Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wild Silence

In fantastic showcase of our region, David Collins who visited Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun in September 2016, in a partnership with FORM, is wrapping up a mesmerizing exhibition at the end of this month. 

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council would like to acknowledge David's breath taking work. We hope to see him back in our region again. 

Wild Silence
by David Charles Collins 
What’s your name. It’s a symbol. Don’t talk.
by Gian Manik

July until September, 2017
FORM Gallery Perth
357 Murray Street, Perth, WA, 6000

Gian Manik and David Charles Collins mark significant new direction in upcoming FORM exhibitions highlighting Western Australia’s Pilbara and South Coast.
FORM’s latest exhibition features a return to Western Australia by artists Gian Manik and David Charles Collins with new bodies of work marking a significant new direction for each artist.
Wild Silence, by David Charles Collins and What’s your name. It’s a symbol. Don’t talk., by Gian Manik are the first major bodies of work created in Western Australia by the artists since leaving their home state. The works, a photographic series depicting iconic orchids, and a 10-meter long collaborative canvas respectively, open together at FORM Gallery Perth on Friday 9 July, 2017. They are drawn together by their focus on the remote Western Australian landscape and process of co-creation with communities in which they were developed.
FORM Curator Andrew Nicholls said Manik and Collins established their practices in Perth before moving to Melbourne and Sydney respectively. “In 2016 FORM invited both artists to return to Western Australia and undertake residencies in two of the State's remote regions,” Nicholls said.
“Over recent years Collins has gained growing national attention for his richly sensual photographic and video works, which reference the aesthetics of high-Renaissance painting to critically comment upon the hedonism, decadence and apathy of his generation,” Nicholls said. 
In late 2016 FORM commissioned Collins to travel to Western Australia’s remote southern regions and create a new body of botanically-themed works in conjunction with the Ravensthorpe Wildflower Festival. His resulting photographic series, Wild Silence, documents the iconic orchids of the Fitzgerald Biosphere, an area of nationally-significant biodiversity at the border of the Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions. In striking contrast to the high baroque sensibility of Collins previous works, the images have a stark and minimal beauty, representing a new direction in his practice.
Collins describes each photograph as an abstracted portrait. “The flowers, initially hard to see and find, still carried the weight and history of the place in which they had quietly existed,” he said. “Becoming more than flowers, I conceptualized them as individuals in a community, all tacitly aware of the knowledge of the land they inhabited. I found these silent bodies heavy with the secrets they keep to themselves”.
Nicholls describes Manik’s paintings as having come to focus almost exclusively on reflective and mirrored surfaces since he relocated to Melbourne in 2011. “This subject matter allows him to represent an in-between or ‘liminal’ space that shifts between abstraction and representation,” Nicholls said.
Manik spent three weeks in the Pilbara during April 2017, developing a series of new paintings inspired by his surroundings. What’s your name. It’s a symbol. Don’t talk. showcases a spectacular 10-meter long canvas produced during this time, in partnership with students from Hedland Senior High School. Manik mentored around 40 students from years 6-12 in drawing and painting techniques, inviting them to work directly on to his canvas. His own impressions of the Pilbara were then over-painted to create a bold collaborative work.
Manik said he liked the way that a section of the canvas was rolled out at a time, the children sat around and then did their work. “I worked similarly, paying little attention to perspective and orientation, let alone relational aesthetics, so there is little expectation in terms of landscape/story as is expected in most mural work.”
As with Collins’ exhibition, this work represents a new direction in the artist’s practice – having focused on refining a single concept for the past five years, this new site-responsive, collaborative project has resulted in a chaotic, layered aesthetic combining diverse mark-making and humorous juxtaposition.

Wild Silence 2017

David Collins

Hopetoun Photography Workshop with Photographer. David Collins and FORM Curator, Andrew Nicholls. 2016

Want to see more of Wild Silence?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Oh Barbara, Oh Barry

Barbara & Barry's Sweet, Sour and Saucy

Jerdacuttup Hall.

The consensus has arrived, and we have all agreed that Barbara & Barry’s Sweet Sour & Saucy lived up to its name. Locally presented by Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council in partnership with Country Arts WA, Melissa Western & Tnee Dyer (aka Barbara & Barry) are a highly talented pair who provided a thoroughly entertaining and polished show. At times absolutely hilarious, the performance was top class, with the audience fully engaged and appreciative of the musical skills of the pair. We even had Eva and Tim Flanagan renewing their wedding vows on stage after 56 years, complete with cavorting bridesmaids!

The Jerdacuttup Community Association played host to the event on Saturday 12th of August 2017, setting up the Jerdacuttup Hall in true retro style complete with checkered tablecloths and Bakelite items. The food was delicious and the hospitality warm and welcoming as always.

