CategoryOur Diary

Nigel Featherstone – The Story of the Oars

Friday 15 May 2020 at 5pm
The Street – public showing via Zoom
Register online at https://www.thestreet.org.au/shows/first-seen-story-oars-nigel-featherstone

Top picture credit: Barbie Robinson

You are invited to join an online in-progress showing of this new stage work, a play with songs,  which is part of the First Seen initiative of The Street Canberra.

  • Playwright: Nigel Featherstone
  • Dramaturg: Anne-Louise Rentell
  • Director: Zsuzsi Sobolsay
  • Cast; Tracy Bourne, Tom Byrne, Sally Marett, PJ Williams
  • Duration: 120 minutes
Barbie speake with Nigel Featherstone about The Story of the Oars
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Ellis Hutch and Nicci Haynes: Self as Subject

Curated by Jas Hugonnet
Online at
M16 Artspace

Self as Subject showcases video works by Nicci Haynes and Ellis Hutch. Bringing these two works together highlights the phenomenon of artists making themselves the subject. 

It also says something about the artist being the generator of content and the one ultimately in control of the actions and ideas.

Jas Hugonnet talks about the exhibition Self as Subject

Top image: Ellis Hutch, Lake polish, Parilanjärvi, January 2016, digital image of performance. Photo Credit: Annika Harding

Nicci Haynes, Drawing and Me,2017, Digital Video, still.


Wyndham Art Prize winner announced

Online at https://kuula.co/share/7Xfvx/collection/7ldms until 28 June 2020

The winner of the $12,000 prize, based at the Wyndham Art Gallery in Werribee, Victoria, is Wiradjuri conceptual artist Amala Groom, for her sculptural work Copy Wrong, featuring a fake boomerang on a stack of $2 coins.

Former Canberra artist Robyn Kinsela was a finalist, and her work features in a the gallery’s virtual exhibition at https://kuula.co/share/7Xfvx/collection/7ldms

Now in its sixth year, the Wyndham Art Prize, attracts entries from some of the best artists across Australia. It is a curated show which profiles exceptional local artists, emerging artists, and outstanding established artists. The winner was announced in a video at the opening of the exhibition on 7 May.

wāni Le Frere, a Congolese/New Zealand trans-disciplinary artist, writer, visual storyteller, performance artist and poet, won the a $5,000 acquisitive Local Emerging Artist Prize for The Final Solution, which combined video footage of an immigrant family in a suburban kitchen with audio from a speech by former senator Fraser Anning.

Image credit and artist statement: Robyn Kinsela – What a summer!

Bushfires, smoke, more bushfires, more smoke. Packing, unpacking, repacking, unpacking. Drought, rain, floods, more rain.

My thoughts and therefore my work in the past year, particularly since December, have been underscored by bush fires, evacuations, smoke and many friends’ losses, stresses and survival.

The recent bush fire season and its ramifications keep creeping into my work at the moment.

My pictures have their roots in the real world, but are by no means images in the conventional sense. I don’t copy my subjects but interpret them. Sound, smell and touch play an important role.

Using collage and mixed media, I create rapidly at first, keeping up with my thoughts. Then I let the work rest for an hour, a day, a year or a decade, as if it needs an incubation period. I then re-see what has been created and finish the work.’

ANCA Gallery puts Tree Conversations exhibition on line

Until Wednesday, May 13, 2020
https://www.anca.net.au/gallery
https://www.anca.net.au/whats-on/2020/4/22/digital-exhibition-tree-conversations

Following a successful season at Wagga Regional Art Gallery, where it was scheduled to show until 3 May 2020, Conversations with Trees has moved to ANCA Gallery in a digital format during the closures of Covid-19.

Barbie speaks with Anne McMahon, Public Programs Officer at Belconnen Arts Centre
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Fitness centre offers free online classes

Online at https://bfitathome.com.au

The BlueFit Group has begun offering free live and on-demand fitness and sport training classes for people of all ages.

Among the sports for which skills training is on offer are soccer, basketball, golf, swimming and gymnastics.

BlueFit, which has facilities in all Australian mainland states, says that ‘staying active is vital during this time in order to prevent unhealthy weight gain, maintain a clear mind and to keep our immune systems strong.’ The website also aims to encourage communities to stay connected.

Schools Program Manager for BlueFit Kids, Ali Karouche, talks about Be Fit at Home

Canberra musician strums to a worldwide audience

Multi-instrumentalist Garry Owen was involved with several music groups before the COVID-19 emergency.

He’s now leading ukulele groups in Canberra and further afield via live YouTube streaming, and they’re open to everyone.

He recently contacted ukulele groups in New York City and presented a 90-minute ‘strumalong’ session with words, chords and music.

In this interview, Garry Owen describes how he set up virtual ukulele sessions, and offers advice for others wishing to present material online.

