My Place, Your Place. A mural....local artists interview by Pam Fyfe



The enLIGHTen Me: I Have a Hall in my Heart mural has been completed at the Old Butter factory, thanks to Anne Sanders generously allowing the space to be used. 

It is difficult to think of another space that would have been large enough for the task of creating a 7.5 metre mural. The mural tells the story of Birregurra and its relationship to the Birregurra Mechanics Hall and is part of the EnLightenMe project. The concept was to have a designing artist and have community participation to complete the mural.


Gunditjmara artist Joey Chatfield, the designing artist, presided over the local community participant’s efforts.  Joey attended meetings with the community to hear the stories of local history of farming families, landmarks, the land uses and local flora and fauna. 

Joey then came up with a wonderful design to incorporate as many of these ideas as he could. He ran workshops to assist participants to acquire knowledge about the dreaming, kinship systems, traditional ways of living, painting techniques, the meaning in paintings, symbols and stories.
               

After the initial meetings with the community the design was created and local artist Natalie Newton was asked to paint some of the circles representing the districts important icons and/or symbols. She agreed and asked two other artists from her painting group to join her.

Natalie Newton
Natalie was good at drawing when she was young and practised regularly. She developed her painting through workshops and classes; she also has been a member of groups where the members enjoy painting alongside others of like mind. Family and work commitments stalled her painting at various times. After she retired she undertook a Diploma of Graphic Arts. 

Natalie is known, among other things, for her entries in the Annual Festival Art Show, the Pop-Up Gallery and the amazing cow that graced The Yards last summer. She is a member of the Birregurra Community Arts Group and has spent time on the committee.

Natalie’s paintings on the mural feature cows and the stockyards, sheep, a shearer, a platypus and fruit, representing some of the major influences of the town and the surrounding district.

Natalie was also Joey’s right hand being onsite during the work, understanding the intricacies of the story and the work as well as the importance of the colours and the accuracy of the dots. She also assisted and guided the many volunteers working on the mural. 



          

Barry Gill

Barry Gill, a member of Natalie’s painting group, has also painted focus circles for the mural. His contribution has been the buildings of the Native Youth/ old Cob and Co building, now the 1865 Bed and Breakfast, and the Anglican Christ Church in Sladen Street. These buildings are both highly significant in the history of the town of Birregurra.

As a child Barry’s mother had encouraged him to draw. While he was still at school a teacher encouraged him to keep up his painting.  He enjoyed painting and so it was not too difficult. Although there were breaks due to work commitments, he continued to paint. 

In 70/80’s Barry attended classes and joined a group of painters and has continued to do so. Now living in Birregurra he sought out others who might be interested in setting up a similar group and that was when he found out about the group Natalie had started. He joined. “The sharing aspect of being a member of a group helps to keep you interested in continuing your work,” said Barry. 

 

Allison McClaren

Allison McClaren is the painting group’s member chosen to paint some aspects of the flora and fauna of the district. Her paintings which feature circles of a blue wren and a kookaburra and kangaroo demonstrate her abilities as a wildlife painter. Allison also painted the gypsy wagon.

As a child Allison had a passion for drawing and in fact would draw over everything including walls, tables etc. She is self- taught and her styles and areas of expertise are continually evolving. When her children were young she started painting with oils. Today she prefers acrylics as they dry quicker enabling her to continue her painting at a faster rate.

Allison has, in the past, created caricature dolls using hand painted calico and making all the clothes. These she sold at markets. Later she used polymer clay to create daringly different “little people” caricatures, again exhibiting them and selling them at markets.


Over the last 10-12 years Allison has turned more towards painting. She found out about Natalie’s painting group and joined. She enjoys regularly attending the group and swapping ideas, working alongside others but doing her “own thing”.


 

                            
Some of the Dotters
Although many people demonstrated enthusiasm for the project, numbers were reduced. Regular days of Wednesday and Sunday made it difficult for some people to attend and to develop the skills necessary for the dotting. 

As the time went on regular “dotters” included Beryl Bush, Deb McSephany, Christine Smith, Gail Maddern, Deb McIntyre, Subi Leeson, Judy Goddard, Pam Fyfe and Barry Gill. Sunday the 4th February saw the placing of the final dot by Natalie, with Joey Chatfield and the other “dotters” looking on. 

