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Casey Arts

Casey Arts connects artists and creative communities, supporting a broad view of arts and cultural expression and participation.

In a City that is diverse, ever-changing and culture-rich, Council values arts and culture for its contribution to community strengthening, wellbeing and the local economy.

Connect Newsletter

To keep updated and promote your art event in Casey, subscribe to our 'Connect' Newsletter.  

'Connect' is delivered straight to your inbox. It's a regular guide to arts news, events, opportunities, exhibitions, performances, interviews, events, special invitations and more taking place in Casey.  
 

Subscribe to the Connect Newsletter

Make a submission 

Local artists can submit news, a story, article or event to the Connect Newsletter.

The newsletter is produced regularly and aims to showcase art in Casey.

Before making a submission to Connect, please view our content guidelines.

Art promotion on social media 

Local artists are also able to promote their work or cultural event on Casey Art's Facebook (facebook.com/caseyartsincasey) and Instagram pages (@casey_arts).

To promote your art or event, please email the Casey Arts team and include the event details and an image (minimum 3mb). 

What's On 

Visit our events website for details on the latest exhibitions and events in the City of Casey. 

Opportunities

Art Spaces

The Art Spaces progam plays a significant part in the vibrant cultural life of the City of Casey.

The program promotes and supports traditional and contemporary art practice and artists. The dedicated spaces in libraries create access to visual art in a diversity of forms and gives artists the opportunity to reach new audiences.

The new Hayshed Studio at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick offers a multi-arts studio with exhibition and workshops spaces.

How to apply

There are three parts to the Art Spaces program.  

The Art Spaces Guide gives you the information to choose the right Art Space for your exhibition.

The program also offers artists the opportunity to apply to be part of a curated program of exhibitions held at Bunjil Place Library, Cranbourne Library and at the Hayshed Studio.

Applications are accepted each year from October to March. Exhibitions are selected and programmed for the following year, including the Winter Arts Festival and a group Christmas show. 

Applications are closed for 2021 and will re-open for 2022 in October.

Apply online

Current Art Spaces Program 

Book a self-curated Arts Space

The self-curated Art Spaces are the opportunity to curate and manage your own exhibition with the opportunity to promote through Casey Arts commutation channels. Contact the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition in 2021. 

To book the space, artists must read the Art Spaces Guide above and email the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition.  

Other exhibition opportunities

There are community facilities in the City of Casey that have spaces in which they hold exhibitions.

If you would like more information about these spaces, contact the Casey Arts team.

The Hayshed Studio 

The Hayshed Studio is a new art space located in the historic grounds of the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick. 

This multi-arts studio space with kitchenette is available for hire for art and craft, exhibitions and other small gatherings.  The Studio is equipped with hand building ceramic workshop equipment for up to 6 people and a kiln firing service on application. The Studio is connected a conference room available for hire, with a large screen and its own kitchenette.

To book the Hayshed Studio, please email the Casey Arts team.

Artist Register

Casey Arts values the creative talent we have in the City and the Arts Register is the essential way for creative professionals, performers and artists to list their details and be found for their next gig.

Visual and performing arts, creatives, gamers, tutors and those with other creative offerings will be able to register to make your contacts available to a prospective clients and audiences. 

Join the Artist Register

Winter Arts Festival 2021 Banner

The Winter Arts Festival is back for 2021!

After a brief hibernation, the Winter Arts Festival is back to keep you creatively inspired with a month of performances, events, workshops, film screenings, digital stories, exhibitions and the much-loved Open Studios weekend.

The festival – which has been running for 19 years – aims to shine a light on the vibrant culture that is the City of Casey. It also encourages arts participation, community pride, and social, cultural and environmental awareness.

A range of free and ticketed events and activities will be running at venues and spaces throughout Casey from 18 June until 22 July.

For more information, download the Winter Arts Festival 2021 program brochure

Keep up-to-date with everything Winter Arts by following

To contact the Casey Arts Team email arts@casey.vic.gov.au

COVID-19

All events are subject to COVID-19 restrictions and may be changed or rescheduled. Event hosts will be reviewing our conditions of entry regularly to keep in line with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services recommendations, but encourage you to contact the venue for updates and you can also follow us on Facebook

We encourage our community to remain safe and stay up-to-date on case locations and exposure sites as well as COVID testing locations

2021 Lindsay King Award 

 

 

Nominations are now closed for the 2021 Lindsay King Award.

Nominees are being reviewed and an announcement will be made after 17 June 2021.

Do you know an individual – an artist or arts supporter – who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Casey?  If so, you can nominate them for their contribution at our special award presentation event to be held in June 2021. 

Established in 2007, this annual arts award was named in memory of Cranbourne resident Lindsay King, whose vigorous commitment to the arts and passion for local history, tourism and culture made a positive impact on the Casey community.

2019 Recipient - Maurie Richardson

Maurie has been teaching music and performing arts to local residents for over 40 years both in his time as a teacher at Clyde Primary School, as a long-standing member of the Cranbourne Chorale and as the leader of a local U3A guitar group. He served as president of Cranbourne Chorale from 2003 – 2007, as Vice President from 2007 – 2018 and is the current sitting president. His contributions have meant that many local residents of Casey, particularly boys, have engaged with and forged hobbies and careers in music and performing arts.