The Ukes aLive Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/Ukemeister, and it has links to the YouTube channel

Jig’s up for COVID-19 as mad kelpies chase online audience

While the world’s reeling from coronavirus, there’ll be reels and other Celtic music a-plenty at the online Gunning Arts Festival on 17 and 18 April 2020.

Queanbeyan five-piece group Mad Kelpie Playdate has put together two YouTube playlists especially for the festival.

The Mad Kelpie’s Sean Hodgman talks about the group’s origins and name, and gives us a taste of what’s in store for the weekend

Colleen Southwell – The Shadow of Wings

Online at suki & hugh Gallery, Bungendore
https://www.sukihugh.com.au/collections/colleen-southwell-the-shadow-of-wings

Not only can you see the catalogue of Colleen Southwell’s exquisite work online at this website, you can also view a beautiful video of her speaking about her work – what motivates her, why it matters. There are also soul-lifting shots of the beautiful green Orange countryside and her delightful bounding (or snoozing) dogs.

Barbie discusses the exhibition with Colleen Southwell

All the work is for sale, as indicated in the catalogue and you can contact the gallery for more information:

Image: Colleen Southwell Unfound #8 2020 – Arches cotton paper, pigment, watercolour, archival adhesive, coated copper wire, entomology pins, framed in raw Australian Oak with non-reflective UV glass, 30 cm x 23 cm x 6 cm.

Online wearable art for Gunning Arts Festival

17 to 19 April 2020

With the inaugural Gunning Arts Festival moving online due to COVID-19, it is pleasing to note that the Wearable Art exhibition and fashion parade items will both be available via https://www.gunningartsfestival.com/

Organiser Helen Vooren tells us that there will be a great variety of wearable art on digital display and that items made for the fashion parade will be held over until the festival can occur live in 2021. Information about and by the creators will also be posted.

Helen Vooren talks about online wearable art

Wayfaring – Craft ACT

Online to 9 May 2020

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Craft ACT’s new online exhibition Wayfaring features work by four artists who have created carefully crafted jewellery and objects about walked journeys, memory and place. 

Meaning ‘to travel by foot’, Wayfaring is a creative collaboration touring three Australian cities and featuring work by artists with close associations to Tasmania: Bella Dower, Sara Lindsay, Sarah Stubbs and Zoë Veness.  

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Dianna Nixon – Millicent

Online as part of the Gunning Arts Festival

Another resourceful artist in the Gunning Arts Festival, Dianna Nixon founder and director of Wild Voices Music Theatre, will bring a preview of her production of Millicent to online audiences.

Filmed on the verandah of Pye Cottage in Gunning, Dianna Nixon introduces Gunning district playwright, farmer and soldier settler, Millicent Armstrong, and her plays.

Dianna has produced five minutes of her performance to Vimeo on a smartphone. It is available for free viewing, but not for downloading, at https://vimeo.com/407038519

She will hold a Q and A session via Zoom on Saturday 18 April at 1.30pm. Registration is by Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/540450596872168/

Dianna Nixon talks to Barbie about Millicent
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M16 Artspace extends application deadline

Apply by 30 April to exhibit in 2021

Although many artists have had a lot to manage over the last few weeks and that COVID-19 has deeply affected the arts community,  M16 Artspace is urging artists to apply for a 2021 exhibition in one of their galleries.

M16 Artspace presents high-quality exhibitions from both emerging and established artists and curators from Canberra, interstate and overseas. 
The deadline for applications has been extended to 30 April 2020.

Application forms and guidelines are available at:
http://www.m16artspace.com.au/down-load-application-forms/



First-time authors in running for youth literary awards

Children’s Book Council of Australia 2020 shortlist announced

The Children’s Book Council of Australia is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation whose mission is to promote and advocate for the sharing of quality literature for young people across Australia. It showcases Australian creators and collaborates widely to foster a love of reading.

Barbie speaks with Professor Margot Hillel OAM about the awards
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Canberra Artists Action Group

Online at https://www.facebook.com/canberraplusarts/ with meetings online at 12:30pm every Wednesday.

Dozens of Canberra-based arts organisations as well as hundreds of performers, artists and other creatives have come together to help support the arts community during the COVID-19 challenge.

The Canberra Arts Action Group, originally formed in late 2016 in response to changes in arts funding in the ACT, has been reactivated. The group is open to all with a stake in the arts and entertainment, including artists, arts workers and member of the community who engage in the Canberra region.

Barbie speaks with spokesperson Michael Sollis about the Canberra Arts Action Group
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Gunning Arts Festival to go online

17 to 18 April 2020
www.gunningartsfestival.com

Gunning Arts Festival committee has decided to postpone the physical Gunning Arts Festival to comply with national precautions to help control the spread of COVID-19. However, recognising the even greater need now for some community building and uplift, the committee has resolved to produce an online Festival this year.

Gunning Arts Festival’s Margarita Georgiadis talks about preparations for the online festival
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