There were still some restorative touch-ups and then the graffiti proof final coats were applied. There “dotters” were then able to place their handprints on the reverse side of the mural.  The final placing of the work of art will be in the area next to the hall.

For more info about the mural and the enLIGHTen Me project, head to www.enlightenmebirre.com 






Birregurra Music Salon presents.....Bob Evans - 5pm Sun 8th July

Tickets are now on sale

An intimate arvo with Bob Evans

Tickets for Bob Evans are now on sale - $35 + bf - Sun 8th July at Birregurra Christchurch. Limited tickets are available for this very intimate performance from the ARIA winning alter ego of Jebediah frontman Kevin Mitchell so don't muck about. Excited...much!!! 

Sunday 8th July 2018
Doors open at 5pm 
Venue: Birregurra Christ Church - 7 Sladen Street Birregurra
Tickets $35+ online booking fee


Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo Wrap Up – Saturday 28th April 2018



It’s been a long time coming but the Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo came and went last Saturday with a spectacular bang. 
The event was huge, complex but oh so much fun. The show was a collaboration of so many people – artists, community members, local trades, and many more. Almost everyone played some small or large part.

(Photo of The Illuminates b Eloise (Elle) Woods and Wild Honey Peforming Arts. Photo taken by Tony Long)
BCAG, an official partner on the project, was a key contributor to the event and the development of the landscape and while it may not have been overly obvious, so many of our members whiled away making the magic happen. 
From the bottom of my heart – I thank every single one of you who was involved for making this show and the project as a whole as real success and also for making my job much easier and pleasant, and saving me from a brain explosion. It was my first foray as a producer and production manager and while it was enormously hard work, I loved working with everyone to achieve this crazy thing that so many said was too ambitious. 
And on behalf of the enLIGHTen Me Oversight Team – we ALL thank you all for your ongoing support, hard work, enthusiasm and advocacy for this project. There is so much momentum and energy that has come out of it thus far, and while we aren’t quite finished, particularly with building works, we are on the home stretch.
The production along had a cast of 76, a crew of 34, over 30 additional artist contributors, hands on support from over 60 community members, an audience of 405 ticket holders and around 200 bystanders. Not bad for a tiny town like ours!!
Here is a brief rundown (although not comprehensive because that would take days to write) of our BCAG member’s contribution. Apologies if I have forgotten anyone – you are definitely appreciated, it’s just my brain isn’t working again at full swing yet.
  • Landscape Mural – Nat Newton, Beryl Bush, Deb McSephney, Chris Smith, Judy Goddard, Deb McIntyre, Barry Gill, Allison McClaren (I know there are many more here!)
  • Performing Artists – Linnet Hunter (producer of Whispers of a Building), Chris West (Whispers of a Building), Claire Coulson (vocalist), Susan Coulson (usher), Leisa Gittings & Rosie Gittings (ushers)
  • Musicians – Clive Brooker, Ron Eichler, Julie Payne (music director), Geoff Payne, Simon Oldfield, Mike and Vicki Fenton, Tom Gittings
  • Props & artist resources – Anne Brandscheid (Jacket puppet), Angie Smales (dance hall band bow ties), Susan Coulson (costumes), Gwen Koop (deb dresses)
  • Volunteers – Debbie McIntyre, Pam Fyfe, Jane Dennis, Anna Hoedeman, Anne Wood, Mary Fielding, Susie Coulson, Judy Goddard, Gwen Koop & Heather MacFarlane.
  • Photography – Lindy Fullarton, Stuart Fry
  • Landscape – oh boy, too many to count but I know Julie Payne, Anna Hoedeman, Susie Coulson, Pam Fyfe, Catriona Holyoake, John James, Jane Dennis, Dee Barter, Ian Court & Sue Walpole, Susan & Claire Coulson and likely many more have all contributed.
  • Oversight Team and project leaders – Chris Barter, Vicki Jeffrey, Fiona Brandscheid (me) and Susan Coulson
  • Accommodation providers – Chris & Dee Barter, Judy Goddard

The massive benefit of this project has been the arts connections made, the mentoring and skill development that took place, and the strengthening within community. Different groups, usually disparate, came together on Saturday and left in awe of the project and the show. Feedback has been incredibly positive with lots of great ideas now being thrown back and forth by people I would not have expected earlier – cinema, more drama, fundraising events and more. 
The key goal for this project has been to unite community with the common thread of the arts and music. I am happy to report, we are well on our way.
Cheers
Fiona Brandscheid