2018 Recipient - Chantelle Riordan

Chantelle has received little formal recognition for her voluntary efforts in the past, it is perhaps a testament to her ‘quiet achiever’ personality and selfless attitude to simply help where she can without seeking reward. The Casey Community has benefitted greatly from Chantelle’s membership and/or involvement in many local arts organisations including the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band, the Casey Camera Club and BATS Theatre Company, as well as being a volunteer Ukulele Tutor at the Balla Balla Centre, the president of the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band and as a sitting member of Casey’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.

Eligibility – who you can nominate

To nominate someone for the award, they must:

  • be a current or previous member of an arts organisation or group servicing residents in the City of Casey
  • be an individual who provides their expertise to further the development of the arts in Casey. The period of time, level of commitment and the positive impact the nominee has had on the arts in Casey is considered

Ineligibility – who we cannot accept

You cannot nominate:

  • yourself
  • groups
  • previous winners of the Lindsay King arts award

Expressions of Interest are now open for the new Hayshed Art Space at the Old Cheese Factory.
A multi arts venue waiting for creative ideas and set in the beautiful grounds of the Old Cheese Factory.

This multi-arts studio space with kitchenette is available for hire for art and craft, exhibitions and other small gatherings.  The Studio is equipped with hand building ceramic workshop equipment for up to 6 people and a kiln firing service on application. The Studio is connected a conference room available for hire, with a large screen and its own kitchenette.

If you have any questions please email the arts team at arts@casey.vic.gov.au or the team at the Old Cheese Factory ocf@casey.vic.gov.au 

Art Spaces program

Art Spaces

The Art Spaces progam plays a significant part in the vibrant cultural life of the City of Casey.

The program promotes and supports traditional and contemporary art practice and artists. The dedicated spaces in libraries create access to visual art in a diversity of forms and gives artists the opportunity to reach new audiences.

The new Hayshed Studio at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick offers a multi-arts studio with exhibition and workshops spaces.

How to apply

There are three parts to the Art Spaces program.  

The Art Spaces Guide gives you the information to choose the right Art Space for your exhibition.

The program also offers artists the opportunity to apply to be part of a curated program of exhibitions held at Bunjil Place Library, Cranbourne Library and at the Hayshed Studio.

Applications are accepted each year from October to March. Exhibitions are selected and programmed for the following year, including the Winter Arts Festival and a group Christmas show. 

Applications are closed for 2021 and will re-open for 2022 in October.

Apply online

Current Art Spaces Program 

Book a self-curated Arts Space

The self-curated Art Spaces are the opportunity to curate and manage your own exhibition with the opportunity to promote through Casey Arts commutation channels. Contact the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition in 2021. 

To book the space, artists must read the Art Spaces Guide above and email the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition.  

Other exhibition opportunities

There are community facilities in the City of Casey that have spaces in which they hold exhibitions.

If you would like more information about these spaces, contact the Casey Arts team.

The Hayshed Studio 

The Hayshed Studio is a new art space located in the historic grounds of the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick. 

This multi-arts studio space with kitchenette is available for hire for art and craft, exhibitions and other small gatherings.  The Studio is equipped with hand building ceramic workshop equipment for up to 6 people and a kiln firing service on application. The Studio is connected a conference room available for hire, with a large screen and its own kitchenette.

To book the Hayshed Studio, please email the Casey Arts team.

Artist Register

Artist Register

Casey Arts values the creative talent we have in the City and the Arts Register is the essential way for creative professionals, performers and artists to list their details and be found for their next gig.

Visual and performing arts, creatives, gamers, tutors and those with other creative offerings will be able to register to make your contacts available to a prospective clients and audiences. 

Join the Artist Register

Winter Arts Festival

Winter Arts Festival 2021 Banner

The Winter Arts Festival is back for 2021!

After a brief hibernation, the Winter Arts Festival is back to keep you creatively inspired with a month of performances, events, workshops, film screenings, digital stories, exhibitions and the much-loved Open Studios weekend.

The festival – which has been running for 19 years – aims to shine a light on the vibrant culture that is the City of Casey. It also encourages arts participation, community pride, and social, cultural and environmental awareness.

A range of free and ticketed events and activities will be running at venues and spaces throughout Casey from 18 June until 22 July.

For more information, download the Winter Arts Festival 2021 program brochure

Keep up-to-date with everything Winter Arts by following

To contact the Casey Arts Team email arts@casey.vic.gov.au

COVID-19

All events are subject to COVID-19 restrictions and may be changed or rescheduled. Event hosts will be reviewing our conditions of entry regularly to keep in line with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services recommendations, but encourage you to contact the venue for updates and you can also follow us on Facebook

We encourage our community to remain safe and stay up-to-date on case locations and exposure sites as well as COVID testing locations

Lindsay King Award

2021 Lindsay King Award 

 

 

Nominations are now closed for the 2021 Lindsay King Award.

Nominees are being reviewed and an announcement will be made after 17 June 2021.

Do you know an individual – an artist or arts supporter – who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Casey?  If so, you can nominate them for their contribution at our special award presentation event to be held in June 2021. 

Established in 2007, this annual arts award was named in memory of Cranbourne resident Lindsay King, whose vigorous commitment to the arts and passion for local history, tourism and culture made a positive impact on the Casey community.

