have been moments when I was lost beyond words.
Alongside moments of clarity when I just knew “this is what it is all about”.

 I was worried no one would engage with the project at all.
This project has worn so many hats in 2015.
I thought about ‘getting a job’ a scary amount.
In a volatile cultural climate, including the biggest jolt to arts funding in my lifetime, what is my role in this industry?

What is my self induced obligation to those I see as creatively and culturally vital to our future?

 My role is to write this thing.  The program, this festival.  To nurture others and the ideas that surge forth in them.  To make you know why these artists are important.  To advocate for their support.  To facilitate the growth and nourishment of this creative world I call home.

 Here I am. 

 Gareth Owen Hart.  11:11pm on Tuesday 27th October.

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If navigating personal territories is about peeling away the surface to get to the core, the rawest most vulnerable part of ourselves, then this festival lived up to it’s name in spades.

HillsceneLIVE 2015 artists were:

Mandy Picket – Discreet Activations
Alex Mann – Painful Pollock
Paul Roberts and Cobie Orger – Not Falling, Dancing
Tal Fitzpatrick – PM Please (#PMplz)
Vivienne Rogis – Pandora’s Box
Adva Weinstein – Isn’t it just
Ellen Davies – A Concerning Dance
Rachel THorpe – No artist is ever morbid
Hugh McSpedden
tbC, Roderick Price and Sherbrooke Community School – Random Methodologies #2
Aviva Endean – Intinmate Sound Immersion
Amy Middleton
Michele Fountain – Textural Forest: Change/Transform

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Festival Team

Festival Director: Gareth Hart
Festival Producers: Alana Michaud, Justine Walsh, Toni Main, Zoe Amber PrestonProduction Manager: Stephen Moylan
Photographers: Amelia Ducker, Fergus Floyd
Videographer: Zoe Amber Preston
Caffeination: Capulus Roasters (Johno East)
Potatoes: by Phil
Market Stall holders: Charlie Robertson, Briony Sanmaria, Noris Ariza
Volunteers: Dani-Ela Kayler, Libby Maitland, Clauidia Xantidis, Kel White, Michael lawrence

Check out hillsceneLIVE on facebook

Proudly auspiced by Burrinja Cultural Centre
Proudly funded by Yarra Ranges Council

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Creative Opportunities

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At the hillscene we often get people sending us their information to share with our talented community so here are a few creative opportunities that are on the horizon…

Applications for Dandenong Ranges Open Studios 2016 close on Monday the 5th of October.

The Open Studios weekend is one of the most anticipated events for the region’s cultural calendar, attracting art minded visitors and tourists since 2004. The Dandenong Ranges Open Studios program provides a unique insight into our artists’ work environments as well as their art.
There are 5 funded Emerging Artist spaces available. For more information go to Dandenong Ranges Open Studios.

Collective Consciousness – End of the Line group exhibition

Collective Consciousness is an outdoor exhibition located in BlackSmiths Way. Participating artists will be provided with a plywood board 90cmX 120cm that can be collected from Limerence between 22 September to 31st of October* – 10am to 5pm. Each board is attached to a large fence upon installation on the morning of the festival. Please note that holes will be drilled into corners of the boards so we can attach them to the fence.
Your job as the artist is to spread your creative wonderment on the board in any medium you like, using any subject matter you like! Just please keep in mind that the work will be displayed in a public space so it needs to be safe, any objects must be securely attached to the board and the work should be weather proof – just in case we end up having  to rain dance on the day!
Please note that you will be required to drop off your artwork for the Collective Consciousness exhibition at Limerence (1642 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave) between the 3 to 20 November* – 10am to 5pm.
*Closed on Sunday and Monday

The Doll House – End of the Line group exhibition

We would love to assemble a collection of handmade dolls in a tiny and curious exhibition space… they can be as lovely or creepy as you like! We just ask that these “people”… erm, I mean artworks, be no larger than 40cm squared.
Please note that you will be required to drop off the artwork for The Doll House exhibition at Limerence (1642 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave) between the 20 October to 3 November* – 10am to 5pm.
*Closed on Sunday and Monday

If you would like to take part in one or more of the End of the Line group exhibitions please email the following details to amym@burrinja.org.au
Artist Name:
Group Exhibition you want to take part in:
Do you fancy lending us a hand installing the exhibitions?

