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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). 
 

Online Exhibitions

Sentiments of Suburbia Group Exhibition  - July 2020

This virtual exhibition is held together by works that reflect experiences of growing up, living and making in the suburbs. The works in this show shine a light on the sentimentality of the geographical locations we know and love; gardens, picnic spots, lounge-rooms, duck ponds, second hand stores, favourite local fish and chip shops and all the other great places that can only be found in the little nooks of suburban areas. These places and the people we meet there, play a role in forming our identity, and for many of us, informs our art practice and style of work. 

View the Sentiments of Suburbia Group Exhibition.
 

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 Art Spaces program 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 during the Winter Arts Festival. Applications are accepted each year from October to March. Exhibitions are selected and programed for the following March to August including the Winter Arts Festival and from August to November, as well as a group Christmas show. 

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

The Winter Arts Festival, now in its second decade, is held from June to August with almost 100 events programmed and promoted to keep you inspired during winter. WAF supports performing and visual arts, workshops and the popular Open Studio bus tour.

WAF supports performing and visual arts, workshops and the popular Open Studio bus tour.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's festival has been cancelled following Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommendations.

Applications for the Winter Arts Festival will be accepted from March to May 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.

Nominate someone for the Award

Nominations will open in 2021 for Casey's most prestigious arts award. Do you know of an individual – an artist or an arts supporter – who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Casey? If you have an arts champion in your community why not nominate them and have them recognised for their contribution to arts and culture in the community.

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

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 Art Spaces program 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 during the Winter Arts Festival. Applications are accepted each year from October to March. Exhibitions are selected and programed for the following March to August including the Winter Arts Festival and from August to November, as well as a group Christmas show. 

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

The Winter Arts Festival, now in its second decade, is held from June to August with almost 100 events programmed and promoted to keep you inspired during winter. WAF supports performing and visual arts, workshops and the popular Open Studio bus tour.

WAF supports performing and visual arts, workshops and the popular Open Studio bus tour.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's festival has been cancelled following Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommendations.

Applications for the Winter Arts Festival will be accepted from March to May 2021.

Lindsay King Award

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.

Nominate someone for the Award

Nominations will open in 2021 for Casey's most prestigious arts award. Do you know of an individual – an artist or an arts supporter – who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Casey? If you have an arts champion in your community why not nominate them and have them recognised for their contribution to arts and culture in the community.

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

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. 

Approximately 700 objects in the Civic Collection are being catalogued and will be made available online soon.

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. 

Approximately 700 objects in the Civic Collection are being catalogued and will be made available online soon.

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

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).

Poetry

Connect

Jeff Valledor 

 

Jeff V


@jeffrowz

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
Art surrounds me in many ways. A lot of what I do is collaborating with people and creating and feeding off a good vibe. I’m grateful for Melbourne, it’s such a picturesque place to live in. 
 
Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
At this stage I have some gigs on hold, live DJ gigs and music videos. Weddings are also postponed but luckily, I have a fair few backlog video clips that need editing to keep me busy during lockdown. 
 
 

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
Music, adrenaline and weightlessness… and the finesse to land smoothly countering the shock wave with the tension of your being pulled back to gravity, excuse the poetry. 
 
What makes you feel free?
That moment when you get a split-second mid-air. 
 
How did you come to start creating your lo-fi charity of sharing your skating skills and providing skates to many people overseas?

Philippines has limited access to skates related items, and one day a kid reached out to me as he saw some of my skate related videos online. I thought, ‘hey I have a few pairs lying around. I could send back in a box’. From then on, so many others have reached out. I gave away may pairs of skates from my last trip October 2019 and created some lasting memories with the skaters I gave them to.  It has been a blessing to make others feel a little joy through skating, and it's created a special place in my heart. As dire as the place maybe at times the momentum of flying is only a stride away. Rolling creates memories to watch back online.  
 
Where did your love of skating come from? How long have you been practising?
 The first time I skated on roller skates, I was ten at a boy scout excursion. From that day on, I had blast and making new friends was beautiful time though I never really skated to a high level. when I started to invest more time and effort into aggressive skating and filming, I was 34 years of age. 

Sam

How would you describe your art practice? (e.g. what mediums do you use? what is your ‘style’ of work? If people could describe your work in three words, what do you think those three words would be?)
My art practice explores still life with a modern twist style. The tools I use to create my paintings are flowers (nurseries, florists, friends/neighbours and my garden) which I pair with a vase or ceramic piece from my ever-growing collection. I paint in oils and love adding to my collection of obscure colours and brands. The 3 words people would describe my work as are botanical, colourful, still life.
Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
For the last 4 months I have been working on my exhibition, 'Dual Citizen'. The catalyst for this exhibition has been spending half my life in NZ and half in Australia. The exhibition is made up of NZ nostalgic paintings inspired from my childhood together with Australian paintings inspired by stories of my adult life in Australia.  
 