2019 Recipient - Maurie Richardson

Maurie has been teaching music and performing arts to local residents for over 40 years both in his time as a teacher at Clyde Primary School, as a long-standing member of the Cranbourne Chorale and as the leader of a local U3A guitar group. He served as president of Cranbourne Chorale from 2003 – 2007, as Vice President from 2007 – 2018 and is the current sitting president. His contributions have meant that many local residents of Casey, particularly boys, have engaged with and forged hobbies and careers in music and performing arts.

2018 Recipient - Chantelle Riordan

Chantelle has received little formal recognition for her voluntary efforts in the past, it is perhaps a testament to her ‘quiet achiever’ personality and selfless attitude to simply help where she can without seeking reward. The Casey Community has benefitted greatly from Chantelle’s membership and/or involvement in many local arts organisations including the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band, the Casey Camera Club and BATS Theatre Company, as well as being a volunteer Ukulele Tutor at the Balla Balla Centre, the president of the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band and as a sitting member of Casey’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.

Eligibility – who you can nominate

To nominate someone for the award, they must:

  • be a current or previous member of an arts organisation or group servicing residents in the City of Casey
  • be an individual who provides their expertise to further the development of the arts in Casey. The period of time, level of commitment and the positive impact the nominee has had on the arts in Casey is considered

Ineligibility – who we cannot accept

You cannot nominate:

  • yourself
  • groups
  • previous winners of the Lindsay King arts award

Hayshed Studio

Expressions of Interest are now open for the new Hayshed Art Space at the Old Cheese Factory.
A multi arts venue waiting for creative ideas and set in the beautiful grounds of the Old Cheese Factory.

This multi-arts studio space with kitchenette is available for hire for art and craft, exhibitions and other small gatherings.  The Studio is equipped with hand building ceramic workshop equipment for up to 6 people and a kiln firing service on application. The Studio is connected a conference room available for hire, with a large screen and its own kitchenette.

If you have any questions please email the arts team at arts@casey.vic.gov.au or the team at the Old Cheese Factory ocf@casey.vic.gov.au 

Collections

The City of Casey through its Planning Policy allocates 1% of funding to the development of site-specific public art projects for all new Community Capital Works projects over $3 million dollars.

Committed to high-quality public artworks through standards of innovation and excellence across all aspects of commissioning processes, Casey has developed a public art collection that is progressive, stimulating, and explores a variety of mediums, scales and approaches.

Local Public Art 

With more than 250 public art projects across the City of Casey, the chances are there will be local artwork near you.

You can find your closest piece of art on Explore Casey.

Council’s Civic Collection consists of objects, documents and photographs that trace the history of local government administration and the making of the City of Casey as it is today. 

There are over 700 objects in the Civic Memorabilia Collection and 124 are documented and online here.

With the opening of Bunjil Place Gallery in 2018 came the occasion to plan for a Bunjil Place Art Collection guided by Council’s Art Acquisitions Policy.

When active collecting commences, the Collection will aim to acquire major artworks by Australian, and where possible, international artists held in trust for the community.

Public Art

The City of Casey through its Planning Policy allocates 1% of funding to the development of site-specific public art projects for all new Community Capital Works projects over $3 million dollars.

Committed to high-quality public artworks through standards of innovation and excellence across all aspects of commissioning processes, Casey has developed a public art collection that is progressive, stimulating, and explores a variety of mediums, scales and approaches.

Local Public Art 

With more than 250 public art projects across the City of Casey, the chances are there will be local artwork near you.

You can find your closest piece of art on Explore Casey.

Civic Collection & Bunjil Place Art Collection

Council’s Civic Collection consists of objects, documents and photographs that trace the history of local government administration and the making of the City of Casey as it is today. 

There are over 700 objects in the Civic Memorabilia Collection and 124 are documented and online here.

With the opening of Bunjil Place Gallery in 2018 came the occasion to plan for a Bunjil Place Art Collection guided by Council’s Art Acquisitions Policy.

When active collecting commences, the Collection will aim to acquire major artworks by Australian, and where possible, international artists held in trust for the community.

Development

City of Casey Arts and Cultural Development Strategy 2018 – 2022 is grounded in research, providing the rational and direction for all Arts and Cultural Development activities.

The Art Acquisitions Policy confirms Council’s commitment to enlivening and enriching the municipality through the collection of art and commissioning of public art from leading professional artists.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee (ACAC) members represent the community in an advisory role to Council. Highly experienced in their filed, members provide knowledge and diverse perspectives about creative practice and arts participation in the context of relevant Council Plans, arts policies and strategies. 

Casey Arts engages with communities through the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, formal evaluation of programs and feedback received through our communication channels.

The City of Casey uses Casey Conversations to reach community members for specific feedback on initiatives of local interest. 

We will inform our arts community when we are seeking formal feedback and post information about these opportunities on our webpage.

You can provide feedback at any time by emailing us

Strategy & Policy

City of Casey Arts and Cultural Development Strategy 2018 – 2022 is grounded in research, providing the rational and direction for all Arts and Cultural Development activities.