During “Barbara & Barry’s” Hopetoun visit, they hosted two community workshops. Firstly, on Friday night, the music workshop gave beginners a simple approach to extend their skills in improvising, particularly using a basic 12 bar blues rhythm. Members from the local ukulele group “RHUkulele” strummed away with delight as they picked up a few tricks of the trade.

Then there was the singing workshop which was dubbed ‘pure fun’, especially when participants were paired and asked to improvise a duet, to Anthony's skilled piano accompaniment.  In this exercise, each pair sang gibberish to each other, with grand theatrical gestures to enhance the message. Talk about some budding opera stars...
Under Melissa and Barry's expert guidance we were also asked to improvise a short blues refrain, with some hilarious results as all tried valiantly to come up with lyrics on such diverse topics as boots, men (or lack of them), women and rain. A thoroughly enjoyable and successful hour.

All in agreement, Barbara & Barry were excellent. We'd love to see them back again; if laughter is the best medicine then this show left us all feeling mighty fine! Thank you to all community members who made the event a laugh out loud success.

Tour coordinated by Country Arts WA. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mission Impossible (If it wasn't for super-artists!!)

A workshop with Lizzy Robinson

Project: Hard Pressed WA's print artist Lizzy Robinson touring WA to create a network of print works from all over the state.
Mission: Collect designs from local Hopetoun & Ravensthorpe artists to be incorporated into a community wood cut that once printed, will be exhibited around the state.
Workshop: One-day wood cutting workshop held by a super artist for super artists.
Time line: Pull together the whole collaborative design in one morning, teach the wood cutting technique, and get a good start on completing the wood cutting mission.
Dangers: Beware the villain "cutting tools".

With a mission outline, that wasn't too top secret, super-artists from both Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun gathered at Windspray Arts headquarters. Serious representations were discussed, designs were shuffled and executive decisions were made. In hindsight, it was a little experimental to fill a room full of super-artists with a handful of sharp tools, under pressure to complete their mission.

All in good fun, and all in the name of art and community, the piece came together cut by cut. The collaborative piece was to become moving showcase of where the Ravensthorpe bush meets the sea of Hopetoun.

With more grueling wood cutting sessions at Windspray HQ, the 1200 x 900 piece was finished with unimaginable care by some very dedicated executive operatives. After almost 3 weeks of collaborative work it is clear that one must never abort an artistic mission. Nothing is impossible with the right attitude (and some sharp weapons).

The wood cut will now be heavily escorted to Geraldton to prepare for the next stage in this elaborate operation. Printing will be executed via an industrial roller on the Geraldton foreshore in September 2017.  RRAC will be deploying their espionage tactics to report, so stay tuned to this blog and the RRAC facebook page.

A special mention goes to First Quantum Minerals Ravensthorpe Nickel operations for providing Lizzy's accommodation.

Thank you to Windspray Arts, Maitland Street Hopetoun, for partnering with Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council and hosting this event.

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council receives core funding from Country Arts WA, which receives funding from the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hard Pressed in Hopetoun

Do you live in the Ravensthorpe Shire? Do you want to be part of a community art project destined to tour across WA?
We are asking local artists to contribute a design to the project;

  • Twelve (30cm x 30cm) designs reflecting the Ravensthorpe/Hopetoun Community or Area are required before 29th May, for the “Hard Pressed Community Wood Block Project”.
  • The designs can have any Hopetoun Ravensthorpe related content, but would be best presented drawn in thick black ‘Artline Texta’ on white paper. The designs will be carved out in flat ply wood.
  • The designs that we receive will be incorporated into a community piece 1200 x 900cm and carved on the 29th May at Windspray Art Space, Hopetoun.
  • Your design may be used in whole or part, or resized to be incorporated into the final whole community print piece.
  • Even if you cannot attend the wood block carving workshop, you can submit a design to be incorporated.
  • No entry fee is required to submit your design.

This is a very exciting project and an excellent opportunity to showcase the Hopetoun Ravensthorpe region and its artists.

For more information or to register your interest contact Kirsty Duffy or 0438945405.

A partnership project with;

Project supported by;

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council receives core funding from Country Arts WA, which receives funding from the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Small Voices Louder

What does the World need to Hear?

From the mouths of babes we have all heard innocence, raw opinion, honesty, and the importance of that very moment right now in time. Children teach adults many things, but life is busy these days, are we really listening to them?
The Small Voices Louder project by Alex Desebrock and Maybe_Together in partnership with Performing Lines, offers the opportunity for grown ups to stop and listen. Because sometimes Children's voices are exactly what the world need to hear.
Small Voices Louder is a two part project. Firstly, in partnership with Hopetoun Primary School and Ravensthorpe District High School, children were invited on an excursion to the Hopetoun Hall. The Hall was filled with an installation of tents which individually contained a micro-world of sorts - an alien, a cloud, a fish, a crystal, a beating heart, a portal, the world and an egg. Each tent also presented a question, and the children's answers were audibly recorded. These recordings will be weaved into sound works.

