In 2018 artwork by a number of NEA artists was exhibited in the foyer display window of the Rural City of Benalla offices in Bridge Street, part of an arts bank like project inspired and facilitated by Benalla's Mayor, Councillor Don Firth. Works by Tim Bowtell, Jamie Ferguson, Frank Burgers and Julie Burdis featured in the small gallery space near the lift in 2018..
With the Council requiring the display window for Benalla Festival's 'Our Backyard' and Christmas exhibitions at the end of the year, a change of venue was arranged to the Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop Learning Centre in Fawckner Drive. Janet Leith's 'The Arborist' and 'The Stripey Bike Rider' have now been on display there for a number of weeks.
Recently Janet visited the library to see her work on exhibition, meeting the new librarian along the way. If you are in the library, have a look at Janet's paintings on the wall towards the back of the library.
An occasional BLog
We would like to invite any artists or groups from NEA or the community to showcase your work in our large Exhibition Gallery space.
Although the NEA exhibitions for the year have not been finalised there will be quite a few months available and applications will be considered based on availability.
Please refer to the Exhibitions Application below for details.
If anyone has any requests or theme ideas for NEA exhibitions this year, please contact our Exhibition Coordinator Janet Leith.
Photos - Annie Longmuir, Bev Lee, Simmon Tan; Cooinda, with more to be added.
Canadian singer-songwriter Meiwa (a.k.a. Kristie McCracken) has earned international praise with her maturely thoughtful lyricism and subtly sophisticated, genre-melding creativity that reflects an artist who is adroitly expanding her musical horizons. She is a WCMA 2016 ‘Urban Artist of the Year’ nominee for her debut solo album ‘Let Go & Grow’.
Ellen James is a Benalla based songstress with a BIG voice who gathers inspiration from memories, dreams, stories, creatures & you! Ellen speaks about her music and plays live in the studio in a recent Killer Pigs 'Suck it Up' podcast - Episode 5: Ellen James.
On Saturday 19 January 2019 at 6:30pm
North East Artisans
Gallery 2, 122-124 Bridge St East, Benalla, VIC 3672
Tickets - TRY BOOKING or NEA
Now that Ned is home again,
Engraved amongst his own again,
His final wish atoned again
He'll never be alone.
No stake hold in this mortal coil
no further battles to embroil
forever laid in Greta soil
Now that Ned is home.
Perhaps it's time to compromise,
To look at things with different eyes,
Not heroise nor demonise,
Not worship nor despise
And in return it's time to mark
a day so savage wild and dark
(T'was murder down at Stringybark)
Now that Ned is home
Out there beyond that Great Divide
Where all must surely now reside
where earthly sins are cast aside
And grievance satisfied.
Perhaps eight men would meet again
In circumstances less mundane
And seek to salve all mortal pain
Now that Ned is home.
To find in common, bushman's ways
Much more than you or I today
And yarn by campfire; boil the tay
And share the bowl of clay
Now that both outlaws and police
From earthly conflict find release
May all together rest in peace
Now that Ned is home
NEA's proximity to the area in which Ned Kelly lived, roamed, was imprisoned and appeared in court; the still rustling to and fro between descendants of the Kelly family and the police officers; the periodic launching of new books and plays about Ned's life; the recent opening of the memorial to the police officers at Stringybark, inspire conversations about the life of Ned Kelly at NEA. Kelly saga related literature brought by customers to the Red Road Cafe to read over coffee (as happened just yesterday), typically generates discussions about Ned's life, his mother Ellen, the police officers involved; his court case and more,
NEA's 'resident poet', studio holder, instrument maker and whittler, Seamus Foley, has taken a lively interest in the Kelly story since living in Greta a few years ago. Seamus's poems 'Now that Ned is home again' (2014) (above) and 'The Kellys' are Riding Tonight' (2017) are incredibly evocative - it always feels such a privilege to hear Seamus perform these poems. Seamus describes being inspired to write 'Now that Ned is home again' in the period after Ned's remains were buried in the Greta cemetery.
An occasional BLog.
Tim Bowtell's entry into Swanpool Art Festival's SCRAP exhibition in 2018 is on display in the foyer window gallery space at NEA.
Title: 'Treadmill of Perpetual Happiness' (2018)
Artist's Statement: "Climate Change is my inspiration, it speaks of mass production and the over consumption of 'stuff' we don't need. We live in a system that plugs in to our insecurities, selling us stuff to make us feel better. Using SCRAP to create a positive move towards a healthier planet!"
Materials-Medium: 'Old conveyor belt and frame, buttons, switches, castors, electrical wire, plugs and security camera all salvaged from scrap yard. Human form from scrap metal frame and papier mache.