The Art Acquisitions Policy confirms Council’s commitment to enlivening and enriching the municipality through the collection of art and commissioning of public art from leading professional artists.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee

Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee (ACAC) members represent the community in an advisory role to Council. Highly experienced in their filed, members provide knowledge and diverse perspectives about creative practice and arts participation in the context of relevant Council Plans, arts policies and strategies. 

Community Engagement

Casey Arts engages with communities through the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, formal evaluation of programs and feedback received through our communication channels.

The City of Casey uses Casey Conversations to reach community members for specific feedback on initiatives of local interest. 

We will inform our arts community when we are seeking formal feedback and post information about these opportunities on our webpage.

You can provide feedback at any time by emailing us

Online Tutorials & Workshops

Chris Bowes' online workshop series on photographing & editing artworks from home.

Editing Photos with the Lightroom

Taking photos with a camera

Taking photos with a phone

The Basics of Artwork Documentation

Editing Photos with the Lightroom

Editing Photos with the Lightroom

Taking photos with a camera

Taking photos with a camera

Taking photos with a phone

Taking photos with a phone

The Basics of Artwork Documentation

The Basics of Artwork Documentation

Connect

‘Connect’ is a regular guide to a range of arts opportunities, exhibitions, performances, interviews, events and more taking place in Casey.

Inside each edition you will find a range of news and events, spotlights on local artist and opportunities for local artists and art lovers.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive ‘Connect’ straight to your inbox!

Submit a story or event

If you have a Casey arts or cultural event you would like to promote on our Facebook or Instagram pages, please email the Casey Arts team the details and include an image (minimum 3 mb).

Connect

Hari Sivanesan

Introducing Hari Sivanesan

Composer and multi-instrumentalist, Hari Sivanesan is a unique representation of the new generation of Indian classical-contemporary artists of international acclaim. He was born and trained in the UK and brings his Sri Lankan, Tamil heritage, South Indian and Western classical music training together. 

Years of classical training, and contemporary mentorship has evolved his practice, performance style and mindset to negotiate both the austere classicism of the South Asian arts with researched, experimental and contemporary work in the UK and internationally. Hari, as a soloist on Veena, accompanist, musical director, researcher, composer and curator, has pioneered projects in partnership with BBC Radio & TV, BBC Proms, UK WOMADs, the Royal Opera House, The Boite, Multicultural Arts Victoria and Bunjil Place. 

Hari is Co-Director of the South Asian Arts Pathways Program commissioned by The City of Casey and Bunjil Place and Co-Artistic Director of Sangam: Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora which will be presented at four exciting venues including Bunjil Place on Saturday 6th March. 

What brought you to Casey?

I was born and brought up in London. My family and I moved to Casey in 2016 and it’s been incredibly rewarding to have been part of projects Bunjil Place since 2018. The city of Casey is the only Melbourne space I have known to be home. The rich diversity we have and the number of young families here remind me of the incredibly, busy and multicultural London home that I used to call home. 

How did you first connect with Bunjil Place?

Dr Priya Srinivaasan, (dancer, scholar, Co-Artistic Director of Sangam Festival) and I met with the Bunjil Arts team in 2018 and spoke of our concerns about the lack of South Asian bodies and work in mainstream venues, not just here in Casey, but throughout Victoria. We also spoke of the amazingly talented and incredibly trained youth who are here who don’t have opportunities to create and perform in mainstream venues and for diverse audiences. With their support and moreover their belief in us, a series of shows and projects have been presented here over the last few years. In particular, the South Asian Arts Pathways project has had two amazingly successful cohorts, in 2019 and 2020. 

Tell us more about the Pathways project?

South Asian Arts Pathways is a project designed to professionalise emerging South Asian artists around and in mainstream venues and projects; whilst in the process creating new, cutting edge, classically based, contemporary and experimental multi form South Asian work. 

We are about to present the outcome of Pathways 2020, a multi art form work based on an old folktale, the flowering Tree. Due to COVID, the project had much of it’s development online in 2020. With restriction easing and with the support of the City of Dandenong and the Drum Theatre, we were able to meet in person with the 9 artists in the cohort to jointly create the work; which we decided to film to create a screen version of the theatrical retelling of this story. The Story is really quite relevant to the times we live in as the Tree and what happens to it through the story is a provoking metaphor for how we are treating the Earth at the moment and also the issues such as violence against women.

It’s been a whirlwind of the last few weeks as we were also able to collaborate with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra when they performed at Bunjil in January 2021. It was an amazing opportunity to work with them and conductor, composer, arranger Ben Northey to create the final two items of the night. 

Fuelled by the adrenaline of the highly successful MSO collaboration, the Pathways group spent 10 hours filming for the production. The final work will be premiered at Bunjil Place as part of Sangam, Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora on March 6th. We are really excited to share this journey and the art we have created together through covid, especially as it’s message is so timely. 

What will the highlight of Sangam be for you?

I’m really looking forward to a personal project which is premiering as part of Sangam. Having been fortunate to tour with the late Ravi Shankar in my teens, I was veena artist in a unique orchestra that he put together that toured the USA called “Festival of India”. This was ground-breaking work as the maestro had created orchestral format work for the small orchestra of string, woodwind, percussion and vocal instruments.