Part two of the Small Voices Louder project will be a "sound experience" where the soundtracks will be broadcast to adult ears. This part of the project will be moving into production phase shortly. We absolutely cannot wait to hear the sound tracks, and we can't wait to share them so keep your ears to the ground! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates.

A special thank you goes to Lotterywest for funding the school bus which brought the children in from Ravensthorpe DHS to the Hopetoun Community Centre. Also much thanks to First Quantum Minerals Ravensthorpe Nickel Operations for their ongoing support with supplying accommodation for our artists.

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council receives core funding from Country Arts WA, which receives funding from the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.

The Corker Hopetoun Bush Dance

A partnership with Hopetoun Primary School P & C.

When you’re a bushwhacker and you’ve been one for a while, you know how important it is to get together with your mates and have a good honest yarn. What's better than a yarn? A good old fashioned toe tapping spoon whacking bush dance.

The bush bash began with a song written and conducted by the lovely Richenda Goldfinch, performed by the Hopetoun Primary School kids. The kids musical instruments were home made with recycled materials by a cobber that goes by the name Bruce Alford. The kids put in some hard yakka practicing for their debut. No bull dust, it sounded like the kids had walked strait off the stage at the Sydney Opera House. Mag. Nificent. Proud as punch they were.

A WA favorite, The Mucky Duck Bush Band, cranked out colonial style Australian dance music and the young'uns had another change to wow the crowd with their practiced dance moves. School lunchtime dance workshops had payed off, and the band encouraged all to join in instead of just sitting around having a gander! The festivity was well received.

You may remember Deb "Spoons" Perry from Australia's Got Talent a few years back? After a "spoons" workshop at the Hopetoun Primary School, the kids were geared up to play along with the famous Deb "Spoons" Perry and they had a ball. Deb also performed an open slather-spooned crowd pleaser to a spoon chaperoned compilation of "Black Betty" and "These Boots are made for Walking". An absolute rip-snorter. 

All sorts scrubbed up for the occasion. Cockys, Codgers, Sheilas, Larrikins, Grommets, and Greenies, it was on for young and young at heart.

Some good tucker was on offer, Roast Beef and Gravy Rolls, Stuffed Spuds and a Snagger Sizzle all thanks to the Hopetoun P&C. And last but not least, yummy sweets from the Pavlova Bake Off! The 'big kids' enjoyed a couple of tinnies at the bar too.

By jingoes you won't find a better mob from Cooee to Timbertown, and I'm not pullin' your leg. The Sheilas (and Blokes) from Hopetoun P&C along with the many other volunteers that pulled the night together did a ripper of a job. The town will be gas bagging about it for yonks.

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council reckon the Hopetoun Bush Dance was grouse, and are tickled pink to have been the major sponsor. Fair dinkum.

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council receives core funding from Country Arts WA, which receives funding from the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Doing an Acrobatic Happy Dance

With Hopetoun Dance Group

We like dance in the Shire of Ravensthorpe, we really really do. We have a great history of making artistic things happen in our tiny shire, and with a population of 2500 spread over 4 townships, sometimes making things happen can take a bit of coordination and a whole lot of passion.
The Hopetoun Dance group was born an idea between two Mums with a passion for health and vitality. It began in 2014 with a highly successful 'dance taster workshop' and 4 years later the program enrolls an average of 40 children per school term who partake in weekly dance classes. Supported by Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, the weekly dance classes have provided a creative after school activity that children residing in remote communities often miss out on. Further more the ongoing nature of the program creates a meeting hub for like minded parents.

In a recent bonus opportunity, children were invited to take part in an Acrobatic & Circus Workshop in March 2017. Additional to the weekly dance classes which currently covers Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary Dance, 50 students between the ages of 4 and 12 partook in learning new acrobatic skills and tricks in a safe engaging environment amongst their peers. Partnering with Southern Edge Arts in Albany for this workshop has enabled local children to continue their passion in 'acro' whilst that particular component of dance is currently unavailable in the weekly classes.

During the Acro workshops the children learnt a variety of skills including ker-flops, bouncy leggers, roly polys, and upside downies, obviously not the technical terms. On a more serious note, the focus of circus and acrobatics is to encourage strength and confidence in many areas including team skills and trust. Workshop opportunities like these spark imagination in young people, invoke emotional health and well being in the community and excellence and creativity in all forms.

For more information on Hopetoun Dance Groups classes email Beck & Kristin at or check out their dedicated Facebook page "Hopetoun Dance Group".

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council receives core funding from Country Arts WA, which receives funding from the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.