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

Burrinja logo

Advertisements
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.

Burrinja logo

burrinja makes the top ten

burrinja-sky

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”.

Burrinja GalleryBurrinja theatre

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.

Burrinja logo

Belgrave Survival Day – Celebrating 10 years

smoking-ceremonySmoking ceremony photo by D.Clarke.

On Thursday the 26th January, 2017, Belgrave Survival Day will celebrate its 10th consecutive year. Once again celebrating Indigenous culture and the survival of Australia’s First Nations people through 228 years of white settlement. This year’s festival will focus on the theme of ‘Knowing your local history, and as always is a free family friendly event.

This year the theme focuses on understanding your local history. If there is one action a person can do to show solidarity and start to bridge the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people it is to get to know your local history. This year award winning author Bruce Pascoe will be a special guest speaker sharing stories from our local history. Author and historian Jim Poulter will also have a stall with books outlining Victoria’s indigenous history.

The Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony will be led by Wurundjeri elder and educator, Uncle Bill Nicholson, followed by traditional dances performed by ‘The Djirri Djirri’ dance mob where the audience will be invited to join in. Aunty Dot Peters will also grace us with her presence and share some of her wisdom.

Djirri Djirri Dance Group courtesy of their facebook pageThe Djirri Djirri dance mob.

The line up includes Benny Walker, who will be on the stage again as the lead act with his band. His love songs and epic tales are mixed with passion for the land, the people. His summer vibes and deep grooves are elements that reach the soul.

Benny Walker and BandBenny and the band.

The day will also welcome back The Deans, who will bring classic sounds and grooves with velvet smooth vocals, sweet harmonies, soaring heartbreak guitar, deep Mo-town bass grooves and hip-shaking rhythms. They are sure to get you moving.

Benny and The Deans will be supported by Gunditjmara singer songwriter Jayden Lillyst. Jayden tells stories of his people through a dose of country rock mixed with soul and blues.

The fabulous voices of the Mullum Mullum Choir and the vibes of the Hip Hop Crew will also feature. Then be calmed as you participate in a Digeridoo Mediation with Gnarnayarrahe Waitiarie (Uncle Joey).

There will be plenty of activities to keep the kids (and adults) busy with fun music and dance, art and craft opportunities, the children’s playground and more.

Soak up the atmosphere on a picnic rug in front of the stage or stroll around the market and information stalls. Catering for all food requirements with a variety of food trucks including traditional bush tucker. This event is alcohol-free.

Due to parking limitations around the park the Survival Day organisers strongly encourage people to catch public transport, carpool or park at Belgrave Train Station where you can get the shuttle bus provided, or take a quick 5 minute walk to Borthwick Park.

The event will be simulcasts on 3MDR 97.1 FM.

To find out more go to Belgrave Survival Day facebook or events page

When: 26th January 2017
Time: 12 noon – 4.30pm
Where: Borthwick Park (next to Belgrave Pool) Benson St, Belgrave.
Melways reference 75/F11

final-survival-day-2017-26-10-16

The Belgrave Survival Day event is organised by a committee of volunteers. They invite new volunteers to help with preparations for the festival, to assist on the day, or join the committee to keep the event happening in the future.

Burrinja logo

A brief History of time with cake by Cameron Semmens.

Space… the poetic frontier

A brief History of time with cake by Cameron Semmens.

Post by Adriana Alvarez

Malcolm de Chazal said “Space is the widest open of all mouths.”
“Then let’s shove some cake in it!” says Cameron Semmens.

Cameron Semmens, our resident poet who gave us the chance to write our own poems a few issues back, has got a new book out. It’s poetical, gastronomical and astronomical! It’s a space-themed collection of new poems and classic cake recipes. “I hope you will experience it as a marvel of entertaining tastiness for mind and mouth!” says Cameron.

If you like baking cakes, or space, or poetry – or perhaps all three, then this book could be for you!