Artist Talk - SALT, a collaboration with enLIGHTen Me Birregurra - Sat 14th April 2pm

Come and listen to the artists talk about SALT and the collaboration

Saturday 14 April  2pm at WINDOWSPACE-BEEAC 
79 Main Street, Beeac


In the meantime, drive by look through the window both day and night and see the story, the glistening salt, lights and shadows and imagine.  

lights on 31 March 
1-29 April 2018

SALT, April (2018)




SALT plays with the dream world.
This is a dream of another time and place-
A place where the impossible to possible and the improbable is 
likely


What you will see........



When you look in the window of WINDOWSPACE-BEEAC, you will see, illuminated, a debutante dress.  This dress is hovering, floating above a bed of glittering, sparkling salt.  This dress is not static though.  As if inhabited by the ghost of a long forgotten dancer, the dress rotates, slowly around and around. The dancer - the imagined young woman in the dress, is changeling: transforming from human to Brolga - or is it the other way round?

Within the dress itself appear shadows.  These tell a cyclical tale of a young woman transforming to a brolga and back again, alluding to the local Dreamtime story.

Scattered throughout the salt are left over things, forgotten and abandoned things - forgotten and abandoned from a woman's story that has never been told.  These objects themselves are being repossessed by nature, by lichens and flowers, by bugs and birds, and by rot and decay. Some of these things though, float, hover - sometimes spin, above the salt, with minds of their own.



This is the universe where a woman is centre - a changeling.
This is a woman's story that possesses the land.



About

SALT is a visual arts/installation project addressing historical female representation in local history with a focus on the region's Salt Lakes. SALT is a partnership with WINDOWSPACE-BEEAC,Studio 92 SkillConnection ColacColac Otway Arts Trail and enLIGHTen Me Festival, Birregurra.  SALT was led by regionally-based Barking Spider Visual Theatre and engaged artists of diverse abilities across Colac-Otway area.  The project was developed at Barking Spider's studio at Red Barn Farm in Cundare North.

The artists are Penelope Bartlau and Jason Lehane, who are new to the area, having bought a small property in Cundare North in 2015. The farm - Red Barn Farm, has a big old barn, and this is the artistic engine room for the artists, and for Barking Spider Visual Theatre - their company.  Penelope and Jason were joined by artistKyoko Imazu, another stable Barking Spider artist.

The artists trialled leaving objects-including Penelope's mother's wedding dress, a cow skull, macramé shell plant holders, pearls, feathers and bones, in highly salted baths.  Following the "how to salt crystals" method, they hoped to grow salt crystals on these objects - but the crystals wouldn't take.  So they went to Plan B-still using salt crystals as a main feature of the installation, but with objects buried/submerged in the salt, and the dress embellished with feathers from local birds.

Kyoko worked on the shadow puppets, Jason was responsible for the lighting, and Penelope pulled together the other elements for the installation.






About the artists




Penelope and Jason each have multiple art-form practices, which combined encompass theatre creation, performance and design, puppetry, installation creation, writing, lighting and set design and story telling.  Penelope is the artistic director of Barking Spider Visual Theatre and Jason is one of the company's core artists: they have been artistic collaborators for 15 years.  For SALT Jason created the lighting design and collaborated with Penelope on the overall installation design.  Penelope worked on the detailing within their installation.

Kyoko is a Japanese artist whose practice encompasses paper-cuts, printmaking, bookbinding and ceramics.  Kyoko made the shadow puppets for the installation.  Barking Spider Visual Theatre works across museums, galleries, theatres, communities, schools, festivals, residencies, workshops for radio and for site -specific projects.  Please look us up on social media or our website.





 



Tickets still available for Festival of Small Halls - 3.30 Sunday 8th April at Birregurra Hall

Woodfordia Inc in partnership with
Port Fairy Folk Festival and the National Folk Festival
presents


or grab them offline at Dymond & Dymond (Main St Birregurra)
or at Birregurra Community Health Centre.
Any unsold tickets will be available at the door but get in quick as there are limited seats.




