An Autumn Afternoon in Vaughan

May 14, 2015 - 7 Responses

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 The last few days have been very wintry – cold, grey with fitful sun and biting winds.

So, I am cheering myself up with publishing this post about a visit to Vaughan on a beautiful, warm autumn day on Friday, the 1st of May.

The township of Vaughan is situated on the junction of the Loddon River and Fryers Creek which have carved a narrow, steep valley.

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 The bush at the top of the valley.

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Looking across the valley to the rocky slope opposite.

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 The Vaughan Springs Reserve lies at the bottom of the valley. The mineral springs have attracted day visitors for many years. The reserve has seen better days when it was more popular with visitors but the giant slide has been maintained and the plantings of exotic trees supplemented with newer plantings.

The trees glowed with autumn colour in the bright sun.

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 I didn’t have time to draw that afternoon so I picked some leaves and made this pastel drawing  later.

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Giant Sunflower Garden

May 5, 2015 - 7 Responses

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The entrance to the garden

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The sunflowers stand tall and proud.

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The garden is full of colourful flowers.

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Giant insects fly and crawl about.

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There are birds watching over the garden.

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The Giant Sunflower Garden was created by the students of  Newstead Primary School under the guidance of Karen Pierce, a local artist. The birds were painted by an artist exhibiting as part of the Spadeworks exhibition in the Newstead Community Centre. The school children’s art and the exhibition were part of the 2015 Castlemaine State Festival  held from the 13th to the 22nd of March.

 

The Art of The Keep

April 27, 2015 - 8 Responses

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 This is the third post about The Keep, an open garden I visited in November 2014 as part of the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens.

In this final post I pay attention to the elements which add to the pleasures of the garden.

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 Careful attention to detail – There is harmony in the arrangement of the  blue stone pavers.

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The use of water from the smallest ………

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………… to the expansive.

 

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 A weeping log supplies the dam with bore water.

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 Wood, metal, stone and pottery are artfully combined.

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I hope you have enjoyed the posts about this wonderful garden.

Daylesford Botanic Gardens on Wombat Hill

April 20, 2015 - 10 Responses

 

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It was an absolutely delightful autumn day when I visited Daylesford Botanic Gardens on Friday, the 10th of April.

It was the last day of the term school holidays and the majority of visitors were puffing up the look out tower to take in the views of the town and surrounding countryside.

The shape and steepness of Wombat Hill suggest it is of volcanic origin but neither the brochure about the gardens nor a cursory scan of google gave any information about the hill’s origins.

I spent a lazy day wandering around the garden taking photographs, lunching among the tomatoes of the cafe’s kitchen garden and drawing.

 

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 Katie and I had our feet firmly on the ground as we admired the views.

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 The glowing, dappled light shining through the leaves of the elm drive was bewitching.

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This is a sight I am unlikely to see in Castlemaine – a holly tree full of berries. Hollies grow well in Daylesford with its cold, damp climate.

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Mica Grange Autumn Exhibition 2015

April 12, 2015 - 13 Responses

 

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 Flowers that say ‘autumn’ are Wind Flowers.

Some friends and I took advantage of the fine autumn weather this afternoon to visit Mica Grange on the slopes of Mt. Alexander to admire the garden, the views and the current garden art and sculpture exhibition.

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This group of whimsical art works have great appeal.

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And these little cuties came home with me.

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Mica Grange is the setting for two garden art and sculpture exhibitions a year. If you want to view the spring 2014 exhibition at Mica Grange click here.

 

Fridgehenge

March 30, 2015 - 4 Responses

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 ‘Beware of the Fridges

These are wild undomesticated fridges

Approach with Caution

Do not Feed the Fridges’

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Local primary schools had really got into the spirit of things putting a lot of time and effort into their fridges.

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 ‘Welcome to our mouldy old fridge.’

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 Winters Flat Primary School was into avoiding waste and saving energy in a big way.

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 As you can see, I went bananas over Chewton Primary School’s fridge. I found the imaginary contents of the ‘preserves’ in the jars irresistible.

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 Castlemaine North Primary School’s fridge ‘Balinese Food Offerings’ was covered in coloured rice grains.

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 ‘Danger, Do Not open

Sculls Inside’

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 ‘You are what you eat!’

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Fridgehenge was a project of the Fringe Festival which ran concurrently with the Castlemaine State Festival from the 13th to the 22nd of March.

The Distance Between You and Me – Jessie Stanley

March 19, 2015 - 8 Responses

The  Castlemaine State Festival is in full swing.  This festival sets the town abuzz every two years with an array of theatre, story, dance, music, film and the visual arts offered.

Which brings me to the subject of this post – Jessie Stanley’s artwork, The Distance Between You and Me, which is described in the Festival program as …..’a series of interactive and contemporary sculptural artworks throughout the historical township of Vaughan.’

