Macrame is making a comeback! Some images from Mish's macrame workshop at NEA...
For information, call Mish on 0421 901 302 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's what Benalla musician Adam Toms had to say about Scott and Corin -
Last night I attended a little gig in my own town Benalla arranged by Michaela Alexander which was at North East Artisans. It featured two Canadian singer songwriters Scott Cook and Corin Raymond who have been touring around Australia for the last 6 weeks and are considered folk music artists. To be honest, I don’t know much about ‘folk’ music, but I know when I’m moved, I know when I’m listening and watching something special, I know when I’m being taught musical, songwriting, storytelling and entertainer lessons. Last night was one of those gigs. For me it wasn’t about a genre it was about entertainment and ear candy.
These guys captivated every single person in the room with their show including me. Each played a 45 min or so set and joined each other for a song or two. They had people singing laughing, relating, reminiscing and sometimes even singing their songs without ever having heard them. They told stories that made you think you were there and created lyrical cleverness like it was a walk in the park and could be mistaken as something that come easy to all songwriters. (Myth)
To add to the coolness of this show they did not use a microphone for their voices and only one of them plugged his acoustic into the PA as it was a quiet guitar. Normally with 50 odd people in a room this isn’t possible but the silence, respect and appreciation for the artist doing their thing was nothing short of amazing. (I wish all singer/songwriter gigs were like this) when I looked around the room I saw everyone just digging what was in front of them. I wanted to take a photo or video during the night but I felt bad as I barely saw a phone out - nobody checking Facebook or snap chatting......just people in the musical moment. What a beautiful thing.
Huge props Michaela for creating these gigs and a culture of what ‘should be’ for gigs like this. I hope to play there soon and whilst my songs, style and ‘show’ will be different from last night I hope for the same vibe as what I was a part of last night. It’s a truly special thing as an artist to feel that intense buzz of appreciation bouncing back at you when you sing. I realise not all gigs are or can be like this but once in a while is really nice.
Adam John Toms
(Adam posted this on North East Artisan's Facebook site)
‘Where is Home’: Baddaginnie
Where would you most want to live and create/write etc? “Italy 1494 (Ficino & Botticelli my next door neighbours)”
Comfort food: ‘Cheese’
Artistic Influences: ‘My mother, my grandmother, Picasso, Surrealism, …’
Current reads/films/exhibitions attended: ‘Rilke’s poetry; Tsvetaeva, a Russian poet, to me the greatest poet of the twentieth century’…’An exhibition of lovely spiritualist style paintings in Violet Town’.
What are you working on at the moment? ‘A series of oil paintings with a simple, spiritual iconcography – ladders, Persian rugs, etc…’
Jamie Ferguson 'The Griffin (or Adam's Rib' (2018)
What was the first work you exhibited publically or sold as an artist?
‘In my 20’s, in Newcastle, some oil paintings at an exhibition’
How has your background influenced your creativity ?
‘My family influenced me a lot. Mum was a painter and I was the only child let into her studio. My grandmother had antiquarian books next to the old laundry shute, and we used to slide down the laundry shute amidst her antiquarian books.’
What’s the best part of being an artist?
‘The voyage of the soul – that sounds pretentious, but it activates the soul, and even though you can’t activate God, it tickles God’s nose a little bit’.
What’s the worst part of being an artist?
‘The best part is the letting go, but sometimes the conscious part of one self is impatient and and too harsh. Sometimes I end up in a creative quagmire, stuck, and the harder I try to let go, the more stuck I get’.
What’s the best (or worst) advice you’ve received about your work?
‘The worst advice is when people push a conservatism upon it. It’s hard to say … it’s always from people with too conservative an eye. The best advice was from a fellow called Anton who had Downs’ Syndrome who said, ‘That’s bloody silly, Jamie, but I love it’”.
What’s been the most significant moment in your artistic/creative career so far?
“Finding ‘The Secret Life of Salvadore Dali’ on my Grandmother’s bookshelf when I was 14. She let me borrow it, too!”
What do you find most challenging about painting?
‘Going deep. It’s as if … beauty used to be locked behind many doors; going deep is obviously difficult, but not so much any more. You should see some of the Goya like work I did…’
When you’re struggling with a painting, where do you look for inspiration?
‘I just pause, empty my mind, begin again, anywhere on the canvas, with some faith…’
Who do you picture as the ideal viewer of your work?
‘A man– living or dead—filling with a thousand eyes my acreage of mind. And, if that’s not possible, a very small man with seventeen nostrils’
Whether creativity in different areas can be taught is often debated – what’s your view?
‘To say creativity can’t be taught would go down a fascist road, to say everybody should be taught creativity goes down another sort of totalitarian road. However I do believe in the Utopian view set forth by Charles Fowler that the world should be teeming with billions of poets happily drinking strawberry milk. Teaching art is problematic because it implies governance and bureaucracy, but yes, I do believe art can be taught’.
Where and when do you prefer to paint?
‘Any time, any where, without being rained on too much’.
What do you listen to when you work?
‘I’m generally sober and silent when I work – I come from the accountancy school of creativity. I don’t even mind people talking to me - I can switch off. Sometimes it’s hard to be interrupted and have to change a poo-ey nappie though’.
Do you buy your eg. art supplies online, in an art store, or both?
‘I inherited lots of art supplies, after 30 years I’m still using some. I use Louise and Jim’s shop in Benalla and I’m starting to use online more, but I always get tempted by antique paint boxes and antique paints. I even saw a jar of Mumme on E-Bay – 1700’s artists used to get sections of Egyptian mummies and mix it into their paints’.