“A Brief History of Time with Cake”
– Poems about Space (inner and outer)

  – Recipes for Cake (yummy and scrummy)

Includes recipes like for you to bake at home:
– The Zero Gravi-teacake
– The Baked Moon Cheesecake
– The Anti-gravitational Mousse
– or even, a Pavnova!

Or  you could simply feast upon the poems, including:
– The Asteroid Theory for The Extinction of Despair
– Poem 9 from Outer Space
– and The 23rd Jedi.

Cameron will be launching his book at Grunge Café, Belgrave.
“Cake Expectations, a poetry night” is on Monday December 12th at 7pm. Free entry. 

On the night you can sign up to the open mic – preferably with a poem on the theme of space, or cake. You can perform your own or read a classic. If you’ve heard Cameron at hillsceneLIVE you’ll know that it’s a great experience. Cameron’s performance is fun and entertaining and his quirky poems are amusing and delicious. Come along and listen, laugh… and, if you’re brave enough, even share your own poem on space, or cake!

The usual great quality Grunge cake and coffee will also be available for sale and you’ll be able to buy “A Brief History of Time with Cake” at the special launch price of $15.

Cameron Semmens performing

If you want to get a copy but can’t make it to the launch you can order it online at www.webcameron.com or you could pick up a copy at The Belgrave Book Barn or Grunge Café.

Cake Expectations “A Brief History of Time with Cake” book launch
Monday December 12 at 7.00pm
Grunge Cafe – 1696 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave

Burrinja logo

The Arties exhibition at Burrinja

A New World; Created Through Art

__dsc_0127

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.

__dsc_0125

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.

__dsc_0124

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’.

__dsc_0126

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.

arties-collage

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.

Burrinja logo

belgrave farmers market reboot

Belgrave Farmers Market

The Belgrave Farmers Market began last year with great promise, but after a few markets and a relocation, it was put on hold for a while. Now they are back. I spoke with Gourav and Liz from the steering committee to find out what’s been happening behind the scenes and what to expect from the new, improved market.

The Belgrave Farmers Market was started a year ago at Mater Christi School. Unfortunately after a few markets, there was a slight hiccup when the key person that was running it  relocated from the area so it was closed down. A few dedicated locals realised the desire for a farmers market in Belgrave and a new steering committee was formed early this year.

Farmers markets require 3 simple, but key ingredients – patrons, stall-holders and access. We reviewed the first avatar, and determined that the market suffered on all 3 counts – sustained lack of patronage, insufficient stall-holders (especially fresh produce) and the lack of adequate parking and ease of access to the marketplace.

The reformed version of the market (which started in June) changed some of this – we relocated the market to St Thomas More Primary School, which provides a lot more parking and is closer to many amenities; and we had an organic produce stall. That helped prove that a market could work – patronage was loyal, and some really good producers were willing to participate – however, we were unable to attract stallholders in sufficient numbers to the market. This is due to the fact that there are plenty of farmers markets in existence, and consequently many potential stallholders have conflicting commitments. As a team, we realised that we did not have sufficiently deep networks or relationships to promote the market to potential stall-holders, and needed someone who brought those networks with them. We decided not to risk the market, still in its infancy, from getting a reputation of being too small, and took a break over Winter to review our options.

Luckily we have had Regional Farmers Market come on board to assist – it is an organisation started by Peter Arnold, but now actively managed by Claire and Melissa. They are almost the pioneers of the current form of Farmers Markets in Melbourne and have been doing this for 20 years. They manage farmers markets across the city, among others, the Bayside, Heathmont, Beaumaris and Williamstown Farmers markets – and bring a wealth of experience and the right connections that, we believe, can build and grow our market. They are responsible for getting stall holders through their large data base. There will be over 20 stall holders at the new re-launch on 23rd October.

