Two NEA studio holders who have contributed an enormous amount to North East Artisans, Seamus Foley and Cornelia, not so long ago made the decision to move on, to focus on their lives and creative endeavours in the places they have come to call home, for Seamus Briagalong in Gippsland near Sale, for Cornelia Albury/Wodonga,
Seamus quietly became a strong and highly valued presence at NEA, serving on the Committee of Management, including a period as President. Seamus gradually revealed a diverse creative 'portfolio', with music, instrument making, poetry and wood craft featuring during his time at NEA.
Seamus became involved with NEA during his transition to retirement. He began working in a studio upstairs, providing a space for him to work on projects he had wanted to do for many years. He participated in the Door of Hope project in 2017, carving Celtic pendants which he incorporated into necklaces and exhibited on the 'Raggedy Tree' he carved for The Door of Hope exhibition. We became accustomed to him whittling as he sat in the foyer, started to hear him quietly singing Irish folk songs as he went about his business. His gradual linking up with others interested in wood became more serious when he moved his studio to Tim Schloss's wood working studio downstairs, setting it up as his own, Seamus's interest in making musical instruments and in sharing his love of working with wood with others was evident for all who entered, usually to a warm Irish welcome. We would hear Seamus playing his violin in his studio and on Tuesday evenings, if we were in the building, listen in to the Irish music sessions he instigated in the foyer cafe on a Tuesday night, mentoring local musicians while enjoying keeping his skills up..
Seamus inspired the Winter Solstice Poetry Evening held at NEA in June 2018, followed up by a spring equinox session later in the year. His poetry performances were absorbing and truly memorable, delighting all and inspiring aspiring poets who he then mentored and supported. Seamus was delighted to receive an award at the Benalla Bush Poetry sessions in 2018, and recognition for his poetry performances at his beloved poetry week at Koroit in January this year. Seamus even became a prize winning artisan while at NEA, winning both first and third places for his woodcarvings in the People's Choice award in the 'Wisdom and Experience' exhibition at NEA in October 2018.
Seamus, we have truly enjoyed watching your creative spirit flourish while at NEA and know that NEA's loss is Briagalong's gain!
Cornelia was an early if not founding member of North East Artisans. A prolific artist working in genres from painting, graphic design and sculpture to ceramics, rugs and more, Cornelia has been a strong, 'whirlwind' like presence at NEA, whether fulfilling her insatiable appetite for working on her art; curating and marketing memorable exhibitions or working on the accounts with her finance team leader hat on.
Visits to Cornelia's large, sunny upstairs artist's studio were memorable, yet signs of her gradual departure were imminent when she downsized to a smaller studio after establishing her home studio in Albury. We were intrigued by her art, by the impact that having directly experienced the Kinglake bushfires may have had on it. We watched, fascinated, as her 'Crunque' saga developed and featured in her sculptures, jewellery, repurposed crockery and ceramics, as well as in her paintings. We will never forget Corn working towards installation of her Crunque sculpture in the forecourt of 'The Shed' next to NEA, the day Shaun Murphy helped her to get it into position.. Cornelia's inspiration and efforts towards the two exhibitions 'The Rite of Spring' (1916) and 'In Your Face' (1917) were awe inspiring, including her capacity to develop beautiful graphic designs for accompanying posters and pamphlets.. We would like to thank Cornelia for her creative/graphic design support for many NEA exhibitions.
We have laughed with Cornelia and cried with her as at times 'life got in the way' of her art. We have been thrilled to see her gain the recognition she deserves, with work exhibited in at the Dax Gallery in Melbourne, both in solo and group shows; her individual show in MAMA in Albury last year; with work entered in the Archibald accepted for Melbourne's esteemed 'Salon de Refuse'. We shared her joy recently on hearing that her 'Woman giving birth in the presence of a horse (2017) sculpture had been acquired for MAMA's permanent collection.
Cornelia's presence at NEA has been a very powerful one in so many ways and we would like to honor and celebrate it. We are following Cornelia's creative journey via social media as she continues to work in clay, prepares her entry for next year's Archibald Prize and launches her clothing company. .
An Occasional B:Log
It is wonderful to learn that the MAMA museum of art in Albury recently added Cornelia Selover's sculpture 'Woman giving birth in the presence of a horse' (2017). to its permanent collection. ''Woman giving birth in the presence of a horse' looked visually stunning hanging high in the gallery's atrium ceiling close to the exhibition space in which Cornelia's work was displayed in the 'I Wish You Were - There' exhibition at MAMA from 19 July to 16 September last year. Congratulations, Cornelia!