Since then I have wanted to write orchestral work, in the structure and in a similar format to the Western Symphonic tradition, but still maintaining the genre and authenticity of the South Indian (Carnatic) classical genre. I’m thrilled to be premiering this work set for a string quartet of the Sarod, (17 stringed plucked lute), Taus (28 stringed, fretted, bowed lute), Veena (6 stringed lute) and Double Bass at Bunjil Place on Saturday 6th March. 

Neloo Kreltszhiem

Neloo's work is currently showing in the “Casey Celebrates” group exhibition at the Art Spaces in Hayshed Studio (Old Cheese Factory) and Cranbourne Library.

How would you describe your art practice?

Art has been the ‘love of my life’ from the time I was able to hold a pencil in my hand, but I never dreamed that it would become my career as it has become today. I was born in Sri Lanka and studied Architecture at the University of Ceylon.  After emigrating to Melbourne in 1973, I graduated as an Architect from RMIT.  Due to family commitments I later gave up my architectural career to study Art, which had always been my passion.  

From that time on, I have been an active member of several Art societies located in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, including the Waverley, Berwick, Dandenong and Sherbrooke Art Societies.  I am a current member of the South Eastern Contemporary Artists Society (SECAN).  Following encouragement and pressure from parents and children in this area, I established the successful Palette and Paintbrush School of Art for Children and Adults, which celebrated its 30th year in 2020.

I have studied visual art, perspective, sculpture, mosaics, leadlight art and iconography.  I draw and paint in all the major media, but I am currently concentrating on religious iconography, working with egg tempera, mosaics, leadlight and 3D limestone.

Three words that people have used to describe my work are, ‘inspiring’ ‘stimulating’ and ‘colourful’.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

I am a dreamer.  Mostly, I dream or visualise my works and colours.  When I wake up in the morning, vivid pictures, colours and shapes enter my mind, which I try to remember, sketch on a pad on my bedside table and use in my projects. I have also been inspired by visits to some of the great art galleries in Europe, including France, Italy and Spain.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

As a dreamer, I possess a great imagination.  The objects, environments, spaces and colours in my garden provide me with loads of visual aspects to commit to canvas.  When I teach my students, I encourage them to look at their objects, not only to see what is there in front of them, but also what is not.

Did the need to stay inside during COVID-19 have an impact on your making progress, if so how?

Contrary to the many reports that have been around of the negative impact of the pandemic on progress, the lockdown through the long winter months provided me with TIME, SPACE and FREEDOM to move forward in many ways.  

In the first instance I was able to progress with two significant mosaics.  The first was the ‘Madonna of the Corona’, inspired by the ‘Black Madonna’ of Czestochowa (Poland), which now hangs in St Mary’s Church, Dandenong (Pic. #1). The second opportunity arose when I was invited to conduct online art classes by the Rowville Neighbourhood Learning Centre using the ZOOM platform.  I had never taught online before but with experience, I was able to learn and master the technique.

Where do you create your art?

I have two studios, which I call the ‘Palette and Paintbrush Studio’.  The first is a converted third bedroom where I work till quite late with my little guardian cat Tikky by my side.  The second is undercover in my garden where I teach and attend to any ‘messy’ work such as sculpture.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?

In my early days I loved to draw flora, fauna and figure art in both real and abstract forms.  At present I am in iconography and interested in creating religious themes, mostly in abstract and cubist forms, for example ‘The Resurrection’, that hangs in the Uniting Church, Dandenong.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation?

As self-care through isolation, I learnt to:
a)    Forget the negative situation and look for positivity;
b)    Make use of God-given opportunities during free ‘time’;
c)    Produce works that I can look back on, thank God and look forward and trust Him to get me through the difficult times.

Chelsea Ryan artwork

How would you describe your art practice?

I dabble in lots of different mediums (fine liner, watercolour, markers, spray paint and more) when creating, though these days I primarily paint using acrylic. I find myself still struggling to identify a specific style in my art, but I suppose it's kind of a mix of surrealism and fantasy. I think if people had to describe my art in three words they might say 'colourful, spacey and trippy'. 

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

I'm finding a lot of inspiration in nature, in plants and animals. I get excited and inspired by all the ways my exterior world can be combined and modified to create new landscapes, creatures and beings.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

The way I see people living and the way it makes me feel has an influence on some of my work, but honestly, I feel that most of my work is influenced by internal thoughts, beliefs and random imaginings as opposed to external surroundings.

Did the need to stay inside during COVID-19 had an impact on your making process, if so how?

Absolutely! As horrid as it's been in so many aspects, COVID-19 has actually had a positive impact on my artistic process. I find whilst working that painting is something I struggle to find time for on the side, whilst during the lockdown period it was one of my main priorities.

Where do you create your art?

I don't have either a studio or dedicated space, unfortunately. I usually paint on my bed actually, which really isn't the best space haha, so I've been painting at my dining table recently. This space probably slows down my work slightly as it's in the communal area of the house and distractions are much more frequent, but I think it's much better for my posture, so I guess you win some you lose some!

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?

Space, nature, extra-terrestrial/mystical beings and alternate realities are the main themes that I'm currently reflecting in my art. These are the themes that I usually like to explore and focus on, which have been consistent throughout isolation. I've found self-isolation hasn't really changed the content of my art but has just given me more time to physically create the art itself.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation? What did you do to care for yourself during these times?