Actually, this post began some weeks ago when I picked up a postcard in the Visitor Information Centre advertising a series of workshops where community members would be taught how to fold shapes to make star flowers which would be used to create an interstellar cloud in the Vaughan Cemetery. ‘You beauty,’ I thought,  A chance to get involved in the Festival in some small way.’ So off I went to the final two hour workshop at the public hall in Guildford where I struggled for an hour before successfully making my first star flower. By the end of the workshop, I felt confident enough to take some shapes home to make more star flowers.

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This was the result of my efforts. Seven more star flowers to be added to the interstellar cloud.

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On Tuesday, the 17th of March, I decided it was time to go out to Vaughan to view the completed art work. The art work celebrates the life and times of  George and Matilda Rogers (Jessie Stanley’s forebears) who lived in Vaughan in the gold rush era when many thousands lived in the area. The art work also explores the town’s relationship with water including its mineral springs. Vaughan is now a small township nestled in bushland which has regrown since gold mining ceased.

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The first step of the journey was to pick up a map created by Jessie Stanley from the kiosk in the mineral springs reserve.

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 The next step was to rest on the George Rogers memorial seat to study the map.

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 Then a refreshing drink at one of the mineral springs.

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 Leaving the mineral springs reserve, the journey took us to the former site of the ginger beer factory owned by Jessie Stanley’s ancestor. A rather bewildered Katie is tethered to the sculpture on the site of the old well.

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 Well, I opened the door……(Katie was having none of it.)……and………

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 ………there were three of me reflected in mirror panels.

(Why do I need to hold my tongue a special way when I am taking photographs?)

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 The final stage of the journey was the Vaughan cemetery where George Rogers is buried.

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 There were the star flowers representing an interstellar cloud of water vapour floating in space. A plaque invited visitors to take a flower and plant it on a grave…..figuratively dispersing the cloud throughout the cemetery, and symbolising renewal of the water cycle.

It was quite moving seeing the flowers in the cloud and on the graves dancing in the breeze.

I suspect I was moved for reasons quite unrelated to Jessie Stanley’s motive for creating this installation. But that is the thing about art, we are free to respond in our own ways to an art work.

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Jessie Stanley wanted her art works to take the audience on a journey to discover a universal story about life-cycle, heritage, and legacy.

I am sure Jessie Stanley succeeded in this aim with the people who took the time to make the journey.

In addition to the Festival Program, I have quoted from the written information provided at the paper folding workshop.

Yoga Inspirations

March 7, 2015 - 10 Responses

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On Tuesday mornings I travel to Mt. Franklin about 25 minutes from my home to attend a gentle Dru Yoga class in my teacher’s studio on her rural property.

The class is attended by 4 mature aged women.  Dora adapts the yoga postures and movements to accommodate our abilities.

Yoga encourages the quality of mindful presence. The attention is focused on the movements of the body and the breath which can allow us to engage more deeply with how we are feeling in our bodies and with our emotions.

During a recent yoga class two of the sequences proved to be especially powerful on the day.

I had the vivid experience of the image I have drawn during the Tree of Transformation sequence

There was a sense of complementary pieces locking together to form a harmonious whole, the energy of which generated the shining light.

Whilst performing the Salutation to the Four Directions sequence, we were asked to concentrate on the qualities we wanted to have in our lives at present. The qualities which manifested for me were:

Power – self mastery, standing in my power

Gratitude – acknowledging my gratitude for the good things in my life

Compassion – for myself and others

Play – making sure there is a healthy dose of fun, play and creativity in my days.

Art comes to Newstead Community Lunch

February 22, 2015 - 12 Responses

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From time to time, the Newstead Community Lunch is graced by artist, Susan Denyer.

Sue loves creating ephemeral art using natural materials from Bacchus Marsh where she lives, and Tasmania. She also uses recycled materials from opportunity shops (charity or thrift shops) and garage sales.

Sue spends the morning creating marvellous centre pieces for each table which she photographs.

The diners can spend time over lunch admiring each piece. Diners may enjoy handling or playing with objects which means some of the pieces will be in a state of disarray by the end of the lunch.

After the diners have departed, Sue packs it all up.

Sue’s art is ephemeral because it does not last – it is short lived. Other examples of ephemeral art are chalk art, sand and ice sculptures and sand mandalas.

If you want to know more about Sue’s art, you can email her: gypsy@iprimus.com.au.

These centre pieces were created a couple of Wednesdays ago. My personal favourite is the one with the blue whale in the centre. Perhaps you have a favourite also.

PS: The photographs in this post were taken by Susan Denyer.

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Some pieces incorporate hand made paper. I am glad Sue likes beach washed glass.

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A fly continues its spiritual journey moving from the heart of the spiral.

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The Keep – Making The Most of Foliage

February 13, 2015 - 7 Responses

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 This is the second post about The Keep near Taradale.

This post features the ornamental garden with its emphasis on the colours, shapes and textures of foliage.

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 Water and the green of foliage is soothing.

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 The Crab Apple garden is green now the blossoms and flowering bulbs have finished.

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There is a wide palette of greens and foliage of different colours.

The owners like clipped rounded shapes.

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 I couldn’t resist the splashes of colour the flowers provided.

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