One of the other key decisions that the committee made was to evaluate moving the Market to a single day – on the 4th Sunday of every month. The fabulous Big Dreams Market is held on the 2nd Sunday, and the gap of a fortnight should give sufficient ‘breathing room’ to both the events. In addition, there will be sufficient variation in the composition of the stallholders to be able to keep the visitors (i.e. You!) engaged and returning every fortnight.

We would like to see the Belgrave Farmers Market become the “go-to” market for producers in the Dandenongs and the Yarra Ranges, and for it to become a hub for organic and bio-dynamic producers in the Eastern suburbs. Obviously, this will take some time to accomplish – but I believe that we have the right ‘mix’ of people and attitude in the Hills, and in our new Market managers, to see this through. We’re also looking for locals who are interested in the journey forward to join the Belgrave Farmers Market steering committee. They just need to bring their enthusiasm and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

Belgrave Farmers Market
Sunday 23rd October 9am-2pm
St Thomas More Primary School, Reynolds Lane, Belgrave

Burrinja logo

Class Comedy

buckets-list-main

Hills dwellers need not travel to the inner city for hilarious first class comedy – Melbourne Fringe on tour returns to Burrinja with Bucket’s List, a satirical comedy about love and buckets by multi award winning Belgrave writer Sarah Collins, starring Justin Kennedy and a possum plus live music on stage.

“The show itself is a gem of a thing – inspired by a real life bucket salesman I met at a wedding,” says Sarah. “The show has been so positively reviewed, and I swear he is why. He is one of the kindest, nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was just totally inspirational. He was actually a bucket salesman by day and wedding DJ by night, and these two disparate worlds just HAD to be explored in a show, I felt. The trick was figuring out how to bring them together into a cohesive show that had a storyline and made sense and felt complete, not just novel. The jumping off point for me was these two jobs he did. Beyond that it was about imagining a world where something interesting happens because of those jobs. I had to explore the world of buckets and love and figure out a path for them to come together. So that’s essentially what the show is – a collision of these two worlds.”

Sarah and Justin share an underground house in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges – which has been featured on the Design Files blog.

With a hilarious support set by another seasoned local comedian Michael Connell this is sure to be a night to remember. Michael, who’s performed on Australia’s Got Talent, Rove, and other TV shows, mixes big ideas with big laughs before throwing in a few surprises.

Are you a budding writer or comedian or both?  Here’s your chance to learn from this talented duo by taking part in a Comedy & Script Development Workshop with Justin Kennedy & Sarah Collins the weekend before the show. Bucket’s List is a storytelling show, told through the mediums of narration, physical comedy, live music and puppetry – and this workshop brings all of these experiences together.

“We’ve been getting asked to do more and more of these comedy/writing workshops in recent times, which is great, because we really love talking about ourselves and feeling like we still know things after being on a big parenting kick the last two years!” Sarah explains. “A session just like this was what got me into writing my own things back in 2004 and I would go so far as to say it was life-changing. Certainly career changing at the very least.”

“The biggest thing we want participants to know is that the workshop is not at all scary. You don’t have to be a genius to get something from what we’re teaching. It actually takes the process back to the very basics and gives everyone these ridiculously simple tools to create their own work.”

bucket-list-collage

Clockwise from top: Sarah Collins, Justin Kennedy and Michael Connell.

 

Comedy Class – with Justin Kennedy
Justin is a stand up, actor, and head writer for Channel 10’s The Project. He has written for Letters and Numbers and Rove and has been a regular on the Comedy Channel for years.

From Idea to Script to Show – with Sarah Collins
Sarah is a Belgrave based writer and performer known for her comedic storytelling shows.
She has won numerous awards for her script writing and her shows have enjoyed sell out seasons at La Mama, Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, the Arts Centre Melbourne – Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and even Toowoomba! Her show Bucket’s List has received straight 5 star reviews and won the Tiki Tour Award.

“We’re so happy to be playing at Burrinja, our home arts centre! We’ve had such amazing support from the hills and can’t wait to play for all our friends here.”