Take time to connect with yourself-I do this through yoga and meditation, but it can also be achieved through journaling, working out, working on your passions/hobbies or anything where you feel as though you're honouring yourself and doing something just for you. 

Limit your time on social media. Obviously social media has its pros, but I think it's so important not to fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling and absorbing every opinion or negative story that we see on the internet, especially while self-isolating during such uncertain times. 

And stay in touch with loved ones! In whatever way you can, whether it's a socially distanced walk, a video call or just a funny voice recording, staying connected with those that make us feel loved and feel joy is a really important part of caring for ourselves. 

I've been delving into meditation and yoga, making sure I'm keeping active, limiting time spent on my phone, and making sure I allow myself lazy days when I need the comfort.

Mount Bruce - Jill Louise

How would you describe your art practice?

At this stage my preferred medium is oil pastel. Whilst the style of my artwork is embryonic (ie. still developing), it is essentially realist with an indigenous feel filtering through the lines and shapes and colours. Most of my subjects invariably feature aspects of our land. In just three words I would describe my work best as "oil pastel landscaping", with a focus on the process rather than the end product.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

Throughout 2020 and the Covid-19 lockdown phase, I've been inspired to create 75 oil pastel drawings covering four discrete topics: fish, birds, trees and finally landscapes. The latter represents my quest to escape from lockdown via a virtual trip around Australia. My inspiration was drawn from my love of nature, of wanting to better understand the structure of our fauna and flora, and connect with the great outdoors when I was unable to travel far from home.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

Wherever I go I'm drawn to the environment. I take it home with me through my art, which typically incorporates interpretations of what I see and hear and feel.

Did the need to stay inside during COVID-19 have an impact on your making progress, if so how?

During the Covid-19 lockdown I took advantage of the 5km limit to exercise most days at Lysterfield Park. There I met some University students who were undertaking field research into the fairy wren population, which inspired me (and my super ego wren-self) to take flight from lockdown on a virtual trip around Australia. 

Where do you create your art?  

All of my oil pastel drawings have been created and completed in my own home. On my own, I have plenty of spare room to use as an art studio. However I've felt perfectly comfortable and creative thus far honing my artwork close to the fridge (and food) in my kitchen. 

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?

Prior to the lockdown I created a set of oil pastel drawings depicting a fictional realm called Rockpoolia. These drawings accompanied the text of a story I had written about the journey of a seahorse to that realm. The artwork and the text are based around the theme of the hero's journey, entailing personal growth with the acquisition of wisdom regarding the problem of plastic waste finding its way into marine habitats. During the Covid-19 lockdown and the ensuing isolation, I was the subject in need of a journey. Hence my quest for a virtual trip around Australia was created to keep my spirits afloat. It worked. On average I completed one oil pastel drawing every two or three days. I loved every minute of it.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation?

I was one of the unlucky "singles" who'd been forgotten in the laying down of restrictions. During Stage 1 of the lockdown I was completely on my own. Stage 2 was an improvement, with the granting of a "buddy bubble".

Overall I'd offer these three tips to anyone in lockdown in my type of situation: 
a) Have a daily routine including the basics for survival
b) Ensure you can communicate with a buddy, eg. text or phone, etc
c) Learn something new, perhaps a hobby that you always wanted to pursue but never found the time.

Hari Sivanesan

Hari Sivanesan

Introducing Hari Sivanesan

Composer and multi-instrumentalist, Hari Sivanesan is a unique representation of the new generation of Indian classical-contemporary artists of international acclaim. He was born and trained in the UK and brings his Sri Lankan, Tamil heritage, South Indian and Western classical music training together. 

Years of classical training, and contemporary mentorship has evolved his practice, performance style and mindset to negotiate both the austere classicism of the South Asian arts with researched, experimental and contemporary work in the UK and internationally. Hari, as a soloist on Veena, accompanist, musical director, researcher, composer and curator, has pioneered projects in partnership with BBC Radio & TV, BBC Proms, UK WOMADs, the Royal Opera House, The Boite, Multicultural Arts Victoria and Bunjil Place. 

Hari is Co-Director of the South Asian Arts Pathways Program commissioned by The City of Casey and Bunjil Place and Co-Artistic Director of Sangam: Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora which will be presented at four exciting venues including Bunjil Place on Saturday 6th March. 

What brought you to Casey?

I was born and brought up in London. My family and I moved to Casey in 2016 and it’s been incredibly rewarding to have been part of projects Bunjil Place since 2018. The city of Casey is the only Melbourne space I have known to be home. The rich diversity we have and the number of young families here remind me of the incredibly, busy and multicultural London home that I used to call home. 

How did you first connect with Bunjil Place?

Dr Priya Srinivaasan, (dancer, scholar, Co-Artistic Director of Sangam Festival) and I met with the Bunjil Arts team in 2018 and spoke of our concerns about the lack of South Asian bodies and work in mainstream venues, not just here in Casey, but throughout Victoria. We also spoke of the amazingly talented and incredibly trained youth who are here who don’t have opportunities to create and perform in mainstream venues and for diverse audiences. With their support and moreover their belief in us, a series of shows and projects have been presented here over the last few years. In particular, the South Asian Arts Pathways project has had two amazingly successful cohorts, in 2019 and 2020. 

Tell us more about the Pathways project?

