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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

Casey Celebrates

This online exhibition is made up of some of our Art Spaces artists from the 2020 program. Casey Arts wants to celebrate the amazing artworks of local community members throughout COVID19 and works that would've been exhibited this year in our Library Art Spaces.

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).

Connect

Anne Riggs

Anne R

How would you describe your art practice? If people could describe your work in three words, what do you think those three words would be?

 I usually create around a theme. The materials I use depend on what I am trying to convey. At the moment I am working on paper, with watercolours, text, charcoal, photography, collage and thread. At other times, I immerse myself in clay, or oil paint. I love them all for their unique qualities to carry an idea. Hmmm. A friend one once called my work ‘rough’ which I wasn’t sure how to take! But she meant immediate, I guess you could say it is raw. Viewers often respond to my work with deep emotion - it has a potency that touches some people very deeply.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

My inspiration is coming from a range of sources. On the last day of 2019 I decided to set a positive and creative New Year’s resolution, to create a small artwork each day of 2020. I intended to do a postcard size work each day, but I changed my course along the way and am not so restrictive on size. Today is 26 October, the 300th day of the year and I have not missed the day, that means a lot of little art works have been created. In that time, I have made postcards, big charcoal pieces that take up the whole wall of my studio, tiny books, and lots in between. This project in itself has given me a lot of inspiration to keep creating, exploring and not getting caught up in too much of the negativity of this COVID year. I'm very fortunate that the beach is in my 5km zone. I head to Ricketts Point, Sandringham or Hampton beach most evenings to absorb and enjoy the beauty of the ever-changing natural world and to take photos. Many daily artworks reflect a love affair with my environment.

The third and maybe the strangest inspiration coming towards me at the moment is my local cemetery! I have two in walking distance. I noticed a grave at the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery memorialising a family who had lost five children between age two and nine years old and had also experienced the deaths of three infants. Curiosity led to more than three months researching this family and the time when these events were happening, between 1855 and 1890. What lead to the death of these children? Was there an epidemic or pandemic that was so dangerous the children in this period? How do parents grieve and continue to parent their surviving children in the face of such sorrow? I discovered a lot about the viruses and bacterias that claimed so many young lives then and which are not considered life-threatening to children in developed countries. Diphtheria. Scarlet fever. Pneumonia and Croup. I have created so much artwork around this family; they were religious and involved in setting up one of the local churches. I have been thinking about and creating work about grief, and loss, and how this families’ faith might have been challenged with each new death, or is faith the thing that makes this suffering bearable? And along the way, have learned so much about my local area. I have immersed myself in this project and have loved every minute of both the research and art making that has emerged from this random encounter with a grave.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

I enjoy wandering around my neighbourhood with my camera. There are some industrial places nearby; during the winter and before the curfew deadline, I would roam around looking for images that made a pretty ordinary place by day seem intriguing by night.

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

I am an NDIS provider. I run programs in my studio for women, most of whom have a mental injury because of sexual and domestic abuse. The programs have continued through lockdown - although now as one-on-one sessions rather than the small groups I used to run. It means I work more and have fewer days available during the week for my own artmaking, but I so enjoy the company of these women and working with them women to nurture their creativity. I have enjoyed the opportunity to stay in and make my art. I find it very relaxing and a positive offset to the frustrations I feel with the restrictions. I guess one of the biggest impacts on my creative practice has been the inability to travel into the bush where I derive so much inspiration, joy and wonder. Audiobooks and the radio are great company while I am making art and I feel this time is very precious. I never feel bored, often totally the opposite, there are never enough hours in the day.

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 in my rambling garden and I enjoy a view onto nature from every window. The garden is a sanctuary, for me and the participants who come here for art. It does not have hard borders and I don't try too hard to tame things. Inside the studio there are lots of things happening - clay, painting, drawing, making and handmade books. There is have a little nook here for my computer where I write. My studio is a more public space than it used to be. Much of the work I do is very sensitive and raw and I don't want people seeing it before I feel it is resolved or ready. So I work in my house at night to preserve a private creative space where I can explore these important yet sensitive topics and in my studio on clay projects and other things that are less private.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art? What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through isolation?