How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
We really enjoy living in Blind Bight, it has been especially beneficial during lock down. Blind Bight is surrounded by flora & fauna reserves, farmland, nurseries, and vegetable growers which provides constant inspiration throughout the seasons. There are many walking tracks to explore and the water that surrounds us is such a bonus. What I love the most is the bustling nature, we have so many varieties of birds and natives, especially banksias. 
 
Has the need to stay inside during COVID-19 had an impact on your making process, if so how?
Covid had disrupted my exhibition planning as I was hoping to travel back to New Zealand. I was hoping to include some NZ landscapes within my exhibition & venturing around my Grandads epic garden. Covid has however provided little gems, such as a recent zoom call my cousins and I did with my 94 year old Grandad, where we interviewed him about his life and learned many new things, such as when his love for gardening started at 8 years old when he used his pocket money to buy carrot seeds (in 1934!). I have included carrot leaves within my paintings along with other mementos like this. Covid has slowed our family life down too without the school and after school activity travel which has meant I have had more 'flow' and been able to take my time with my paintings as I havent had to 'stop' and rush off anywhere.    Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or dedicated making space?  How does this space impact your work? My studio is a big detached space just off our home, accessed through a decked undercover sunroom. The space is lovely and large and has great natural light for painting, along with great overhead lights for painting at night. It has a toilet and enough space for my kids to come in and do their school projects or hangout on their ipads. It's a really great space and big enough to run workshops which I hope to do at some stage. 

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?
What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through self isolation? The theme I work with is nature. I would usually seek and search for new varieties and types of flower that interest me in real life, I would then set and light these up in my studio to paint and draw from. I love being able to touch the flower to ascertain the texture, density and see its true colour. During isolation I have had to be more creative with how I obtain my flowers. I have put 'callouts' on our local Blind Bight Facebook group for specific blooms I am after and have had to do a lot of research online and throughout my books. 

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation?
What have you been doing to care for yourself during these times? My first tip would be to get out for your hour of exercise and put a good podcast on. I always feel like I have set my day up well after my morning walk. My second tip would be to make a phone call to a friend or family member each day and get your kids involved (if you have young ones at home), it helps to feel more connected and it's great to talk about your call over dinner (along with what you're grateful for which is always a great mindset shift during tough times). My 8 year old called my brother last week and my brother sent me a message to say it 'made his day'. My last tip would be to just go easy on yourself and have fun, new routines are being made, cabin fever to be managed, loss to deal with, it's tough enough so make things as 'fun' as you can. The 4 of us have started a little basketball competition, we get dressed up, sometimes we put on face paint. The teams are very even, and we always have a horrible job for the losers, e.g. folding all the washing ;) 

SJM

How would you describe your art practice?
My practice is quite chaotic if I’m being completely honest since I wear many different “hats”. On a surface level, I’m a fashion stylist; I dress and style individuals to create visually stimulating images that reflect a desired aesthetic. Since I am also formally trained as a Visual Merchandiser; I can create displays as well as source and build props. I am extremely selective when it comes to personal projects due to social media having an over-saturation of content being made. I believe in creating work that I find meaningful as well as collaborate with individuals who are just as passionate about their craft. I’m one of those individuals who takes their time on their projects rather than saying yes to everything that comes my way, it needs to feel right in my heart and gut. I would describe my work as glamourous, nostalgic and eccentric.    

 
Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
Currently, I am being consumed by memories of my childhood and the environments that it took place in as well as rediscovering interests and hobbies. I find there is a charm of taking something from the past and reinventing it. Some of my best ideas coming from completing mundane activities such as cleaning my bedroom.   

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
My mind is like a sponge and I absorb everything around me while also filing this information away for a later date to reference in my work. I find that living in the South East helps me focus on my work since I am not distracted by comparing myself to other creatives who are creating similar work to me; there is a space for everyone to create.   
 
Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
I am currently working on a few personal projects at the moment that are really for myself. I’m taking this period to reflect, learn and experiment with a variety of creative formats without placing the pressure to create for others. 

Art

How would you describe your art practice? 
The majority of my artwork is based on sculpture using Bronze, wood carving, stone carving and other forms of mixed media and including digital art, too. In my abstract sculptures I always find the human body is a perfect theme to be modified and remodulated to express an emotional moment. I believe each part of the human body either man or women are a piece of beautiful art and a centre of all the beauty and creativity.  You could describe my work as a figurative, conceptual and modern.   

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment? 
Human beings’ happiness, sadness and reactions is always reflected on my sculpture work where I am trying to express and project ideas and concepts through human figure and shapes. I am trying to highlight invisible scenes and moment with emotions and sensitive feeling. My daily observations and thinking never stops or is limited, I like to produce many forms of art influenced by the environment surrounding me; family, friends, community, and the world news. I normally end up sketching and painting… it’s easy and faster than making sculptures. 

