Group cre­ates new spring events

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

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.beech­worthartscoun­ for more in­for­ma­tion about the month-long pro­gram.

PHOTO: Co­ral Cook­sley

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.

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