ABOUT CLAIRE ANNE TAYLOR


Claire Anne Taylor 

Taylor crafts soulful folk songs that capture both the beautiful and dark elements of the human experience. Her music ranges from warm, mesmerising ballads to epic anthems. With vivid storytelling, colossal vocals and a powerfully captivating stage presence, her live shows leave the audience in no doubt that they have just witnessed something extraordinary.
After winning the Byron Bluesfest Busking Competition, Taylor relocated to Byron Bay to record her debut album, Elemental. Released in 2016, Elemental received widespread critical acclaim with The Sydney Morning Herald describing it as “strong and assured”, FATEA Magazine calling it “exceptional” and the ABC’s Rick Eaves hailing her as “a national treasure”. Taylor’s poignant debut album has garnered her significant radio airplay on Triple J, Double J and ABC radio as well as international radio airplay on programs such as The International Americana Music Show, The Troubadour Show and Radio Nova.
2016 was a breakout year for Taylor. The album release was supported by two national tours and numerous festival appearances including Nannup Music Festival, Bello Winter Music, Mullum Music Festival, PigSty in July and Cygnet Folk Festival. Other highlights include supporting Liz Stringer on her album launch tour and a co-headline tour with William Crighton.
“Describing Claire’s voice in words is almost impossible. Try to imagine Jess Glynne with something deeper, richer and more soulful. Wrapped in the smoke and gravel of her voice there’s also a wonderful warmth.”
–     FATEA Magazine
“It looks like it’s gonna be a big year for Claire Anne Taylor…what a voice!”
–     Sarah Howells, Triple J

ABOUT DAVE GUNNING

Dave Gunning Promo photo 2016 credit Jonathan Beadle






Call it the silver lining in the cloud of a brutally cold Nova Scotia winter. When acclaimed folk singer/songwriter Dave Gunning decided it was time to make his 11th solo album, he found the bleak weather outside a blessing, not a curse. “We were literally snowed in, but the power was on and I was good to go,” he says of the making of that album, Lift.
Eleven albums in, Dave Gunning has become a truly masterful songwriter, one who has earned real peer respect from such Canadian folk songwriting legends as Ron Hynes, David Francey, and James Keelaghan. “I grew up listening to people like Ron Hynes,” says Dave. “I look up to them but then it hits me sometimes that I’m their peer and they like my stuff too. It’s a weird headspace, flipping from being a fan to being a peer.”
Gunning’s recording career is now approaching a full two decades in length (his debut album, Lost Tracks, came out in 1996). Along with richly-deserved peer respect, he has also earned a shelf full of music industry awards. That tally now stands at eight East Coast Music Awards and two Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus a 2012 Juno Award nomination in the Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year category for his album …a tribute to John Allan Cameron, a compelling homage to another of Dave’s Maritime musical heroes.
“Truly, what makes Gunning so remarkable as an entertainer is his rare gift to be able to befriend the audience as a whole from the stage throughout the course of the concert. And, indeed, you do feel as though he’s as good of a friend as any after a night of songs, stories and lighthearted laughs.”  
– The Guardian
“Gunning is the next big thing in the True North of Song, an artist as compelling, as assured and attentive to every nuance of the writing process, as Lightfoot, Cockburn and Stan Rogers before him.” 
– Toronto Star

FREE singing workshop at Birregurra Hall for Festival of Small Halls Birregurra ticket holders - Sunday 8th April 2018




ACTING OUT - Whispers of a Building. A free drama workshop and performance.


Eventbrite - ACTING OUT - Whispers of a Building. A free drama workshop and performance.


Acting Out – Whispers in a Building

What if Birregurra Hall’s tight corners reverberated with all the whispers and conversations that once took place within its walls? What would they say?

Join Linnet Hunter in a 2-hour intensive drama development session using game-playing techniques. You will be bouncing off prompts collected from community interviews to explore improvised dialogues with a sense of play and irreverence. Some of these will be performed as part of Birregurra Hall’s live art event on Sat 28th April.