What’s your advice for someone wanting to be an artisan in your field?
‘Throw away any pretence and just begin…’
When not painting , what do you like to do?
‘I love being with Abby and my kids and I love being with my friends. I love being by myself with bottle of red wine at midnight reading a book say, from the 1500’s… I love physical stuff, too, sex, lifting heavy rocks, etc...’
If you weren’t making or supplementing your living by being an artist, what would you be doing instead?
‘I’d be connected to a circus in some capacity’
If you could go out to dinner with any artist,, who would it be and why?
‘I would go to dinner with Hakuin, a Zen artist who I heard was a good cook and loved laughter’.
What’s the art work that’s had the most significant impact on your life and work or an artist– and why?
‘Surrealist art, because it reminds you of your liberty’.
Do you have a philosophy for how and why you create?
Not particularly. Honesty, maybe. Letting things speak that are sometimes silent’.
At the beginning of the interview you said you are currently working on‘A series of oil paintings with a simple, spiritual iconcography – ladders, Persian rugs, etc…’ What do you hope viewers will take away from this?
‘That something inside them is gently turned upside down’.
Jamie Ferguson, 'The Red Book' (2017) and 'Horosocope Muse' (2017)
Jamie was interviewed in quiet moments while on roster duty in the Gallery 1 at NEA in March, 2018, You can check out photos of Jamie’s work and studio photos on his page on this website-- http://www.northeastartisans.org/jamie-ferguson.html
Just a quick reminder that Writers' Corner is this Wednesday (18th) as the following Wednesday is ANZAC Day and the Library is closed. 5-6:30pm (I had forgotten, so I figure other people might have too :-D)
We'll talk about the exercises from Dear Writer. Feel free to share some writing from one of the prompts sent out last month or something else you are working on.
Rodney Horsfall has been associated with NEA since its beginning. Rodney is now exhibiting and selling hand crafted musical instruments - cigar box blues guitars and ukeleles made from recycled materials - at NEA. Call in to Gallery 1 to check them out.
'NEA' merchandise fundraising products are occasionally offered for sale. A memorable product - the Between the Walls fringe festival event T-Shirt in 2017 - another the 'In Your Face' Portrait Exhibition's Poster collection,
In late 2017 Cornelia's memorable 'Nudie' design was printed in a very limited edition poster to accompany a weekend life drawing workshop offered by Frank Burgers. .
Then, early in 2018 a poster designed by Cornelia 'We are Here' began to be sold - this can be seen in the Foyer Gallery along with 'We are Here' cards which can be purchased in the gallery/shop.
The idea of a T-Shirt which could be worn by artisan volunteers on duty in the gallery shop had often been discussed and this seemed a good time to do this. Cornelia suggested using the 'We Are Here' and/or 'Nudie' artwork for the T-Shirts. It was decided to use Cornelia's 'We Are Here' map design for a generic T-Shirt range and to use her 'Nudie' artwork for a more 'limited edition artwork' T-Shirt, perhaps the first in a series drawing on the artwork of NEA artists.
Cornelia adapted her artwork for possible designs and colour ways. A meeting was held with Jason from local FOBIA industries to discuss designs, colours, sizes and more. Cornelia further refined the design work, sizes were decided on, and the order sent through to FOBIA. FOBIA were 'flat out', but promised they could deliver.
The first day of our 'Brush with NEA' event arrived and Jason arrived early carrying a large box of T-Shirts. Pricing was finalised, signs written and Lise Darcy did a wonderful job counting stock then presenting it for display on Chris Seeley's 'board table' in the gallery.
There was a swoop of early ordering by NEA artisans keen to have a Cornelia original nude or 'We are Here' T-Shirt to wear in the gallery. Initial prices - We are Here - $30; Nudie - $40, with a discounted price for early bird NEA Artisans and volunteer members
With the Wall to Wall Benalla weekend fading into the distance, We Are Here' map design White & Black T-Shirts are now $25, 'Nudie limited edition Red T-Shirts for $30., . Printed by local FOBIA Industries, the T-Shirts are same brand as 2017's Between the Walls T-Shirt.
Where to from here? Cornelia has suggested different colour ways for other 'editions' of 'Nudie', such as the following, which could also be be reversed with black T;s and white lines. The plan was to have them available throughout the year with no expectation of an early sell out, then if it seemed appropriate, do a reprint of the generic shirt and perhaps commission the work another artist for a new limited edition T-Shirt.
Update 18/9 - It has been six months since the T-Shirts were launched at Benalla Wall to Wall 2018, most of them wintery non-T-shirt months, We still have quite a number of T-Shirts in stock, though stock available in some sizes, particular in the black range, is quite low.
Occasional Blogger - BL
Last 9 May 2018
"I have been creating and working with glass since 1994 - where I studied fine arts in Hobart. I have progressed through using glass sculpturally, to developing my sculpture work into lighting in 1997 and then leadlight via many opportunities including:
2013-2014 I studied the Advanced Diploma of Rudolf Steiner Education in Warranwood Victoria. From the end of 2014 I began studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) with Charles Darwin University.
Currently I am working in Steiner Education and studying. My glass and art work continuing, but is more of a hobby at present."
Architectural Glass Artist -
Leadlight and Copper Foil
Bio Source: Susan Pickworth, Linked In
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Benalla Camera Club
Broken River Potters
Broken River Painters
Broken River Writers
Wots4Me Benalla Youth
Art Gallery on Ovens
Bush Gatherings -Violet Town
GANEAA (Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance)