Archive for the ‘Art Installation’ Category

More Chewton Sculptures
May 28, 2017

Richard Yates, sculptor, has been busy carving and whittling away since my previous post on this subject, as two more life size sculptures have been added to the Chewton streetscape.

Robert Penney, ‘Bread and Biscuit Baker, Confectioner and General Grocer’, stands ready to serve customers in his shop.

Robert who was born in Bath, England in 1848, accompanied his father to the Chewton goldfields in 1854. He established his bakery in the 1870s and operated the business until 1923. Robert and his wife, Ann Maria, had 10 children.

The yellow tins of Barnes Castlemaine Rock are still sold today.

The building with the peeling white paint housed Robert Penney’s bakery.

Outside the Chewton Senior Citizens Centre, Alice Dennis waves cheerily to passers-by.

Alice, 1923 – 2004, was one of those community stalwarts who help to make small communities function.

She started early, raising funds for the war effort during World War 2. Together with her 4 sisters, they formed a dance troupe, The McLennan Sisters, who performed through out local communities.

The sculpture honours Alice as a Life Time Member of the Chewton Senior Citizens. She served on many local committees including the Chewton Primary School’s Mothers Club.

The containers Alice is holding are a reminder of her famous baked treats.

The Senior Citizens Centre is a former Sunday School.

I was interested to read in the local press that the sculptures created by Richard Yates have attracted some controversy. There are local regulations relating to preserving Chewton’s historic streetscape. These sculptures of Chewton identities are seen by some as being at odds with those bylaws.

Maldon Art Walk 2017
March 18, 2017

Today, Friday, was a perfect autumn day and what better way to spend it than to wander around the nearby historic town of Maldon appreciating the art displayed as part of the 2017 Maldon Art Walk. From the 12th to the 26th of March, the work of local artists is on display in shop windows and in public spaces. The work of 100 artists is displayed in 50 venues. Tiny, little pots rub shoulders with the sausages at the butchers, a large charcoal drawing struts its stuff at the hardware shop, a painting of a carousal is a joyous addition to the premises of the local ice cream maker and a small, metal boat rolls on barbwire waves in the garden shop.

The following photographs are of a small selection of what is on show. I didn’t have to worry about reflections from shop windows with these works.

This dress is made of chicken wire, yet it looks soft and filmy – I love it.

I also love these beautiful, hand dyed felt jackets

This courtyard with the old pomegranate tree brought back memories of a lazy lunch with relatives under its shade years ago.

The court yard provides the setting for this amazing installation….

………….. as well as these sculptures.

On the far wall of the dining room of the historic Kangaroo Hotel is this painting of the Trentham Falls.

My friends and I enjoyed a hearty lunch in the dining room.

White Night Melbourne, 18th February 2017
March 1, 2017

In its 5th year, Melbourne’s White Night is a cultural event held over a 12 hour period from Saturday, 7.00pm to Sunday 7.00am.

A friend and I decided to test our boundaries by travelling down to Melbourne by train on Saturday, the 18th for our first experience of this event. We decided the attractions in the Carlton Gardens – Melbourne Museum area would be enough to occupy us for the night.

This is a YouTube rich post as what we saw was beyond words. We were picking our jaws off the ground a good deal as we experienced the attractions of the night.

It was impossible to ignore the projection show, Rhythms of the Night, on the exterior of the Royal Exhibition Building

 

The projection depicted what happens during the cycles of our sleep. Mmmmmm…..I am still waiting for a night’s sleep like this.

Nebulous was an eye catching art installation in front of the Melbourne Museum.

My friend and I wandered over to a large illuminated model of a boat made from tubes but with 7 people aboard, The Pyrophone Juggernaut turned into a rip snorting, flame spurting percussion/wind instrument complete with the occasional explosion. Yes, as we stood amazed at the spectacle before us, my friend said: ‘It was worth coming just for this!’

We were further entertained by the Sonic Light Bubble, artificial possums with glowing red eyes lodged in the branches of trees (I suspect any self respecting brush tailed possum would have vacated the Carlton Gardens for the night) and two stilt walkers dressed as flamingos.

Crowd members got into the spirit of the night with children wearing twinkling footwear running by and adults dressed up. The merchandise sellers were doing well going on the numbers of light sabres being waved and the illuminated head wear being worn.

We felt well rewarded for our efforts as we boarded the last train home before midnight.

The price of our adventure? Food and drink only. We used our free Seniors travel vouchers for the trains and trams and the attractions were free.

 

Community Water Mural, Port Fairy
December 30, 2015

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Nothing to see here‘ you would think, but you would be wrong! Even the most utilitarian of structures can be transformed by art as I discovered during my holiday in Port Fairy earlier this year.

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I didn’t realise some witless vandal (I’m being polite here) had defaced the mural by adding penises to the birds until I took a closer look at this photograph. Some people have no respect and it’s kids art for goodness sake!

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Morose looking wader.

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Grumpy seagull.

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‘Well done, Port Fairy Consolidated School, ‘ I say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vaughan – Tarilta Road Bridge
June 1, 2015

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 This post illustrates one of the unexpected drawbacks of rural living. The Vaughan – Tarilta Bridge crosses the Loddon River providing access for a small number of Vaughan residents to the main sealed road which connects Vaughan to nearby Fryers Town, Guildford and Castlemaine.

The bridge was closed in September 2012 after it fell into disrepair thus isolating residents from reliable access to the main road. The residents rely on a ford across the Loddon River used by emergency vehicles. This works only whilst the Loddon is dry. The residents’ other option is to drive along a gravel road to the main road via the tiny settlement of Tarilta. The gravel road passes through a farm property complete with free ranging geese and cows.

Residents were understandably upset when earlier this year, the Mt. Alexander Shire Council announced the kerbside waste and recycling collection services were being withdrawn because the bridge was impassable. The council expected the affected residents to take their waste to the transfer stations at Castlemaine or Maldon where a fee is charged or engage a private waste contractor. There was no mention of a reduction in the council rates payable by the residents – Grrrr!

The local press has documented the ongoing saga of attempts by council and local politicians to find funding so the Vaughan – Tarilta Bridge can be rebuilt.

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Some one is making a point through this informal art installation about the ongoing closure of the bridge.

Giant Sunflower Garden
May 5, 2015

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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.

 

Fridgehenge
March 30, 2015

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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

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.