Colourful view of the world
BEHIND the vibrant colours and colourful brush strokes of the works of Beechworth’s Valerie Crosse lie a fascination with colour, movement, and her environment. A keen painter since childhood, she remembers first honing her craft painting in an art studio every Friday afternoon and building her skills. A resident of the North East for the past 30 years – as well as being an experienced yoga teacher - Valerie said she is inspired by her environment when it comes to her work, as well as by travel. “Both my parents were world travellers,” she said, and it has given her “a 360 degree view of the world”. “I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures.” Valerie said she is inspired by the countryside and surroundings of the North East. “There’s so many attractive landscapes and vegetation,” she said, noting that Beechworth and the North East also had a rich, diverse and vibrant artistic and creative community. Valeries’s latest exhibition, Out of the Blue, is being held as part of the upcoming Spring Arts Festival, from October 26-November 25, with the exhibition itself running the entire length of the festival. Valerie said the name of her exhibition was inspired by moments in life that come “out of the
Valerie said the name of her exhibition was inspired by moments in life that come “out of the blue” and irreversibly change the way that you see, and interact with the world. “Out of the blue, things just strike you that are appealing,” she said. “All of the works are about things I’ve been taken with unexpectedly.” Spring Arts coordinator Daren Pope said the event’s program featured events to delight art lovers from all walks of life, and the town has had a rich history of attracting creative and artistic people. This will be underlined during the festival with guided art walks that will inform people of some of the promient artists, scientists, explorers and administrators whose lives and careers intersected with Beechworth after the discovery of gold. “Beechworth attracted a whole lot of really prominent artists,” Daren said, notable among them artist and teacher Eugen von Guerard, prominent cartoonist and illustrator Nicholas Chevalier and police officer and explorer Robert O’Hara Burke, just to name a few. Daren said the ongoing growth of Spring Arts was something that those involved in the Beechworth Arts Council took pride in. “It’s going from strength to strength,” he said. “Spring is an ideal time to celebrate creativity,” he said, explaining that the Beechworth Arts Council and Spring Arts organisers saw themselves as facilitators and an umbrella for a range of arts related activities. “We’re trying to establish really strong links with other community groups,” said Daren, who is working on his PhD on the role of regional artistic communities. “We want to create an awareness of the value of community arts.” Speaking about Valerie’s work, Daren said “landscape really is the language of Indigo”. Out of the Blue will be held at the Christ Church at 29 Ford Street, Beechworth, from 9am-5pm seven days a week during the Spring Arts Festival (exhibition access depending on church service times). Long term arts council member Chris Dormer, who is coordinating a festival project of small sculptural works entitled O is for Object, said that the sculptures will showcase a wide variety of talent from throughout the region. The sculptures can be seen during the festival at Beechworth Library, the local WAW branch and various shopfronts in town. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for local artists to show their work in Beechworth,” Chris said, encouraging art lovers from near and far to take in the sculpture exhibits, as well as the variety of activities taking place during the festival. Spring Arts features a wide range of activities and exhibition throughout its run, including open studios, the Elements of Indigo project where artists have been encouraged to explore expressions of place and identity and create works which reveal elements of the region, a flower show of spring colour called Fresh Bloom, members of Opera Scholars Australia in concert performing La Primavera, a series of baroque arias, and more. For more information on the vast range of events occurring throughout the festival, follow the links at the Beechworth Arts Council website at beechworthartscouncil.org.au.
◆ VIBRANT: Valerie Crosse’s art will be exhibited during Beechworth’s upcoming Spring Arts Festival.
◆ RAINBOW TONES: A colourful Valerie Cross piece entitled Notes on a Family Tree.