Most of my artwork before and after COVID has some relationship with grief and loss, or the natural world.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation? What have you been doing to care for yourself during these times?

Find something meaningful and enjoyable to do. Try to limit the complaining. Engage with people. Sometimes it can be hard to reach out, but it is important to stay connected and maintain relationships. All the above! Plus I like to read; I spend heaps of time in the garden, working and in awe of the wonder of nature as things grow and change; I go for a walk every day, and do yoga. I appreciate the beauty around me and try to limit my exposure to negativity. I do things for myself and things for other people. For the most part I am a positive person and do these things anyway regardless of a pandemic

Brighton beach

How would you describe your art practice?

I am a photographer; my main genres are cityscapes and street photography. I have been photographing the city of Melbourne since 2008. Started with an entry-level camera, then over the years selling my photographs online, I managed to purchase a professional camera. I love capturing the ever-changing landscape of Melbourne and its' dynamic street life. 

You could describe my work as dynamic, energetic and photo-journalistic.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment? 

My inspiration comes from connecting with fellow photographers from my Camera Club or online communities, reading magazines, blogs and seeing amazing online galleries of photography.

During these times of stay at home, watching a few inspirational photography documentaries too.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings? 

The dynamic streets and architecture of Melbourne influence my work. I love the busyness of the city and the ever-changing scenes I can capture.  Especially at night, the city comes alive. That why most of my city photos are taken at night, in long exposure.

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

COVID-19 has completely stopped me from going out to the city and creative images. But it hasn't stopped me from exploring other creative paths and even starting a new photo series. 

  • During these COVID times, I started to illustrate more. 
  • Working on regular articles for my blog. 
  • I am a heavy Photoshop user, experimenting with my old photos.
  • I also started a COVID photo series - Big, Bright and Simple. Simple products photographed on colourful backgrounds.

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or dedicated making space?  How does this space impact your work?

I don't have a studio. My gear is basic and consists of a camera, tripod, remote and two different lenses. If I have to shoot at home, I would use a bench with small portable lights.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art? What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through isolation?

Usually, my themes are architecture, cityscapes and street photography. But during restriction and lockdowns, I started working on a minimalism/still life series, named Big, Bright and Simple. Where I photograph items on colourful backgrounds.

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

My Self-care during isolation;

 1. exercise, love going on a run. 

 2. making sure I spend some time interacting with my kids 

 3. studying up and trying to improve my professional skills. 

 

Janet Matthews artwork

How would you describe your art practice?

Colour pencil and graphite are my chosen mediums, I love working in both of them.  They give me rich colours, intense detail, I love detail in my drawings, and are so immediate, giving me a direct connection with my paper and my drawing.

To describe my work the three words I would choose are-

Wildlife – I draw the birds and animals that surround me or that I have observed in wildlife parks or the bush.

Botanical – Flowers, usually complex flowers like banksia, grevillea etc appeal to me.  I often design my drawing to be a close up, so those lovely stamen are large and engaging.

Engaging – My subjects are a means of telling a story, which people can engage with.  The antics of the birds, bees and animals makes people smile and remember similar occasions in their own life.  All positive stories.

Wildlife and Botanical subjects are my passion, but my drawings are really a story about my life experiences, my feelings, interactions with my friends and family. 

For instance, I would draw a pair of cockatoos, have them looking at each other as if one is saying “Are you listening to me?” and the other sheepishly saying “Yep, I’m listening……. but I was thinking of my dinner”.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

My story and drawings have always been linked with my life, always in a positive way. 

My drawing stories have changed in response to the isolation, reflecting the things we are unable to enjoy at the moment. So I have been drawing cockatoos flying free, groups of birds sitting closely together sharing gossip or a joke, flowers with lots of bees hovering around.  My list of ideas is huge, there is always a couple of drawings in my mind, waiting to evolve onto my paper. 