Bucket’s List, with support act by Michael Connell plus Comedy & Script Development workshop at Burrinja – Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Dr, Upwey.
Workshop: Sunday 2 Oct, 2 – 4:30pm
Performance: Friday 7 Oct, doors open 7:30pm
Cost:  Performance $18 – $28 | Workshop $25 | Workshop &performance $44
Fantastic student price for the show and workshop just $35
Contact: 9754 8723

Burrinja logo

 

oxjam up close

oxjam logo

Post by Gareth Hart.

What happens when you place event organisers, a venue, musicians and social conscience in the same space? OXJAM at the Skylark Room. that’s what.

According to the OXJAM website, the program “is a month-long party against poverty where hundreds of music lovers from all over the country create and throw their own gigs and parties, all in aid of Oxfam’s vision of a just world without poverty. OXJAM is one unforgettable month of DIY gigs and parties across Australia, all in support of Oxfam’s life-changing work around the world”

It is a nation-wide demonstration of how two things I believe deeply in, can blend into one: live performance and humanitarian values.

OXJAM is an exciting project that showcases how a venue-based model of artistic support can have a social conscience and contribute in a very real way, to an enriched, more connected and integrated future. From the Skylark table, 20% of ticket sales are being donated to OXJAM, with the added bonus of happy hour drink specials to support the cause between 7pm-8pm.

So why are the event organisers running this? According to the Skylark room, “We are so pumped for this gig on Friday night! It feels amazing to be doing something to actively help kids have access to the basic rights and services that we take for granted everyday”. The enthusiasm with which this new venue is supporting and advocating social justice through creative endeavours is amazing.

Spare Tyre politics

Spare Tyre Politics

On the night, Spare Tyre Politics, Khristian Mizzi & Pia Nesvara share their musical love for a great room & a great cause. 3 great acts for only $10! $2 from every ticket sale will go to Oxfam. So, this Friday, get along to the Skylark Room, 351 Glenfern Road, Upwey, and enjoy an incredible night of music, great local beverages and receive a huge amount of good creative karma by supporting a worthwhile cause.

The team are attempting to raise $500 through the night, which would be an exciting achievement. If you can’t make it to the gig, you can support the cause by giving online at: www.oxjam.org.au/theskylarkroom

Burrinja logo

Beneath the surface

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

It’s opening night at What Lies Beneath, a group exhibition currently showing at Burrinja, and the crowd is lively and sociable. We are greeted by gorgeous fruit platters, nibbles and wine at the entrance. Inside a woman painted white and wearing an eco-dyed wedding dress mingles in the crowd. The works around the gallery offer a myriad of sights and sensations waiting to be devoured. It’s shaping up to be a great night for this group of artists.

What Lies Beneath is an exhibition of works emerging from a series of eco-printing workshops lead by local artist Jacqui Grace and soul crafter Rebecca Funk. Eco-printing engages the pigments in leaves, natural fibres, metal and heat to create prints and imagery that resonate with an organic and unpredictable nature. The workshops were held over two weekends in Winter. “We did the workshop so we could let people engage in the process of eco-printing to take some time to see what would emerge as they stayed with a theme” says Jacqui Grace. “And because from previous workshops I’d done such an amazing body of work comes out just after one day. I thought what would it be like just to display this and let people curate their story. So that’s why we did the workshops and an exhibition at the end.”

KLB_7979

At the opening night a dance performance and poetry reading is followed by the unravelling of a large piece of silk, a collaborative piece made by the group during the workshops and which had been sitting in the dye until this moment, waiting to be unveiled. Everyone had contributed with words written on paper and other pieces gifted to the creative process. “It’s amazing how cohesive the group was right from the beginning,” says Michelle Morgan one of the artists. “I felt like there was a real community of support, it was really quiet beautiful.”