Has the need to stay inside during COVID-19 had an impact on your making process, if so how? 
Although this is an unwanted disaster, the reality is that this is the great time for any artist to focus more on making art and finishing any unfinished work, or achieve what was just planning before. I have spent time on my computer to sort out many photos and files that accumulated with time.  

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or dedicated making space?  How does this space impact your work? 
My home is my studio, as I believe the artists’ home is the studio and the gallery where the ideas are generated and born. 

 

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art? What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through self-isolation? 
I am working on finishing a wood carving of a woman’s body, I always use a couple or bilateral theme in my artworks. I’m also working on making many parts of a big installation around 2,5 meters made of metal, copper, wood, plaster and fabric to represent martyrs. This is for an electronic online exhibition. 

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation? What have you been doing to care for yourself during these times? 
Stay home as much as you can with doing some art or home projects and maintenance, as you may not getting this opportunity again when the usual routine back again. I have also found it really important to be with family most of the time to share with them, have fun and get to know them more. 

Check out more of Wisam’s works on Facebook.

Art

Jeff Valledor

Jeff Valledor 

 

Jeff V


@jeffrowz

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
Art surrounds me in many ways. A lot of what I do is collaborating with people and creating and feeding off a good vibe. I’m grateful for Melbourne, it’s such a picturesque place to live in. 
 
Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
At this stage I have some gigs on hold, live DJ gigs and music videos. Weddings are also postponed but luckily, I have a fair few backlog video clips that need editing to keep me busy during lockdown. 
 
 

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
Music, adrenaline and weightlessness… and the finesse to land smoothly countering the shock wave with the tension of your being pulled back to gravity, excuse the poetry. 
 
What makes you feel free?
That moment when you get a split-second mid-air. 
 
How did you come to start creating your lo-fi charity of sharing your skating skills and providing skates to many people overseas?

Philippines has limited access to skates related items, and one day a kid reached out to me as he saw some of my skate related videos online. I thought, ‘hey I have a few pairs lying around. I could send back in a box’. From then on, so many others have reached out. I gave away may pairs of skates from my last trip October 2019 and created some lasting memories with the skaters I gave them to.  It has been a blessing to make others feel a little joy through skating, and it's created a special place in my heart. As dire as the place maybe at times the momentum of flying is only a stride away. Rolling creates memories to watch back online.  
 
Where did your love of skating come from? How long have you been practising?
 The first time I skated on roller skates, I was ten at a boy scout excursion. From that day on, I had blast and making new friends was beautiful time though I never really skated to a high level. when I started to invest more time and effort into aggressive skating and filming, I was 34 years of age. 

Sam Michelle interview

Sam

How would you describe your art practice? (e.g. what mediums do you use? what is your ‘style’ of work? If people could describe your work in three words, what do you think those three words would be?)
My art practice explores still life with a modern twist style. The tools I use to create my paintings are flowers (nurseries, florists, friends/neighbours and my garden) which I pair with a vase or ceramic piece from my ever-growing collection. I paint in oils and love adding to my collection of obscure colours and brands. The 3 words people would describe my work as are botanical, colourful, still life.
Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
For the last 4 months I have been working on my exhibition, 'Dual Citizen'. The catalyst for this exhibition has been spending half my life in NZ and half in Australia. The exhibition is made up of NZ nostalgic paintings inspired from my childhood together with Australian paintings inspired by stories of my adult life in Australia.  
 
How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
We really enjoy living in Blind Bight, it has been especially beneficial during lock down. Blind Bight is surrounded by flora & fauna reserves, farmland, nurseries, and vegetable growers which provides constant inspiration throughout the seasons. There are many walking tracks to explore and the water that surrounds us is such a bonus. What I love the most is the bustling nature, we have so many varieties of birds and natives, especially banksias. 
 
Has the need to stay inside during COVID-19 had an impact on your making process, if so how?
Covid had disrupted my exhibition planning as I was hoping to travel back to New Zealand. I was hoping to include some NZ landscapes within my exhibition & venturing around my Grandads epic garden. Covid has however provided little gems, such as a recent zoom call my cousins and I did with my 94 year old Grandad, where we interviewed him about his life and learned many new things, such as when his love for gardening started at 8 years old when he used his pocket money to buy carrot seeds (in 1934!). I have included carrot leaves within my paintings along with other mementos like this. Covid has slowed our family life down too without the school and after school activity travel which has meant I have had more 'flow' and been able to take my time with my paintings as I havent had to 'stop' and rush off anywhere.    Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or dedicated making space?  How does this space impact your work? My studio is a big detached space just off our home, accessed through a decked undercover sunroom. The space is lovely and large and has great natural light for painting, along with great overhead lights for painting at night. It has a toilet and enough space for my kids to come in and do their school projects or hangout on their ipads. It's a really great space and big enough to run workshops which I hope to do at some stage. 