NEA's beautiful felted soaps by Lise Darcy are flying out the door! Wet and use your felted soap as you would a normal bar of soap. The wool will exfoliate your skin and when the soap is finished you will have a soft merino wool face cloth! Available in a rainbow of colours and only $7.00! A unique gift for Christmas, birthdays or yourself!
'The Source Benalla' is an innovative event, to be held on Saturday March 23 2019, that explores our region and connects people with fantastic opportunities available right here in our own back yard. It provides a platform for our great producers, distillers, brewers, makers, and community groups to reach out and connect with the public all in the tranquil setting of the Benalla Botanical Gardens. It also aims to promote Benalla as a regional centre to the North East, the Goulburn Valley, and the Alpine regions showcasing liveability and lifestyle opportunities unique to Benalla.
The Makers' Market will hold many diverse stalls with incredible regional craft and produce. The market will also promote The Benalla Food Coop by holding a designated suppliers’ area, delivering the high quality (and sustainability) that is available to the food coop to the event.
The Source Benalla has spent over $10,000 on music and entertainment.
The headline act will be an intimate acoustic set from world renowned and award winning blues guitarist Geoff Achison. Warming up the stage will be Zac Slater, who this year, raced to number one on JJJ’s unearthed hip-hop charts. Ricki Wood who travels the world playing his guitar will grace the stage for a set as well. An amazing array of young local musicians from the North East and Goulburn Valley regions will support these acts. Music will be playing from midday to the close of the event at 8 pm.
As part of the entertainment the Benalla Scout Group are building a large ninja warrior course for little and big kids to test their skills on. They will also conduct fun activities for kids throughout the day, like making rockets and learning how to make ice cream.
The Source Benalla in conjunction with The Benalla Art Gallery will be conducting a kid’s art workshop. At its conclusion, in the morning, their art will be displayed around the event grounds.
There will also be a fairy trail to lead kids and their families or friends around the beautiful Botanical Gardens where they will find an amazing fairy and maybe a little treat too!
Workshops will be held covering a wide range of things such as fermenting, coeliac cooking, and smoking meats.
There will be also be artist installations set up around the Botanical Gardens adding an extra splash to the atmosphere.
Unique to this event, the Hurdle Creek Still will be serving their famous cocktails and showing the great products available from their distillery.
Benalla’s own Black Dog Brewery will be quenching the thirsts of many with their own wide range of locally brewed beers, with Booths winery supplying a variety of local wines.
The Source is also in partnership with EdSpace, an education and training centre in Benalla that is part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program. EdSpace is currently looking at catering the event, which will provide its students with an excellent opportunity to complete their learning modules. This is a very exciting as the food is healthy and locally grown.
On an 'end of week' night close to equinox and solstice events (or thereabouts), Gallery 2 at NEA, 122 Bridge St East, Benalla becomes the venue for a poetry performance. We are coming up to the summer solstice and are having a poetry session at NEA on Thursday 20th December from 7 to 9 pm! Whether you are an experienced reciter, a beginner or would like to give it a go, come along, bring your own work or poems that you love and get involved. Tea and coffee will be provided, and perhaps you would like to bring a plate of home baked goodies to share. Also a gold coin or pinkie to cover heating and power would be welcome. The session will begin at 7 pm and run to 9 pm.
(Please note - this event was originally advertised for Friday 21 December but clashed with a local music event so was altered to Thursday 20December.)
Seamus Foley reading at the Winter Solstice session at NEA in June this year
‘Armchair Poets’ – monthly sessions on the 4th Sunday in non - equinox and solstice months
A drop in 'Armchair Poets' session for poets and poetry lovers is held at NEA on the 4th Sunday of non equinox/solstice months from 2 to 4 pm. This is not a performance poetry session, but a chance to sit around with other poets and poetry lovers to share, workshop or just talk about poetry.
Betty Milligan and Seamus Foley, 'Armchair Poets', August 2018
Calendar of Dates - December 2018 – February 2019
December – Summer Solstice Event – Thursday 20th December 7 to 9 pm (note - change from previously advertised date of Friday 21st December)
January – Armchair Poets – Sunday 27th January 2 to 4 pm
February – Armchair Poets – Sunday 24th February 2 to 4 pm
Killer Pig Productions' Jake and Sam Bowtell are now producing weekly 'Suck It Up' podcasts from the studio they've begun sharing with Tim Bowtell at NEA.. They arrive at the studio early on Monday morning to produce the episode - to date Episode 1: Jack Johnson; Episode 2: Franco; Episode 3: Owen McLaughlin; Episode 4: Annaliese - and coming up - Episode 5: Ellen James.