Photograph: Bev Lee September 2018
Photos - Annie Longmuir, Bev Lee, Simmon Tan; Cooinda, with more to be added.
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.
Cornelia Selover's 'I Wish You Were - There' exhibition at MAMA in Albury closed yesterday, Sunday 16th September. It was quite moving, as a member who has followed Cornelia's work closely at NEA, to see it so thoughtfully and beautifully exhibited in a large regional gallery.
Corn's 'Women Giving Birth in the Presence of a Horse' (2017) sculpture greeted me on arrival to the exhibition space, farewelling me on departure.
Cleverly and minimalistically curated, a number of larger works in a range of medium were able to be viewed in a light and airy exhibition space from both wide angle and closer perspectives.
It was a stunning exhibition, Cornelia. Congratulations.
An Occasional BLog.
Annie Longmuir's knitting and crochet class at NEA on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7.30pm ($8 including coffee, tea) is a rallying point for Benalla's Winter Yarn Bomb - Annie can help to work out suitable patterns, show you how to knit or crochet flowers to decorate the plainer strips and squares and more.
Community members can also add to some knitted coloured strips while enjoying a coffee or chai at the Red Road Cafe. Cornelia Selover and Mary Kennedy joined in while on the volunteer roster during the week. The fact that knitting is supposed to be therapeutic seems to be true - they both look so calm in the photos below. .
You might also find someone to give you a lesson at NEA if you can't knit, as Seamus did this week. He proved to be a fast learner, taking on board Bev's grandmother's memory jogger 'In, Over, Through and Off'! with aplomb. He also looks quite serene, don't you think...
Annie and other NEA artisans, volunteers and friends are also involved in the Benalla Winter Yarn Bomb event's planning group which met on Friday 25th May at NEA, We'll continue to share news of their progress on our website.
Finally... North East Artisans is one of a number of venues at which knitted, crocheted other suitable textile work or balls of yarn can be left to feed into the late winter 'yarn bombing' of Benalla! Here's a link to a downloadable pdf flier for the event.
An occasional BLog...
'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
We at NEA were delighted to learn that two of our volunteer artists, Janet Leith and Cornelia Selover, were chosen for Melbourne's Archibald Prize off-shoot exhibition, the 2017 'Salon De Refuses'
Janet Leith's portrait of 'The Dressmaker' author Rosalie Ham.
"I was inspired by Rosalie’s passion for the written word and her quirky, fun persona. As an avid reader myself, I decided I wanted to celebrate not only the genius of the author herself in my Archibald entry for 2017, but also the act of reading as a means of relaxation and enjoyment."
Cornelia Selover's portrait of 'Kitty May Allwood'
Cornelia Selover's many portraits of 'Kitty May'' leading up to the portrait submitted to the Archibald Prize are well known to people who follow Cornelia's work. 'Kitty May' #25 and #26 were displayed in NEA;s 'In Your Face' portrait exhibition in July. 'Kitty May' featured in the 'Salon Refuses' is a stunning final portrait in Cornelia's 'Kitty May' series.
HIDDEN FACES - The 2017 Victorian Salon des Refuses
Pan Pacific Melbourne Hotel, South Wharf
August 28th - November 16th 2017
Congratulations to both Janet Leith and Cornelia Selover on their selection.
An occasional blog based on September Newsletter item written by Meralyn Vincent.
There is so much happening at NEA currently! Some happenings have warranted their own posts, so this post is a miscellany of snippets...
Kylie and Tim's 'Coffee is where the art is'... pop up cafe in the foyer gallery is a wonderful place to meet people Sam Bowtell (of the Bow N Tell Brothers and Killer Pig Productions') called by on Saturday morning. The Centre in Wangaratta, is continuing to publicise and distribute Killer Pigs' movie 'Slope' and is likely to rescreen it in Wangaratta at end of January, Sam and Jake are also planning to screen 'Slope' at rural cinemas across the north east over the coming months and looking towards crowd funding a DVD to be distributed to schools - a key audience. They are busy on a number of projects, including a feature film - already two and a half years in the making,
Sam and Lauren
The atmospheric courtyard outside the foyer gallery/cafe is now providing a terrific home for the colourful mosaic table which community members contributed to under Deb Dodd's guidance at the Maker's Mart festival during Wall to Wall Art last year.