South Asian Arts Pathways is a project designed to professionalise emerging South Asian artists around and in mainstream venues and projects; whilst in the process creating new, cutting edge, classically based, contemporary and experimental multi form South Asian work. 

We are about to present the outcome of Pathways 2020, a multi art form work based on an old folktale, the flowering Tree. Due to COVID, the project had much of it’s development online in 2020. With restriction easing and with the support of the City of Dandenong and the Drum Theatre, we were able to meet in person with the 9 artists in the cohort to jointly create the work; which we decided to film to create a screen version of the theatrical retelling of this story. The Story is really quite relevant to the times we live in as the Tree and what happens to it through the story is a provoking metaphor for how we are treating the Earth at the moment and also the issues such as violence against women.

It’s been a whirlwind of the last few weeks as we were also able to collaborate with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra when they performed at Bunjil in January 2021. It was an amazing opportunity to work with them and conductor, composer, arranger Ben Northey to create the final two items of the night. 

Fuelled by the adrenaline of the highly successful MSO collaboration, the Pathways group spent 10 hours filming for the production. The final work will be premiered at Bunjil Place as part of Sangam, Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora on March 6th. We are really excited to share this journey and the art we have created together through covid, especially as it’s message is so timely. 

What will the highlight of Sangam be for you?

I’m really looking forward to a personal project which is premiering as part of Sangam. Having been fortunate to tour with the late Ravi Shankar in my teens, I was veena artist in a unique orchestra that he put together that toured the USA called “Festival of India”. This was ground-breaking work as the maestro had created orchestral format work for the small orchestra of string, woodwind, percussion and vocal instruments.

Since then I have wanted to write orchestral work, in the structure and in a similar format to the Western Symphonic tradition, but still maintaining the genre and authenticity of the South Indian (Carnatic) classical genre. I’m thrilled to be premiering this work set for a string quartet of the Sarod, (17 stringed plucked lute), Taus (28 stringed, fretted, bowed lute), Veena (6 stringed lute) and Double Bass at Bunjil Place on Saturday 6th March. 

Neloo Kreltszhiem

Neloo Kreltszhiem

Neloo's work is currently showing in the “Casey Celebrates” group exhibition at the Art Spaces in Hayshed Studio (Old Cheese Factory) and Cranbourne Library.

How would you describe your art practice?

Art has been the ‘love of my life’ from the time I was able to hold a pencil in my hand, but I never dreamed that it would become my career as it has become today. I was born in Sri Lanka and studied Architecture at the University of Ceylon.  After emigrating to Melbourne in 1973, I graduated as an Architect from RMIT.  Due to family commitments I later gave up my architectural career to study Art, which had always been my passion.  

From that time on, I have been an active member of several Art societies located in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, including the Waverley, Berwick, Dandenong and Sherbrooke Art Societies.  I am a current member of the South Eastern Contemporary Artists Society (SECAN).  Following encouragement and pressure from parents and children in this area, I established the successful Palette and Paintbrush School of Art for Children and Adults, which celebrated its 30th year in 2020.

I have studied visual art, perspective, sculpture, mosaics, leadlight art and iconography.  I draw and paint in all the major media, but I am currently concentrating on religious iconography, working with egg tempera, mosaics, leadlight and 3D limestone.

Three words that people have used to describe my work are, ‘inspiring’ ‘stimulating’ and ‘colourful’.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

I am a dreamer.  Mostly, I dream or visualise my works and colours.  When I wake up in the morning, vivid pictures, colours and shapes enter my mind, which I try to remember, sketch on a pad on my bedside table and use in my projects. I have also been inspired by visits to some of the great art galleries in Europe, including France, Italy and Spain.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

As a dreamer, I possess a great imagination.  The objects, environments, spaces and colours in my garden provide me with loads of visual aspects to commit to canvas.  When I teach my students, I encourage them to look at their objects, not only to see what is there in front of them, but also what is not.

Did the need to stay inside during COVID-19 have an impact on your making progress, if so how?

Contrary to the many reports that have been around of the negative impact of the pandemic on progress, the lockdown through the long winter months provided me with TIME, SPACE and FREEDOM to move forward in many ways.  

In the first instance I was able to progress with two significant mosaics.  The first was the ‘Madonna of the Corona’, inspired by the ‘Black Madonna’ of Czestochowa (Poland), which now hangs in St Mary’s Church, Dandenong (Pic. #1). The second opportunity arose when I was invited to conduct online art classes by the Rowville Neighbourhood Learning Centre using the ZOOM platform.  I had never taught online before but with experience, I was able to learn and master the technique.

Where do you create your art?

I have two studios, which I call the ‘Palette and Paintbrush Studio’.  The first is a converted third bedroom where I work till quite late with my little guardian cat Tikky by my side.  The second is undercover in my garden where I teach and attend to any ‘messy’ work such as sculpture.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?

In my early days I loved to draw flora, fauna and figure art in both real and abstract forms.  At present I am in iconography and interested in creating religious themes, mostly in abstract and cubist forms, for example ‘The Resurrection’, that hangs in the Uniting Church, Dandenong.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation?

As self-care through isolation, I learnt to:
a)    Forget the negative situation and look for positivity;
b)    Make use of God-given opportunities during free ‘time’;
c)    Produce works that I can look back on, thank God and look forward and trust Him to get me through the difficult times.