The 'Suck it Up' podcasts provide a unique opportunity to 'eavesdrop' on wide ranging conversations between Jake and Sam (aka the Bow N Tell brothers) in which they explore all sorts of ideas from a twenty something perspective in a comfortable, stimulating fashion, engaging their guests with their ideas and also drawing upon their guests to add more to the conversational menu. Find a block of time in which you can focus on listening to their podcast - or perhaps dip into each one in 'biteable chunks;. Enjoy!
In Episode 2: "Jake and Sam have a voluminous philosophical gasbag with the unique and wonderful dude known as Franco. The nature of the barter economy, self, bonobo mating, community, school, accountability on social media, religion... all of these fill a pleasant balloon of conversation, ready to burst into your earholes."
In Episode 4 "Sam and Jake talk to Annelies, a local fermentologist (we did up a word thing!) who creates excellent food, drink and deep philosophical contemplations! We talk Vipassana, the popularity of Murder/Crime podcasts, body image, Guild Wars, the origins and practice of fermentation!"
Check out Killer Pig's playlist of podcasts and videos on You Tube...https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUu-Ad_l1I20680Dvca-H3g/videos
Important, our next, and last Writer's Corner for 2018 will be one week earlier as the last Wednesday of December is Boxing Day! Some of us may be recovering from too much festivity, family, food & 'firewater', and, the Benalla Library will be closed.
For our last Writer's Corner on Weds 19th December, playwright and author Gabriel Bergmoser will be dropping in to run a writing workshop, AND we'll be going right through til 8pm if you want to stay for longer.
It will look something like this -
5pm start - Gabe to explain details
6:30pm - break/leave/supper
7:50pm - finish
* a piece of writing you're working on and want help with, come with a completely fresh idea or no idea, bring a 'prompt' piece from an earlier Writer's Corner that you'd like to develop further or go through old prompts and choose a new one or...come up with something not listed here
* supper to share, if you have special dietary requirements make sure to bring food you can eat
Please also bring with you a few of your favourite pieces you have written in Writer's Corner. Make sure they are typed please and we'll add them to our BRW display folder which we're looking at turning into a Broken River Writers book.
Looking forward to seeing you there,
Workshop spaces are available for hire on application by artists and artisans who would like to offer workshops at NEA.
In addition to opportunities to hire Gallery 2 (dependent on exhibition./other bookings), NEA has an upstairs art space that is suitable for quieter, introspective workshops and gatherings.
$15 per hour or $80 per day
Contact NEA;s Workshops Coordinator, Annie Longmuir on 0407554416.
There are only a few hours left to check out the fascinating pieces created by the students from Benalla Flexible Learning Centre as part of their exhibition, 'Creativity Unlocked' .
As you will notice a lot of the artworks and creations have accompanying artist's statements which give the pieces a story and create a wonderful richness surrounding the artwork.
For example, Tara wrote about her mosaic 'Serene'... "After hearing about this exhibition, I wanted this to be in it, but as the deadline got closer and closer, I started having just a few doubts about getting it done in time. You probably could have made one of those dramatic slow motion yet 'inspirational' montages they put in movies with me slaving over this mosaic while silently complaining about my back hurting and wondering what the meaning of life is about all the while appearing completely nonchalant. But nonetheless I'm pleased with the result of this project!" Thank you Tara!!
Well done and thank you to the students on yet another successful and inspiring exhibition - it's wonderful to see such amazing creations by young local talent! And thank you to everyone who supported the exhibition by visiting and or purchasing the students' work--the look on their faces when they find out they've sold is something is priceless!!!
On Tuesday the 11th December 2018, NEA will be closed. We will be celebrating the life of one of our NEA family. The celebration for Meralyn's life will be at 2pm at NEA.
The photos in this collection represent a little of Meralyn's life at NEA. Commencing as a volunteer not long after NEA's relocation to 122 Bridge Street, Meralyn's sign writing skills soon announced NEA's arrival to our new second home. Not long after her sewing machine was busy producing the rainbow flags which hang outside NEA letting the community know that NEA is open for business.
Meralyn immersed herself in workshops with NEA artisans and always supported NEA exhibitions and events - that is, as long as they didn't happen on a day Richmond was playing; she was away at a beloved festival taking mandala or life drawing workshops, or demonstrating to improve animal welfare.
A participant in the 'Door of Hope' program's 'Subject Object I' course and exhibition in early 2017, Meralyn moved on to become a key driver behind the 'A Brush With NEA' event during the Wall to Wall Benalla festival in March 2018.