Studio Space Available at Burrinja

Studio 3 is available at Burrinja from the 1st of December. For more details go to Burrinja studios.

The Regional Exhibitions Program is now accepting proposals for the 2016 program.

The program exhibits at:

  • The Memo Gallery at The Memo, Healesville
  • The Studio at the Arts Centre, Warburton
  • Red Earth Gallery at the Mooroolbark Community Centre

The Regional Exhibitions program is a valued part of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Department in the Yarra Ranges Council. Consisting of three galleries, these vibrant spaces are situated within multi-disciplinary art and community centres aimed to inspire and foster the community.

The Regional Exhibitions Program every year exhibits local, national and international exhibitions from established and emerging practitioners.

For all the information you need go to www.culturetracks.info. Get in touch with Jade Bitar, Regional Exhibitions Officer on 03 5965 3509 / 0419 384 526 or email exhibitions@yarraranges.vic.gov.au if you have any questions.

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Mount Everest - Twilight by Murray Lancaster

Reaching the Summit

Gokyo 3 by Murray Lancaster Gokyo 2 by Murray Lancaster

Why paint mountains? After all, anyone can visit them in situ and enjoy their physical presence.

That’s a question that many people may ask as they view my work. On a general level, my interest in mountains is both visual and philosophical. Visually, I find mountains endlessly fascinating with their intricate patterns of snow and ice, sharp ridges and serrated skylines. On a more thoughtful note it must be remembered that the highest mountains, particularly the Himalaya, attract extreme weather which results in snow and rain that helps to sustain human life elsewhere, so that they help replenish the earth. However, I also speculate on the future for them with the effects of climate change.

Mountains used to be considered the ‘abode of the gods’ and many people in olden times were fearful of going there. Although this is largely not the case now, “as the highest and most dramatic features of the natural landscape, mountains have an extraordinary ability to evoke the sacred.”* Mountains can both attract and repel us with intense feelings of wonder and awe. “Floating above the clouds, materialising out of the mist, mountains appear to belong to a world, utterly different to the one we know.”* It is this ‘otherness’ that attracts me to them.

Mountains, and more specifically Mt. Everest, have been an interest of mine for some time. I have always been attracted to them from my youth and have camped and walked on them for many years. Over the last thirty years, where I have travelled outside of Australia more extensively, my attraction in particular has been to the Himalayan range of mountains.

I have travelled to Nepal for trekking purposes six times in the last 18 years, and in 1999 I walked to just above Mt. Everest base camp. This is where my preoccupation started with documenting the highest peak in the world. Reading about mountaineers attempting peaks like Mt. Everest has given me an insight into the deprivations one must face in order to reach the summit. These are symbols of extreme effort, but along with the courage of climbers, it is inevitable that climbers’ tales also contain stories of greed and selfishness. Mt. Everest has a chequered history in this regard.

Using photography and my imagination, I wanted to specifically focus on Mt. Everest. My wish, when you view these images, is for you to imagine what it might be like to be there, to appreciate how compelling Mt. Everest can be and to enjoy its aesthetic beauty. Colour is important to me and I will not hesitate to augment or alter colours for varying moods.

Murray Lancaster

*Sacred Mountains of the World – Edwin Bernbaum

Mount Everest - Twilight by Murray Lancaster

How would you describe your creative practice?

I’ve been an artist for about 40 years and particularly like painting, especially oil painting but also working with non-traditional media such as bitumen and poster paint.

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

Having lived in the Melbourne suburbs, I’m so glad to live in the Dandenongs (have done for the last 30 years). I’m drawn to the open spaces and the forests. I find this gives me the peaceful background I find necessary to paint.

How did you get into making art?

I enjoyed doing Year 12 Art and soon after I got married I concentrated on my painting for about 18 months. Finding I wasn’t progressing further, I later completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University. I then became aa art teacher, whilst still practising my craft.

Everest - North Face

What motivates you as an artist?

Lately, my specific focus has been on Mount Everest but I have been drawn to the Himalaya for a long time. I’ve visited and walked in the Himalaya six times over a period of 18 years and am continually drawn back to it.