Seamus, Tim Schloss and Hudson.
It seems it's the season for our artisans and members to immerse themselves in their own creative development, with Margaret Zaal 'excited beyond belief' to be going to a four day workshop in Geelong; Merilyn at a lifedrawing camp in Queensland and Seamus having just returned from an Irish folk music week near Coroit. Seamus came away from the week having written a poem, a song and having been the narrator for a documentary oriented slide show on the Irish Rebellion which engaged other Irish musicians in the camp in song. There must have been some wonderful jamming sessions.
Merv posted this portrait by his friend CJHaumann on our timeline recently - prefaced by 'See what NEA is doing to me!"
Lots has been happening in Merv's life this week, a birthday, buying a house in Benalla, becoming engaged to Irina and taking an oil pastels workshop at NEA at the weekend.
To finish... - 'Caught' - a photo of the Friday morning to afternoon handover - with Annie Longmuir and Janet Leith caught arriving to replace Lise Darcy and Elaine Murphy recenlty.
Annie, Janet, Lise and Elaine.
Caught... in action...
Cornelia, caught here working on a portrait, is currently focusing on portrait painting and recently received two commissions.
Caught... in deep conversation
With artisans sharing rosters there are valued opportunities to talk about shared interests.
The foyer gallery is often a place for catching up and sharing ideas. Last week Margaret was caught sharing her samples of Daniel Smith water colours with Cornelia and Grace, while Shaun and Paul caught exploring the finer details of walking sticks drawing upon those crafted by Garth Mitchell.
Ruth Schloss posted on Facebook this month about revisiting the South Grafton Emporium, a discovery 14 years ago which, 'when NEA was evolving from a pop up shop to an Arts community and gallery, was one of the inspirations for Tim and I'.
It would be interesting to find out about other artisan based organisations which have influenced our participation in NEA.
My involvement in the early 1980's with the Daylesford Arts Cooperative and my visits to Sturt Workshops at Mittagong over many years have certainly influenced and motivated me to become involved with NEA.
**'The Occasional Blogger' is open for submissions by NEA members who may, from time to time, have a strong urge to write about NEA for this column!.
A Brush With NEA
Across The Arts Forum
A Day In The Gardens
Annual General Meeting
'Another Brick In The Wall'
Art Gallery On Ovens
Bag Making Workshop
Benalla Art Gallery
Benalla Costuming Wizards
Benalla Flexible Learning Centre
Benalla Rugged Up
Benalla Rural City
Benalla Shorts Film Festival
Between The Walls
Broken River Arthouse
Broken River Writers
Buy From Benalla Online
'Calling New Artisans!'
Claire Anne Taylor
Creating Great Characters
De Sales Turner
Door Of Hope Exhibition
Exhibit At NEA
Exhibition Application Form
International Postcard Exchange
International Women's Day
In The News
'In Your Face'
Jo Jo Smith
Katharine Martin Burgers
Killer Pig Productions
Knitting And Crochet
Lessen The Pollution
MariJana Van Zanten
Mary Anne Glass
Meet The Maker
Music At NEA
NEA Office Bearers
NEA's New Home
North East Artisans
North East Flexible Learning Network
Oil Painting Classes
Postcards From The Hudson Valley (NY)
Postcards To New York
Recycle And Reuse
Recycled String Band
Red Road Cafe
'Red Tail Ring'
Rite Of Spring Exhibition
Schloss Good Ol' Toys And Collectables
SCRAP Art 2020
Strathbogie Arts Festival
Studio Artist Interviews
Studio Space At NEA
'Suck It Up' Podcasts
Swanpool Arts Festival
Swanpool Creative Recycled Art Prize (SCRAP)
Sydney Non Objective
Table Top Games
Theatre Craft Workshop
'The Door Of Hope' Project
The Frank Burkitt Band
The Weeping Willows
Tim McMillan And Rachel Snow
Tim's Mokoan Rest Stop
Tim's Wall 2017
Tomorrow Today Foundation
'Unlock Your Creativity'
Violet Town Market
Volunteering At NEA
Wall To Wall Festival
Waminda Community House
Window To Window
'Wisdom And Experience'
Workers In Wood
Yumi Sock Toys
Benalla Street Art Map to 2017
Juddy Roller Wall to Wall
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)