This exhibition has a lot of heart and emotion. Beautiful, strong organic colours mingle with subtle natural imprints in the works. The theme What Lies Beneath lends itself to a lot of probing and questioning. As ‘what lies beneath’ is usually something we try to keep hidden, buried deep.

Works such as Amanda Scott’s Little Books of Experience – Perfectionism, Depression, Fear and Joy, which viewers are invited to look through portray the idea of a guarded inner life. These are paired with an installation of a silk dyed dress, a lace umbrella and a birdcage, which express the feeling of fear turned to joy at the unexpected outcome of the work.

Kate Heron also offers an interactive experience with her work Unravelled, which has a set of boxes to open and look inside, illustrating a complex journey of emotions such as fear, shame, disappointment and cowardice, all emotions to be overcome. A mantle sitting on a wire cage shoulder mold extends the piece, acting like a ghostly figure in the space.

Michelle Morgan whose work includes a dyed wedding dress, which she wore on the opening night as part of the performance, agrees that it was an emotional experience. “Every step of the way it was a real process of fear and risk and having to step over that fear edge, it was quite amazing. So for me the dress is kind of an embodiment of being able to take creative risks. And kind of living that through the workshop is now flowing into my life as well. So noticing those moments where I’m in fear of doing something in my life and actually going, ahh this is another moment of risk and actually having the courage to do it. So I’m so grateful for that… what happens inside the workshop flowing into my life.”

Journey’s also feature heavily in the exhibition, such as Cassandra Barrett’s work which shows the journey of What lies beneath. From the beginning circle of gathering which embodies the group energy through the impediments on the journey, digging deep for insights; to a dream catcher that incorporates pieces from her grandmothers and mothers sewing kit, linking to the past then leading to the final pieces which were the jewellery attached and woven through wire and silk. Many of the works, like this one, incorporated elements from the dyeing process including rusted metal parts, organic matter, scrolls, papers and twine but with their own individual touches. Cassandra’s work includes encaustic wax, photography and drawing to create transparent evocative effects.

Kate Borradaile, whose works include photography, botanical matter and the elements of the process said, “the theme of What Lies Beneath intrigued me and I jumped in, eager to discover more about the eco-printing process and about myself. My pieces in the exhibition show parts of my process; the initial gathering of leaves, discovery of age-old rage within, of impossible and fleeting beauty in the eco-printing process and of the transcendence from tragedy to seeds of knowing. Such discovery!

The thing that strikes me about the exhibition is that all the works are beautifully differentiated, despite sharing the same process of creating works through the eco-printing process. Many have used wedding dresses, which were sourced by Jacqui from a supplier that was closing down, but they are all presented and crafted in very different ways. Some like Diane Glendale’s The Bridge of Time as installations with multi media, film and painting. Others like Jacqui Grace’s includes a book of process made from silk and sewn with poetry. Her dresses embellished with fur, rusted frying pans, chicken wire and rose thorns.

Rebecca Funk agrees “the container was eco-printing but definitely everyone took it in such different directions.” Her work of a standing figure with a hole at it’s heart that you can peer through was dictated by a wool scarf that she had dyed with a heart on it. “It lead me to a whole exploration about armouring, my defensive postures in life,” says Rebecca. “So a piece emerged about peeking through my armour to my heart and it’s actually been a piece where I can stand at the heart space and look out and looking out it’s such a limited perspective, I kind of want the armour to move back a little bit. So it’s entirely dictated by what came out of the eco-printing, I didn’t set out to make a certain piece.”

There’s so much going on in this exhibition it’s difficult to mention every work and story. What’s clear is that it was an intense and emotional journey that included both individual awakening and a spirit of community. This exhibition contains all my favourite things. Beautiful fabrics, paper, words, organic colours, natural processes, the delight of the unexpected and the spirit of collaboration, making this an exhibition well worth visiting more than once.

What Lies Beneath is showing at Burrinja until August 7.

KLB_7950

Photos by Kate Borradaile  www.kateborradaile.com.au

Burrinja logo