Meralyn's excellent IT skills, understanding of finance and marketing and passion for NEA's vision led her to roles as newsletter editor/producer; workshops coordinator; member of the finance team; general member then Treasurer on the committee of management, roles in which she worked with a quiet determination to strengthen NEA and ensure its future.
Meralyn loved her little studio upstairs at NEA and had so many creative projects she wanted to complete there.
We will miss her so much.
NEA's Merv Beamish, Tim Bowtell, Janet Leith, Kirsty Maclean, Ruth Mollison and Cornelia Selover will be among 30+ artists painting murals with a Christmas icon somewhere in the picture on shop windows in Benalla from 11 am to 6 pm next Friday 30th November. Watch the artists working on Friday! Follow up visits over the festive season to see the finished works will make being in Benalla extra special over the festive season.
Saturday 24th Nov, 1-6pm-ish, Gallery 2, North East Artisans, 122 Bridge St, Benalla
Cost is free, donations appreciated (goes towards electricity usage at NEA and if there is some leftover, into the BRW kitty)
Join us for an afternoon of writing, possibly evening too, if people want, and can keep on writing into the night.
Bring whatever masterpiece/s you are working on.
Bring any writing problems you're having and we'll have brainstorming sessions to help you solve them.
Bring food to share.
Come prepared to write all afternoon! Make sure you have plenty of pens, notepads, coffee, sugary &/or salty snacks, laptop power cord..
Adam McGrath was a great hit at the Happy Wander Festival recently - NEA is offering a chance for people who didn't see him then to see him, and for those who did to see him again!
"A folk singer stationed wherever he lands., Adam travels the state highways and byways of New Zealand, Australia, Europe and parts beyond, slinging songs and offering up low rent barroom philosophy with his band of misfits and chancers, The Eastern. He hopes for the best, prepares for the worst and believes in the poetry of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and the fury of word on the page. He lives alone, cooks infrequently and is scared of flags that blow to the right."
$10 tickets available at the door.
"NEA began four years ago as an idea; to support the arts in Benalla and surrounding areas. This idea was to take the form of a pop-up shop which opened its doors in the three weeks prior to Christmas 2014, to provide an opportunity for local artists to sell their work in that pre-Christmas period. In the four years since then, NEA continues to exist and even flourish. It has by now established its credentials and has become part of the art landscape of the North East.
In those four years there have been many changes, amongst the most significant being, a move to new premises, and an increase in member numbers. Since most of the original management committee have stepped down or moved on, this has meant that many of the people whose “idea” got NEA off the ground in the first place are no longer involved in carrying it forward.
For the current management team, this in itself has presented challenges, around finding the best way forward as well as dealing with the various opportunities and the often-accompanying difficulties in taking advantage of them. During the past year we have had a number of members of the executive step down for a variety of reasons, all of them valid. A factor which has become evident is the reality of “burnout” as people find themselves snowed under by the workload of keeping what has become a rather large though friendly beast, running on an even keel.
Into the future if NEA is to survive it will require more involvement by more of its members in order to spread the load. A strong executive will be necessary, as will a paid manager.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed, in whatever way, to the running of NEA in the past year. people who have supported us by their encouragement and appreciation of what we do, have helped make art and creativity an important part of the richness and variety that is life in the North east.
Thanking individuals in a situation like this would inevitably lead to omissions. However, one person I would like to thank personally is Meralyn Vincent. Meralyn took on the role of treasurer during the year in spite of failing health, acquitting it with diligence, competence and a wicked sense of humour. She finally handed in the books only a couple of weeks ago when she no longer had the strength to continue. Meralyn is currently in hospital. Thank you for your contribution Meralyn your beautiful smile and your courage.
The Village Festival is Looking for Creative People! Can you help out with building big lanterns for the Benalla Festival Street Parade? These big lanterns/sculptures are being created at the Benalla Men's Shed, Benalla Showgrounds. Work began on Friday the 2nd of November, but more helpers are needed for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 7th and 8th November. You will work alongside two of Victoria's best giant Puppet builders who have travelled around the world building puppets with companies like Snuff Puppets and Memetica to name a few. It's a great opportunity to learn about big sculpture making for festivals. Work on projects together with your community. Be active and part of the Benalla Street Parade and Festival! For more information call Suzanne 0448 380 649 or come along to the Men's Shed.
Benalla Street Art Wall to Wall Festival
Benalla Street Art Map
Benalla Youth Action Committee
Juddy Roller Wall to Wall
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
GANEAA (Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance)
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Benalla Camera Club
Broken River Potters
Broken River Painters
Table Top Games at NEA