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?
What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through self isolation? The theme I work with is nature. I would usually seek and search for new varieties and types of flower that interest me in real life, I would then set and light these up in my studio to paint and draw from. I love being able to touch the flower to ascertain the texture, density and see its true colour. During isolation I have had to be more creative with how I obtain my flowers. I have put 'callouts' on our local Blind Bight Facebook group for specific blooms I am after and have had to do a lot of research online and throughout my books. 

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation?
What have you been doing to care for yourself during these times? My first tip would be to get out for your hour of exercise and put a good podcast on. I always feel like I have set my day up well after my morning walk. My second tip would be to make a phone call to a friend or family member each day and get your kids involved (if you have young ones at home), it helps to feel more connected and it's great to talk about your call over dinner (along with what you're grateful for which is always a great mindset shift during tough times). My 8 year old called my brother last week and my brother sent me a message to say it 'made his day'. My last tip would be to just go easy on yourself and have fun, new routines are being made, cabin fever to be managed, loss to deal with, it's tough enough so make things as 'fun' as you can. The 4 of us have started a little basketball competition, we get dressed up, sometimes we put on face paint. The teams are very even, and we always have a horrible job for the losers, e.g. folding all the washing ;) 

Sarah-Jane McMartin

SJM

How would you describe your art practice?
My practice is quite chaotic if I’m being completely honest since I wear many different “hats”. On a surface level, I’m a fashion stylist; I dress and style individuals to create visually stimulating images that reflect a desired aesthetic. Since I am also formally trained as a Visual Merchandiser; I can create displays as well as source and build props. I am extremely selective when it comes to personal projects due to social media having an over-saturation of content being made. I believe in creating work that I find meaningful as well as collaborate with individuals who are just as passionate about their craft. I’m one of those individuals who takes their time on their projects rather than saying yes to everything that comes my way, it needs to feel right in my heart and gut. I would describe my work as glamourous, nostalgic and eccentric.    

 
Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
Currently, I am being consumed by memories of my childhood and the environments that it took place in as well as rediscovering interests and hobbies. I find there is a charm of taking something from the past and reinventing it. Some of my best ideas coming from completing mundane activities such as cleaning my bedroom.   

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
My mind is like a sponge and I absorb everything around me while also filing this information away for a later date to reference in my work. I find that living in the South East helps me focus on my work since I am not distracted by comparing myself to other creatives who are creating similar work to me; there is a space for everyone to create.   
 
Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
I am currently working on a few personal projects at the moment that are really for myself. I’m taking this period to reflect, learn and experiment with a variety of creative formats without placing the pressure to create for others. 

Art

Wisam Ibrahim

How would you describe your art practice? 
The majority of my artwork is based on sculpture using Bronze, wood carving, stone carving and other forms of mixed media and including digital art, too. In my abstract sculptures I always find the human body is a perfect theme to be modified and remodulated to express an emotional moment. I believe each part of the human body either man or women are a piece of beautiful art and a centre of all the beauty and creativity.  You could describe my work as a figurative, conceptual and modern.   

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment? 
Human beings’ happiness, sadness and reactions is always reflected on my sculpture work where I am trying to express and project ideas and concepts through human figure and shapes. I am trying to highlight invisible scenes and moment with emotions and sensitive feeling. My daily observations and thinking never stops or is limited, I like to produce many forms of art influenced by the environment surrounding me; family, friends, community, and the world news. I normally end up sketching and painting… it’s easy and faster than making sculptures. 

Has the need to stay inside during COVID-19 had an impact on your making process, if so how? 
Although this is an unwanted disaster, the reality is that this is the great time for any artist to focus more on making art and finishing any unfinished work, or achieve what was just planning before. I have spent time on my computer to sort out many photos and files that accumulated with time.  

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or dedicated making space?  How does this space impact your work? 
My home is my studio, as I believe the artists’ home is the studio and the gallery where the ideas are generated and born. 

 

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art? What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through self-isolation? 
I am working on finishing a wood carving of a woman’s body, I always use a couple or bilateral theme in my artworks. I’m also working on making many parts of a big installation around 2,5 meters made of metal, copper, wood, plaster and fabric to represent martyrs. This is for an electronic online exhibition. 

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation? What have you been doing to care for yourself during these times? 
Stay home as much as you can with doing some art or home projects and maintenance, as you may not getting this opportunity again when the usual routine back again. I have also found it really important to be with family most of the time to share with them, have fun and get to know them more. 

Check out more of Wisam’s works on Facebook.

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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.