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

I am surrounded by my inspiration.  My studio has a native garden where the honeyeaters come to visit, the Black cockatoos fly overhead regularly, cockatoos are everywhere, Rosellas and finches are in the trees around our estate, King Parrots come to visit me on my balcony, there is so much inspiration where I live.  When I am out walking, I listen to the birds voices, interpreting their conversation, listening for a new story for a drawing or one that reminds me of an occasion in my life.  The native flowers in my garden with bees busily buzzing in and out inspire my botanical drawings.

My studio is set up with my quiet area where my easle and pencils are ready for me to pop in and begin drawing.  I create a mood with music.  I feel very safe and enthralled when I am at my easle drawing, perfect for the concentration needed for detailed drawing.  A very special place to keep me inspired and absorbed, blocking out the world and any troubles for that time.

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

My routine has changed dramatically, with no classes, workshops, interstate workshops, my whole focus is now based in my studio.  This has given me more time to spend drawing, creating even more complex and larger drawings.  I am producing works for future exhibitions as well as the online and interstate exhibitions that are now happening.

To stay connected with my students I have created an e-workshop series, where I teach how to draw different subjects in colour pencil using a step by step description with images of each step.  These are available to anyone to subscribe to and has given me a focus and a deadline each week to keep me motivated and connected.

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or a dedicated making space? How does this impact your work?

My studio is specially designed and built for me as part of our home.  It has large windows which look out onto my native garden and bird bath.  The studio has two areas, one is my private space where my easle and pencils are set up so I can pop in at any time and get to drawing immediately.  The rest of the room is set up for classes, tables for framing artwork, storage for paper and framing plus the walls are a gallery of my current artworks, which change regularly as works go out to exhibitions, galleries or a sold.

Having a studio that is ‘my space’ is essential for me to relax into my drawing, it is meditative, inspiring and makes creating more productive.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?  What subject matter do you address through your work usually vs through isolation?

I have noticed that I am drawing more large botanical artworks, which are very complex so I can be surrounded by flower when I am leaning in to draw the minute details of the stamen etc.  A bit like closing in to smell the flower fragrance and being surrounded by the plant.  My bird drawings have more themes of togetherness, family, flying free.  I’ve drawn ladybugs, all clustered together in a group, on top of each other, flying in from outside, like a festival, rather than a solitary ladybug on a leaf. 

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

Purpose – give yourself some deadlines, projects to create. 

This can be a daily, weekly or even a monthly deadline.  Having artworks created in anticipation for some of the major exhibitions next year and later this year, has been my project and inspiration.

Interaction – Being connected to others is very important.

Make contact with friends, students, on a one to one basis by phone, sms or email each day.    Zoom chats has been a good option for talking to those we cannot visit.  A phone call, even for a few minutes, is heart-warming and keeps you connected, especially on days when you fell a bit blah

Balance – create a balance of work, exercise, relaxation, social contact each day.

Get outside into nature for your walk or bicycle ride every day.  I walk every day, we are surrounded by parkland, where birds, trees and flowers are abundant, there’s a pond with moorhen and ducks, combining exercise and absorbing inspiration for drawing.

Schedule your computer work and your drawing time for every day.  I love being in the studio, so I make sure I spend afternoons drawing.

Make a specific day for a specific task a few times a week so the days don’t all feel the same.  For instance, I email out my e-workshops every Tuesday morning.  I draw my next workshop steps every Thursday morning.  I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with the students involved in the workshops, seeing their drawings and answering their questions.  Keeping each day inspiring.

Solace

How would you describe your art practice?

There are many ways to describe the work of an artist. My work has been inspired by many forms. The place where I live, the people I meet, the struggles and joys from everyday life. The mediums I have used vary. I use textiles mainly: material, silk and cotton. I have been involved in classes and workshops and I have created work with clay and paint also.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

Culture and society, art, music, poetry, the sound of children and people passing by. These are my muses.

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

Isolation can create and impact many people in many different ways. I have learned to adapt and create in the outside world and focus on biodiversity.

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or a dedicated making space? How does this impact your work?

I create at home at present.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?  What subject matter do you address through your work usually vs through isolation?

Haiku, Greek mythology, and Renaissance and modern influences; New York abstract movements and cubism.

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

Exercise, diet and positive relationships.