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

I am about to have a show at Arvy’s Gallery in Olinda. I also showed my work at Morrison’s in Mt. Evelyn about 5 years ago. On a different front, I’ve been involved with the No Maccas in Tecoma protest since it started.

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

I am a bit of a bicycle tragic and used to record and keep a tally of the number of times I rode to work (almost 2000). I also love buying obscure books from overseas about mountaineers attempting to climb Mt. Everest.

Everest by Murray Lancaster

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

Good question. I already knew it would be hard to make any sort of living from it. I think that I would have liked to have known how much time was needed  to fully commit to being an artist and how you have be prepared to work on your own. Painting is a very solitary existence in some ways, and there may not be many people to help you work through your ideas.

Who are your creative hero’s?

They are all painters. Growing up, I liked Andrew Wyeth. When I was studying, the colour of Bonnard and Matisse and the Impressionists really appealed to me. Lately, I’ve become more eclectic but I have enjoyed the work of some Australian painters: Peter Booth, George Gittoes, Rick Amor and Philip Wolfhagen.

Where can people find more information on your work and upcoming projects?

Some of my work is shown at the Redbubble website. The details for my art show are on the Facebook page for Arvy’s gallery.

“Chomolungma” Mt. Everest Paintings 2010-2015 by Murray Lancaster
September 18 – October 14, 2015Arvy’s Gallery – 540 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road Olinda.

South col with Wind turbine by Murray Lancaster

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Eva Glac artwork for "tencity of Change" exhibition

Burrinja Climate Change Biennale

Eva Glac artwork for

Australian Black Bean Pod by Eva Glac

Post by Ross Farnell

Art prize – $3,000.  Entries close August 10, 2015  LWCC high res text

A brand new art prize opportunity has just been announced, and it’s coming from our own Hills community!

The Burrinja Climate Change Biennale acquisitive art prize is a key project of the Living with Climate Change program which recently featured in our Hillscene Winter edition.

In keeping with the program’s theme of exploring through art and creative expression the changes we see on our near horizon, the Burrinja Biennale invites works that respond to themes of climate change both locally – in the Dandenong Ranges – but also nationally and globally.

Works may be across any visual arts medium, from sculpture to new media, oils to textiles; in fact any preferred medium you work with.

The Burrinja Climate Change Biennale strives to elicit authentic, non-directed audience responses to art works and the ways in which they provoke responses and contribute to the critical debate and cultural conversations surrounding climate change. That can be across the whole range of intersecting impacts: climate, flora and fauna, built environment, social and cultural change.

The Biennale is an immersive and experiential exhibition incorporating direct and online audience responses and incorporating ongoing responsive art-making activities together with the exhibition. So Burrinja is keen to source art works that draw the viewer into an active response, to think and engage with the local and global implications of climate change.

By revisiting the theme via an acquisitive award exhibition every two years, Burrinja is looking forward to building a valuable cultural and historic archive of our changing responses to climate change over the years. How will our artists be viewing and portraying their contemporary community’s responses to and changed realities of living with climate change in ten, twenty or fifty years’ time?

The award and exhibition are designed to explore and challenge ideas through creative endeavour, expressions and dialogue, allowing the conversation about their own environment to evolve, develop and extend over time. In doing so, we will create a valuable historical record of those creative responses for our community to reflect upon.

If you’re keen to create a new work that responds to this theme, or have created a work in the past two years that addresses or intersects with climate change, then here’s how you can be a part of the Burrinja Climate Change Biennale.

Visit www.burrinja.org.au and follow the links from the home page to the Burrinja Climate Change Biennale. Here you’ll find all the terms and conditions, program information, and the link for the on-line application form.

So… get busy all you creatives out there!!

KEY DATES

Deadline extended!! Entries Close – August 17, 2015
Finalists Notified – September 14
Exhibition Opening & Acquisitive Award – Sunday October 11
Exhibition Dates – October 3 to January 31, 2016

Tiffany Morris North

Shedding by Tiffany Morris North

Photos courtesy of Burrinja are artworks from The Dandenong Ranges Open Studios exhibition “The Tencity of Change”.

This project is generously supported by a Shire of Yarra Ranges Arts and Heritage Development Grant.

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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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