You don’t need any prior experience, or even be focused on acting. You just need to be willing to get involved – to enquire and experiment. Two workshops are available. You can register for one or both – same outline – different outcomes.
Each session will include games for actors and non-actors, tableau, collaborative dialogue development, creating short scenes from a variety of prompts, laughter and play.
Participants will learn the first key steps of:
  • how to capture key moments in brief conversations
  • character development and how to tell a short story through dialogue
  • how to use body and voice to engage audiences and deliver a compelling message
  • techniques for creativity, confidence and communication
  • rehearsal strategies
  • how to deal with nervousness and “stage fright”. 
At the end of each workshop the group will select several scenes as the most effective and most relevant for the Live Arts event. Participants will be invited to rehearse further and perform these at the live art event in April.
WHEN: Sunday 19th March 2018 / Saturday 24th March 2018 (One rehearsal in Easter holidays and on evenings of 26/27 April)
WHO: Suitable for adults and teen 15 yrs+
WHERE: Birregurra Hall, 42-44 Main St Birregurra
REGISTER: Contact Linnet Hunter on linnet.hunter@gmail.com or phone 0414 629 539





Get your tickets for Birregurra's Festival of Small Halls - 3.30pm Sunday 8th April 2018

Woodfordia Inc in partnership with
Port Fairy Folk Festival and the National Folk Festival
presents


or grab them offline at Dymond & Dymond (Main St Birregurra)
or at Birregurra Community Health Centre.




ABOUT CLAIRE ANNE TAYLOR


Claire Anne Taylor 

Taylor crafts soulful folk songs that capture both the beautiful and dark elements of the human experience. Her music ranges from warm, mesmerising ballads to epic anthems. With vivid storytelling, colossal vocals and a powerfully captivating stage presence, her live shows leave the audience in no doubt that they have just witnessed something extraordinary.
After winning the Byron Bluesfest Busking Competition, Taylor relocated to Byron Bay to record her debut album, Elemental. Released in 2016, Elemental received widespread critical acclaim with The Sydney Morning Herald describing it as “strong and assured”, FATEA Magazine calling it “exceptional” and the ABC’s Rick Eaves hailing her as “a national treasure”. Taylor’s poignant debut album has garnered her significant radio airplay on Triple J, Double J and ABC radio as well as international radio airplay on programs such as The International Americana Music Show, The Troubadour Show and Radio Nova.
2016 was a breakout year for Taylor. The album release was supported by two national tours and numerous festival appearances including Nannup Music Festival, Bello Winter Music, Mullum Music Festival, PigSty in July and Cygnet Folk Festival. Other highlights include supporting Liz Stringer on her album launch tour and a co-headline tour with William Crighton.
“Describing Claire’s voice in words is almost impossible. Try to imagine Jess Glynne with something deeper, richer and more soulful. Wrapped in the smoke and gravel of her voice there’s also a wonderful warmth.”
–     FATEA Magazine
“It looks like it’s gonna be a big year for Claire Anne Taylor…what a voice!”
–     Sarah Howells, Triple J

ABOUT DAVE GUNNING

Dave Gunning Promo photo 2016 credit Jonathan Beadle






Call it the silver lining in the cloud of a brutally cold Nova Scotia winter. When acclaimed folk singer/songwriter Dave Gunning decided it was time to make his 11th solo album, he found the bleak weather outside a blessing, not a curse. “We were literally snowed in, but the power was on and I was good to go,” he says of the making of that album, Lift.
Eleven albums in, Dave Gunning has become a truly masterful songwriter, one who has earned real peer respect from such Canadian folk songwriting legends as Ron Hynes, David Francey, and James Keelaghan. “I grew up listening to people like Ron Hynes,” says Dave. “I look up to them but then it hits me sometimes that I’m their peer and they like my stuff too. It’s a weird headspace, flipping from being a fan to being a peer.”
Gunning’s recording career is now approaching a full two decades in length (his debut album, Lost Tracks, came out in 1996). Along with richly-deserved peer respect, he has also earned a shelf full of music industry awards. That tally now stands at eight East Coast Music Awards and two Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus a 2012 Juno Award nomination in the Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year category for his album …a tribute to John Allan Cameron, a compelling homage to another of Dave’s Maritime musical heroes.
“Truly, what makes Gunning so remarkable as an entertainer is his rare gift to be able to befriend the audience as a whole from the stage throughout the course of the concert. And, indeed, you do feel as though he’s as good of a friend as any after a night of songs, stories and lighthearted laughs.”  
– The Guardian
“Gunning is the next big thing in the True North of Song, an artist as compelling, as assured and attentive to every nuance of the writing process, as Lightfoot, Cockburn and Stan Rogers before him.” 
– Toronto Star