Anne Riggs

Anne Riggs

Anne R

How would you describe your art practice? If people could describe your work in three words, what do you think those three words would be?

 I usually create around a theme. The materials I use depend on what I am trying to convey. At the moment I am working on paper, with watercolours, text, charcoal, photography, collage and thread. At other times, I immerse myself in clay, or oil paint. I love them all for their unique qualities to carry an idea. Hmmm. A friend one once called my work ‘rough’ which I wasn’t sure how to take! But she meant immediate, I guess you could say it is raw. Viewers often respond to my work with deep emotion - it has a potency that touches some people very deeply.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

My inspiration is coming from a range of sources. On the last day of 2019 I decided to set a positive and creative New Year’s resolution, to create a small artwork each day of 2020. I intended to do a postcard size work each day, but I changed my course along the way and am not so restrictive on size. Today is 26 October, the 300th day of the year and I have not missed the day, that means a lot of little art works have been created. In that time, I have made postcards, big charcoal pieces that take up the whole wall of my studio, tiny books, and lots in between. This project in itself has given me a lot of inspiration to keep creating, exploring and not getting caught up in too much of the negativity of this COVID year. I'm very fortunate that the beach is in my 5km zone. I head to Ricketts Point, Sandringham or Hampton beach most evenings to absorb and enjoy the beauty of the ever-changing natural world and to take photos. Many daily artworks reflect a love affair with my environment.

The third and maybe the strangest inspiration coming towards me at the moment is my local cemetery! I have two in walking distance. I noticed a grave at the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery memorialising a family who had lost five children between age two and nine years old and had also experienced the deaths of three infants. Curiosity led to more than three months researching this family and the time when these events were happening, between 1855 and 1890. What lead to the death of these children? Was there an epidemic or pandemic that was so dangerous the children in this period? How do parents grieve and continue to parent their surviving children in the face of such sorrow? I discovered a lot about the viruses and bacterias that claimed so many young lives then and which are not considered life-threatening to children in developed countries. Diphtheria. Scarlet fever. Pneumonia and Croup. I have created so much artwork around this family; they were religious and involved in setting up one of the local churches. I have been thinking about and creating work about grief, and loss, and how this families’ faith might have been challenged with each new death, or is faith the thing that makes this suffering bearable? And along the way, have learned so much about my local area. I have immersed myself in this project and have loved every minute of both the research and art making that has emerged from this random encounter with a grave.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

I enjoy wandering around my neighbourhood with my camera. There are some industrial places nearby; during the winter and before the curfew deadline, I would roam around looking for images that made a pretty ordinary place by day seem intriguing by night.

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

I am an NDIS provider. I run programs in my studio for women, most of whom have a mental injury because of sexual and domestic abuse. The programs have continued through lockdown - although now as one-on-one sessions rather than the small groups I used to run. It means I work more and have fewer days available during the week for my own artmaking, but I so enjoy the company of these women and working with them women to nurture their creativity. I have enjoyed the opportunity to stay in and make my art. I find it very relaxing and a positive offset to the frustrations I feel with the restrictions. I guess one of the biggest impacts on my creative practice has been the inability to travel into the bush where I derive so much inspiration, joy and wonder. Audiobooks and the radio are great company while I am making art and I feel this time is very precious. I never feel bored, often totally the opposite, there are never enough hours in the day.

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 in my rambling garden and I enjoy a view onto nature from every window. The garden is a sanctuary, for me and the participants who come here for art. It does not have hard borders and I don't try too hard to tame things. Inside the studio there are lots of things happening - clay, painting, drawing, making and handmade books. There is have a little nook here for my computer where I write. My studio is a more public space than it used to be. Much of the work I do is very sensitive and raw and I don't want people seeing it before I feel it is resolved or ready. So I work in my house at night to preserve a private creative space where I can explore these important yet sensitive topics and in my studio on clay projects and other things that are less private.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art? What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through isolation?

Most of my artwork before and after COVID has some relationship with grief and loss, or the natural world.

What are your three tips on self-care through isolation? What have you been doing to care for yourself during these times?

