A gathering of like minds and creative spirits.
When did the Artists of Wallamba originate and why?
The Artists of Wallamba began in July 2018, with just three members creating a Facebook GROUP for local practising artists, artisans and creatives.
The group’s tagline is … Inspire ~ Create ~ Connect, which tells a story in itself! The aim was to link artists who may not normally meet, providing opportunity for collaboration, inspiration, and a pool of local creatives for community events and joint opportunities.
There are many talented people in our local area; would you care to mention a few in your group?
Yes, were are very lucky to have some very talented people within our local community. The artists that are currently exhibiting in the current exhibition, INSPIRE, showing at the Krambach Hotel in the bistro area include: Susie Oldfield (Firefly), Carmel Spark (Nabiac), Gemma Stylz (Firefly), Kate Landsberry (Dyers Crossing) and Jeri McElroy.
Explain the diversity of work we can expect from the artists?
The diversity in mediums is huge: acrylic and mixed media on canvas, pigment ink on Yupo, hand dot work on paper, photographic works on stretched canvas, pencil on paper, clay works, woollen works with natural dyes and felting, graphite pencil and watercolours, feathers and image cut mount board, oils on canvas cast in resin, mixed media collograph plates, just to mention a few.
The group has grown considerably in size, how many members do you have and from where?
We now have over 40 members from Wootton, Belbora, Tinonee, Nabiac, Firefly, Rainbow Flat and beyond, along with a vibrant online community and regular creative gatherings.
What are some of the benefits of being part of this artistic community?
Exhibitions and deadlines are excellent for artists, as it gives them something tangible and exciting to aim for and also a chance to share their work with the community. Those who are not artists (yet!), are our art supporters and offer wonderful input from their own backgrounds and experiences. Creating in the arts area – writing, music, visual arts – can be a solitary pursuit. There is great benefit in linking with other creatives within artistic communities, getting together to brainstorm ideas, and to share challenges, processes and opportunities.
The arts often sit on the fringe of society and artists can feel alienated, yet that in itself can create a bond within artistic communities. Like with like. No need to explain. Often no judgements. Often black sheep. It’s good to feel “home” when you link with other artists. The arts often don’t bring in the income that our society finds acceptable, and so artists can feel unvalued. Within artistic communities life and value are measured differently and what one does, paid high or low, is of value, contributes to society and is celebrated.
What impact do you think art has on our local community?
The Artists of Wallamba are excited to be considering how they may best contribute to the region in the arts area. Many of the group have had experience in community arts and community arts health, as well as diverse backgrounds in business and environment. They have worked alongside those planning community projects and events, to provide an extra dimension to the outcome. They have also worked with all age groups, from children to youth, to adults and the elderly, encouraging their artistic expression in many rural and farming communities.
The group is continually inspired by:
- the connections made on a daily basis;
- the opportunity to share the process of creating art, and;
- the diversity of the work, inspirations and studio spaces.
Art enriches communities. The more a community embraces the arts, the more open and diverse it becomes. The more the arts link and overlap, the richer the community. When poets collaborate with artists who collaborate with musicians and dramatics … people who thought they “did not have a creative bone in their body” find they are capable of creating for community projects or simply for the joy of the creative process.
The arts have no age, race or ability barriers. They are naturally inclusive. So, a five year old can work with an 80 year old and an Autistic person, and all are equal in their contribution to the arts.
The arts complement the more structural and organisational aspects of community. They sit alongside and within and wrap around to provide and encourage a richness in the community that may not otherwise have been there. The arts and artists’ contributions help to uncover aspects of people and community that existed decades or centuries ago and are often lost in our technological age. We have the opportunity to get back in touch with nature and self via the arts. The arts contribute to bonding communities and to having fun in the process!
You currently have an exhibition, INSPIRE, on display at the Krambach Hotel; tell us a bit about it?
INSPIRE will be on display in the bistro at the Krambach Hotel from the remainder of December and will continue over the holiday period into January.
The opening of INSPIRE was on the 1st December and was brought forward by nine days to coincide with a wonderful band appearance by the ever popular Jamie Bryen & The Floorboards, attracting a huge crowd for listening, viewing and feasting!
Given the short time frame, Gemma Stylz, one of the exhibiting artists, asked Sandy Kiely to direct and coordinate the lead in process and the installation, printing, signage, social media, website etc. With only nine days’ notice, it was a tight deadline to get everything ready for the 1st December.
The hotel hosted the Official Launch the following day with a wine and cheese event in the afternoon. It was well attended by many of the exhibiting artists and locals, who stopped by to take a look and sample some fine wines and some delightful cheeses.
Are artworks available for purchase?
There are 13 local artists exhibiting at present,
with a collection of 28 pieces on display, all of which are for sale – with one exception. There is something there for a range of tastes and a wide range of budgets.
What’s next for the Artists of Wallamba; are there any future exhibitions we can look forward to?
After INSPIRE (and possibly concurrently), the group have been invited to exhibit at GLAS (Great Lakes Art Society) in Forster with a new exhibition, NO LIMITS, from the 15th to 29th January.
How can someone join or find out more information?
Joining is easy! It is open to all artists and passionate art supporters. The Artists of Wallamba would love you to join our Facebook group: Artists of Wallamba; just head to the Facebook group and request to join. It’s a space to share the work, inspiration and ideas of the group.
No geographical limits – all welcome! Aside from the group, there is a new Facebook page to keep up with latest happenings and events.
If you aren’t on Facebook, then please join us at our meetings from time to time; the dates and venues are listed on the Artists of Wallamba web page (we have our own page on the Krambach site) and benefit from a great community of like-minded creative people.
If you prefer to phone, you can call:
- Carmel Spark on 0419 273 849 or
- Kate Landsberry on 0402 287 244
for more details.
Interview: Bronwyn Davis.