Group creates new spring events
BEECHWORTH Arts Council has devised an ambitious art-to-artwear transformation project as one of the keys to its third Spring Arts program later this year.
Participating artists and crafters will be encouraged to explore and translate ‘elements of Indigo’ – drawing on the shire’s landscape, sky, seasons, colours, topography, botany, crops, animals and birds – and to depict these as visual designs in the first phase of the twopart competition.
Selected entrants will then be asked to make up their designs in ways that interpret the form of a kilt, or a garment that covers a wearer from navel to knees.
Arts Council president Jamie Kronborg said the project had been inspired by traditions of cultural ‘badging’, where particular forms and styles of clothing throughout history have evolved to identify a people’s tribe, clan, community, place, culture and even country.
He said the Arts Council had been approached earlier this year to propose an art event for inclusion in Beechworth Celtic Festival, which runs November 9-11.
The Springs Arts planning group then worked up the concept, in which participating artists will be challenged to rework the tradition of tartan in a highly contemporary way and produce a garment that identifies Indigo communities.
Mr Kronborg said the shortlisted visual designs would be shown and the derivative artwear entries modelled in Beechworth’s historic town hall during the Celtic Festival.
A complementary design competition called ‘Get yer kilt on!’ will take place in Indigo schools in the lead-up to the exhibition, co-ordinated by Beechworth Secondary College art teacher Nina Machielse Hunt.
“The Arts Council believes collaboration offers wonderful opportunities for creative and cultural expression,” Mr Kronborg said.
“Working with the Celtic Festival is one example of this approach in this year’s Spring Arts program.
“We’re also delighted to be working with the Robert O’Hara Burke Museum and Beechworth’s Anglican Christ Church community to stage Spring Arts events.”
Mr Kronborg said the museum would mount an exhibition of images depicting costume as part of the Elements of Indigo project.
It would also be a springboard for a guided walk series to tell the colonial story of Indi- go’s art heritage and the ways in which the lives of ‘great Victorians’ crossed paths in Beechworth in the 19th century.
Among these were painters Eugene von Guérard and Nicholas Chevalier, administrators like Burke and Alfred Howitt, and surveyor Georg von Neumayer.
Mr Kronborg said the Arts Council was also collaborating with Christ Church parish council to bring four young Opera Scholars Australia graduates to Beechworth on November 23.
They will sing a program of Baroque arias in the historic church – a Spring Arts musical performance first.
Innovative use of Beechworth streets as scenes for a community art event and a major open-entry, curated exhibition encouraging artists to explore ‘Indigo landscape’ are also among the program highlights.
Others include the revival of the Beechworth spring flower show, anda self-drive tour of Indigo Hills’ National Trust-classified landscapes.
Visit www.beechworthartscouncil.org.au for more information about the month-long program.
SPRING INSPIRATION: Beechworth Arts Council members Nina Machielse Hunt (left), president Jamie Kronborg, and Genevieve Milham are excited about a new collaborative art venture for local artists and crafters as part of the group’s Spring Arts program.