Find something meaningful and enjoyable to do. Try to limit the complaining. Engage with people. Sometimes it can be hard to reach out, but it is important to stay connected and maintain relationships. All the above! Plus I like to read; I spend heaps of time in the garden, working and in awe of the wonder of nature as things grow and change; I go for a walk every day, and do yoga. I appreciate the beauty around me and try to limit my exposure to negativity. I do things for myself and things for other people. For the most part I am a positive person and do these things anyway regardless of a pandemic

Ewan Arnolda

Brighton beach

How would you describe your art practice?

I am a photographer; my main genres are cityscapes and street photography. I have been photographing the city of Melbourne since 2008. Started with an entry-level camera, then over the years selling my photographs online, I managed to purchase a professional camera. I love capturing the ever-changing landscape of Melbourne and its' dynamic street life. 

You could describe my work as dynamic, energetic and photo-journalistic.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment? 

My inspiration comes from connecting with fellow photographers from my Camera Club or online communities, reading magazines, blogs and seeing amazing online galleries of photography.

During these times of stay at home, watching a few inspirational photography documentaries too.

How is your work influenced by your surroundings? 

The dynamic streets and architecture of Melbourne influence my work. I love the busyness of the city and the ever-changing scenes I can capture.  Especially at night, the city comes alive. That why most of my city photos are taken at night, in long exposure.

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

COVID-19 has completely stopped me from going out to the city and creative images. But it hasn't stopped me from exploring other creative paths and even starting a new photo series. 

  • During these COVID times, I started to illustrate more. 
  • Working on regular articles for my blog. 
  • I am a heavy Photoshop user, experimenting with my old photos.
  • I also started a COVID photo series - Big, Bright and Simple. Simple products photographed on colourful backgrounds.

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or dedicated making space?  How does this space impact your work?

I don't have a studio. My gear is basic and consists of a camera, tripod, remote and two different lenses. If I have to shoot at home, I would use a bench with small portable lights.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art? What subject matter do you address through your work usually, vs. through isolation?

Usually, my themes are architecture, cityscapes and street photography. But during restriction and lockdowns, I started working on a minimalism/still life series, named Big, Bright and Simple. Where I photograph items on colourful backgrounds.

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

My Self-care during isolation;

 1. exercise, love going on a run. 

 2. making sure I spend some time interacting with my kids 

 3. studying up and trying to improve my professional skills. 

 

Janet Matthews

Janet Matthews artwork

How would you describe your art practice?

Colour pencil and graphite are my chosen mediums, I love working in both of them.  They give me rich colours, intense detail, I love detail in my drawings, and are so immediate, giving me a direct connection with my paper and my drawing.

To describe my work the three words I would choose are-

Wildlife – I draw the birds and animals that surround me or that I have observed in wildlife parks or the bush.

Botanical – Flowers, usually complex flowers like banksia, grevillea etc appeal to me.  I often design my drawing to be a close up, so those lovely stamen are large and engaging.

Engaging – My subjects are a means of telling a story, which people can engage with.  The antics of the birds, bees and animals makes people smile and remember similar occasions in their own life.  All positive stories.

Wildlife and Botanical subjects are my passion, but my drawings are really a story about my life experiences, my feelings, interactions with my friends and family. 

For instance, I would draw a pair of cockatoos, have them looking at each other as if one is saying “Are you listening to me?” and the other sheepishly saying “Yep, I’m listening……. but I was thinking of my dinner”.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

My story and drawings have always been linked with my life, always in a positive way. 

My drawing stories have changed in response to the isolation, reflecting the things we are unable to enjoy at the moment. So I have been drawing cockatoos flying free, groups of birds sitting closely together sharing gossip or a joke, flowers with lots of bees hovering around.  My list of ideas is huge, there is always a couple of drawings in my mind, waiting to evolve onto my paper. 

How is your work influenced by your surroundings?

I am surrounded by my inspiration.  My studio has a native garden where the honeyeaters come to visit, the Black cockatoos fly overhead regularly, cockatoos are everywhere, Rosellas and finches are in the trees around our estate, King Parrots come to visit me on my balcony, there is so much inspiration where I live.  When I am out walking, I listen to the birds voices, interpreting their conversation, listening for a new story for a drawing or one that reminds me of an occasion in my life.  The native flowers in my garden with bees busily buzzing in and out inspire my botanical drawings.