Chelsea Ryan

Chelsea Ryan artwork

How would you describe your art practice?

I dabble in lots of different mediums (fine liner, watercolour, markers, spray paint and more) when creating, though these days I primarily paint using acrylic. I find myself still struggling to identify a specific style in my art, but I suppose it's kind of a mix of surrealism and fantasy. I think if people had to describe my art in three words they might say 'colourful, spacey and trippy'. 

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

I'm finding a lot of inspiration in nature, in plants and animals. I get excited and inspired by all the ways my exterior world can be combined and modified to create new landscapes, creatures and beings.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

The way I see people living and the way it makes me feel has an influence on some of my work, but honestly, I feel that most of my work is influenced by internal thoughts, beliefs and random imaginings as opposed to external surroundings.

Did the need to stay inside during COVID-19 had an impact on your making process, if so how?

Absolutely! As horrid as it's been in so many aspects, COVID-19 has actually had a positive impact on my artistic process. I find whilst working that painting is something I struggle to find time for on the side, whilst during the lockdown period it was one of my main priorities.

Where do you create your art?

I don't have either a studio or dedicated space, unfortunately. I usually paint on my bed actually, which really isn't the best space haha, so I've been painting at my dining table recently. This space probably slows down my work slightly as it's in the communal area of the house and distractions are much more frequent, but I think it's much better for my posture, so I guess you win some you lose some!

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?

Space, nature, extra-terrestrial/mystical beings and alternate realities are the main themes that I'm currently reflecting in my art. These are the themes that I usually like to explore and focus on, which have been consistent throughout isolation. I've found self-isolation hasn't really changed the content of my art but has just given me more time to physically create the art itself.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation? What did you do to care for yourself during these times?

Take time to connect with yourself-I do this through yoga and meditation, but it can also be achieved through journaling, working out, working on your passions/hobbies or anything where you feel as though you're honouring yourself and doing something just for you. 

Limit your time on social media. Obviously social media has its pros, but I think it's so important not to fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling and absorbing every opinion or negative story that we see on the internet, especially while self-isolating during such uncertain times. 

And stay in touch with loved ones! In whatever way you can, whether it's a socially distanced walk, a video call or just a funny voice recording, staying connected with those that make us feel loved and feel joy is a really important part of caring for ourselves. 

I've been delving into meditation and yoga, making sure I'm keeping active, limiting time spent on my phone, and making sure I allow myself lazy days when I need the comfort.

Jill-Louise Dawson

Mount Bruce - Jill Louise

How would you describe your art practice?

At this stage my preferred medium is oil pastel. Whilst the style of my artwork is embryonic (ie. still developing), it is essentially realist with an indigenous feel filtering through the lines and shapes and colours. Most of my subjects invariably feature aspects of our land. In just three words I would describe my work best as "oil pastel landscaping", with a focus on the process rather than the end product.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

Throughout 2020 and the Covid-19 lockdown phase, I've been inspired to create 75 oil pastel drawings covering four discrete topics: fish, birds, trees and finally landscapes. The latter represents my quest to escape from lockdown via a virtual trip around Australia. My inspiration was drawn from my love of nature, of wanting to better understand the structure of our fauna and flora, and connect with the great outdoors when I was unable to travel far from home.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

Wherever I go I'm drawn to the environment. I take it home with me through my art, which typically incorporates interpretations of what I see and hear and feel.

Did the need to stay inside during COVID-19 have an impact on your making progress, if so how?

During the Covid-19 lockdown I took advantage of the 5km limit to exercise most days at Lysterfield Park. There I met some University students who were undertaking field research into the fairy wren population, which inspired me (and my super ego wren-self) to take flight from lockdown on a virtual trip around Australia. 

Where do you create your art?  

All of my oil pastel drawings have been created and completed in my own home. On my own, I have plenty of spare room to use as an art studio. However I've felt perfectly comfortable and creative thus far honing my artwork close to the fridge (and food) in my kitchen. 

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?

Prior to the lockdown I created a set of oil pastel drawings depicting a fictional realm called Rockpoolia. These drawings accompanied the text of a story I had written about the journey of a seahorse to that realm. The artwork and the text are based around the theme of the hero's journey, entailing personal growth with the acquisition of wisdom regarding the problem of plastic waste finding its way into marine habitats. During the Covid-19 lockdown and the ensuing isolation, I was the subject in need of a journey. Hence my quest for a virtual trip around Australia was created to keep my spirits afloat. It worked. On average I completed one oil pastel drawing every two or three days. I loved every minute of it.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation?

I was one of the unlucky "singles" who'd been forgotten in the laying down of restrictions. During Stage 1 of the lockdown I was completely on my own. Stage 2 was an improvement, with the granting of a "buddy bubble".

Overall I'd offer these three tips to anyone in lockdown in my type of situation: 
a) Have a daily routine including the basics for survival
b) Ensure you can communicate with a buddy, eg. text or phone, etc
c) Learn something new, perhaps a hobby that you always wanted to pursue but never found the time.

We proudly acknowledge the traditional owners, Casey’s Aboriginal communities and their rich culture and pay respect to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge Aboriginal people as Australia’s first peoples and as the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we work and live.