Life­times of artistry

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - By KYLIE WIL­SON

FOR the past 12 years, the open­ing of A Feast of Art ex­hi­bi­tion held by the Mi­lawa Gourmet Re­gion As­so­ci­a­tion In­cor­po­rated has be­come syn­ony­mous with the first days of spring in the re­gion.

And lo­cal res­i­dent and artist Robyn Cham­bers is syn­ony­mous with the show it­self.

She said the show first be­gan when mem­bers of the Mi­lawa Gourmet Re­gion As­so­ci­a­tion, who were of the view that food, wine and art go hand in hand, dis­cussed run­ning a lo­cal art show.

Among those who helped bring the ex­hi­bi­tion to fruition in its early days were the late David and Pat Beck­worth who owned Spin­drift Weav­ing Gallery in the area.

Robyn said that A Feast of Art con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength as the years go on, with last year’s ex­hi­bi­tion boast­ing around 200 en­tries.

A com­mit­ted artist for over 50 years, and a res­i­dent of the North East since the mid 1980s, she is pas­sion­ate about the show.

“The art show is a lot of work to run but it is also lots of fun and you get to meet the artists and in­ter­act with them over the time they en­ter un­til the show is over,” Robyn said. “I love see­ing what they en­ter each year. “I ab­so­lutely love open night, and hand­ing out the prizes on the night is won­der­ful.”

“I con­sider our art show very friendly in that re­spect, it is a great art show for first time ex­hibitors to get a feel for how their work is viewed.

“I have en­tered art shows my­self and had art work sold, it is a huge thrill to think some­one ac­tu­ally liked your work enough to take it home and hang it on their wall. “I was amazed the first time I sold a paint­ing.” She said she loved the lively com­mu­nity feel of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“I sit on the door at the hall for the 10 days and it’s lovely to see vis­i­tors come to the show from all over the place.”

Robyn’s main me­dia is paint­ing with oils and a pal­ette knife and she can of­ten be found work­ing for hours at a time on her pieces.

“Cre­at­ing art is so very good for you, no mat­ter what the medium is,” she said.

“I know from ex­pe­ri­ence you feel elated when it goes right.”

A res­i­dent of the North East for around a decade, Feast of Art’s lat­est judge, Mark Green­hill, has al­ways been sur­rounded by cre­ativ­ity.

Pri­mar­ily a pain­ter, he orig­i­nally stud­ied at the Tas­ma­nian Col­lege of Fine Art in the early 1950s and his study cov­ered a num­ber of artis­tic dis­ci­plines, in­clud­ing pho­tog­ra­phy.

He has spent many years work­ing as a graphic de­signer and a press, wed­ding and com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­pher and also raised a fam­ily of four with wife Janette, who passed away in 2015.

Among his favourite mem­o­ries was a trip the fam­ily took in the 1970s, where he and Janette lit­er­ally “painted their way” around Aus­tralia – in­clud­ing the out­back - sell­ing paint­ings along the way to fund their trav­els.

In­flu­enced mainly by im­pres­sion­ist and postim­pres­sion­ist painters, he can of­ten be found out and about at scenic spots in the North East.

Mark said some of his favourite spots to paint in­cluded the Warby Ranges and Win­ton Wet­lands, and he al­ways in­cluded a “liv­ing” el­e­ment such as birds and na­tive an­i­mals to his work.

“In my view, a land­scape with­out peo­ple or fauna is like a stage with­out ac­tors,” he said.

“There’s a sense of nar­ra­tive that goes with the land­scape.

“You’ve got to have a feel­ing for that mo­ment.”

Mark said he was look­ing for­ward to see­ing all the dif­fer­ent art­work that will be on show dur­ing Feast of Art and added that he will also have some of his own work on dis­play.

Pre­sented by the Mi­lawa Gourmet Re­gion As­so­ci­a­tion In­cor­po­rated, A Feast of Art will be held at the his­toric Ox­ley Hall on Snow Road, Ox­ley from Septem­ber 1-10, with an open­ing night from 7pm on Septem­ber 1 and doors open from 10am-4pm daily.

More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on afeast­o­fart.word­ and www.mi­lawag­, or see A Feast of Art – Art Show on Face­book.

AN­NUAL FEAST: Robyn Cham­bers has been in­volved with the Feast of Art art show since its be­gin­nings around 12 years ago and still en­joys be­ing a part of the event.

YEARS OF EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Wan­garatta based artist Mark Green­hill will be judg­ing paint­ings at the Feast of Art show in Ox­ley this spring.

VIEWS FOR MILES: This land­scape paint­ing by Mark Green­hill, en­ti­tled Pangerang Spring, shows the view from the Pangerang look­out in the Warby Ranges.

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