My studio is set up with my quiet area where my easle and pencils are ready for me to pop in and begin drawing.  I create a mood with music.  I feel very safe and enthralled when I am at my easle drawing, perfect for the concentration needed for detailed drawing.  A very special place to keep me inspired and absorbed, blocking out the world and any troubles for that time.

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

My routine has changed dramatically, with no classes, workshops, interstate workshops, my whole focus is now based in my studio.  This has given me more time to spend drawing, creating even more complex and larger drawings.  I am producing works for future exhibitions as well as the online and interstate exhibitions that are now happening.

To stay connected with my students I have created an e-workshop series, where I teach how to draw different subjects in colour pencil using a step by step description with images of each step.  These are available to anyone to subscribe to and has given me a focus and a deadline each week to keep me motivated and connected.

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or a dedicated making space? How does this impact your work?

My studio is specially designed and built for me as part of our home.  It has large windows which look out onto my native garden and bird bath.  The studio has two areas, one is my private space where my easle and pencils are set up so I can pop in at any time and get to drawing immediately.  The rest of the room is set up for classes, tables for framing artwork, storage for paper and framing plus the walls are a gallery of my current artworks, which change regularly as works go out to exhibitions, galleries or a sold.

Having a studio that is ‘my space’ is essential for me to relax into my drawing, it is meditative, inspiring and makes creating more productive.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?  What subject matter do you address through your work usually vs through isolation?

I have noticed that I am drawing more large botanical artworks, which are very complex so I can be surrounded by flower when I am leaning in to draw the minute details of the stamen etc.  A bit like closing in to smell the flower fragrance and being surrounded by the plant.  My bird drawings have more themes of togetherness, family, flying free.  I’ve drawn ladybugs, all clustered together in a group, on top of each other, flying in from outside, like a festival, rather than a solitary ladybug on a leaf. 

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

Purpose – give yourself some deadlines, projects to create. 

This can be a daily, weekly or even a monthly deadline.  Having artworks created in anticipation for some of the major exhibitions next year and later this year, has been my project and inspiration.

Interaction – Being connected to others is very important.

Make contact with friends, students, on a one to one basis by phone, sms or email each day.    Zoom chats has been a good option for talking to those we cannot visit.  A phone call, even for a few minutes, is heart-warming and keeps you connected, especially on days when you fell a bit blah

Balance – create a balance of work, exercise, relaxation, social contact each day.

Get outside into nature for your walk or bicycle ride every day.  I walk every day, we are surrounded by parkland, where birds, trees and flowers are abundant, there’s a pond with moorhen and ducks, combining exercise and absorbing inspiration for drawing.

Schedule your computer work and your drawing time for every day.  I love being in the studio, so I make sure I spend afternoons drawing.

Make a specific day for a specific task a few times a week so the days don’t all feel the same.  For instance, I email out my e-workshops every Tuesday morning.  I draw my next workshop steps every Thursday morning.  I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with the students involved in the workshops, seeing their drawings and answering their questions.  Keeping each day inspiring.

Tanya Page

Solace

How would you describe your art practice?

There are many ways to describe the work of an artist. My work has been inspired by many forms. The place where I live, the people I meet, the struggles and joys from everyday life. The mediums I have used vary. I use textiles mainly: material, silk and cotton. I have been involved in classes and workshops and I have created work with clay and paint also.

Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?

Culture and society, art, music, poetry, the sound of children and people passing by. These are my muses.

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

Isolation can create and impact many people in many different ways. I have learned to adapt and create in the outside world and focus on biodiversity.

Where do you create your art? Do you have a studio or a dedicated making space? How does this impact your work?

I create at home at present.

What themes are you currently reflecting through your art?  What subject matter do you address through your work usually vs through isolation?

Haiku, Greek mythology, and Renaissance and modern influences; New York abstract movements and cubism.

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

Exercise, diet and positive relationships.

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.