Major excitements for the coming week which, alas, the Gang is going to miss (we’re off to Melbs in the morning to look after Granny post her wrist op.) Our biggest ‘doh!’ comes courtesy of tomorrow’s opening of the swimming season at the Candelo Pool. Serious bummer dudes, can’t believe we’re missing it – not the least because we’re keen to start working off the winter pud. Ah well.

The other goodie will be the opening of Ken + Julia Yonetani’s exhibition, The Last Supper, at the BVRG next Friday night…



It’s a cracker of a show.

Exit stage left…post the launch of Men…

It’s official – Megsie has left the building.  (For Vale Megsie from the BVRG…go here.) Her final duty was the opening of Men




…and a damned fine exhibition it is.




(foreground) Jay Kochel, Breathe

(foreground) Jay Kochel, Breathe


And here’s her curatorial overview…


This exhibition is not entirely as it seems – artworks-by-five-men-about-men-contemplating-manhood is much too simplistic. Too literal. Too redolent of the gender clichés that cyclically brand and drive the psychobabble of each evolving epoch (…since the Neanderthals.)

Because, contrary to social marketeering, men are as complex and emotionally vulnerable as their female counterparts (possibly more so if only they’d own up to it!) And now, post-millennium, men are stretched on the rack of receding identity, inhabiting a world that sets ever diminishing store on the physical evidence of principle and integrity; where manufacture has become virtualization and men – in the main – inhabit a space of (often) undisclosed confusion. They are thrust into roles that have, for the most part, already been written out of the script.

And this is where the visual arts play such a critical role in our lives  – as an expressive vehicle for the social currency of our times. Art at its most prosaic is caught in the facsimile syndrome; the verbatim copy of the subject (be it landscape, still life or pampered pooch.) But art at its most potent and sublime can reveal the very essence of our existence. It explores and contemplates our common humanity. It alerts us to anomalies in ways that can shift our consciousness, with a deftness of touch that can be nothing short of game changing.

Men, as an exhibition, aptly demonstrates the efficacy of this kind of nuanced communication. Liam Ryan’s wonderfully blokey vignettes are an entertaining reference to classical antecedents, with a contemporary twist; his Graces have the seductiveness of Bond chicks and Deposition of the Windfield Cup (below left) is lacking only in the pity and piety accorded Christ.


Liam Ryan


There’s archaic ritual running through all Ryan’s work, and the Masons are probably the least of it.

Filmmaker Lee Chittick’s tender study of a young Julien on the verge of manhood is a rhapsodic interplay of dawning awareness.  Vulnerability vying with a strengthening resolve. Whereas his self-portrait as an older man (below right) conveys an almost ingenuous sense of bewilderment. It’s evocative, gentle and sweet. And perhaps Tony Sweeting represents the artist’s ideal for Post-millennium Everyman (he’d probably get our vote, too.)




Frazer Bull-Clark’s cinematic rendition of Derek O’Conner places him firmly in the quintessential role of the artist as anti-hero; the renegade, the loner, sexy in that dangerously disreputable way. The vision is apocalyptic and the voice-over faintly ironic given that O’Conner is the strong and silent (even taciturn) type. All of which is poles apart from the signature verve and vibrancy of O’Conner’s style of painting. In this regard Leaving Lost is a quite brilliant construct of masculine complexity. (Catch on Vimeo here.)

The work of Neil Roberts has always revolved around ‘manly energy’. To quote Deborah Clark, Roberts looked “at masculinity, its culture, its rituals, its nonsense, and the fantastic possibilities of its transformation.” The titles of his works were invariably expressions of intimacy – a key to what would always be a deeply compassionate thought process. He was drawn to objects that were stiff with the sweat of toil and stoic perseverance. Objects that, when assembled, often spoke of exhausted ruination – even, perhaps, that slip into eternal quietude.


Neil Roberts, Suicide of the Hands

Neil Roberts, Suicide of the Hands

Jay Kochel’s work is the most enigmatic of all, which is hardly surprising given the title of his series; Touch me Gertrude Stein. The shared, almost obsessive, investigation of meaningful meaninglessness could just as easily be translated into the perennial fixation ‘what makes men tick?’ [though of course Kochel (and Stein) always has a more strident intellectual bent.] This work is, by its very nature, unashamedly esoteric. And in a gallery context of touch me/don’t touch me, we catch the universal dilemma of gender politics itself.

Jay Kochel, thongs and pump

Jay Kochel, thongs and pump

(background) Neil Roberts, Pause in time of weariness

(background) Neil Roberts, Pause in time of weariness





It’s on until Saturday 14th, so swing by if you haven’t seen it.

Meanwhile that’s it folks/sayonara amigos/over and out from the BVRG.  Megsie is now officially on the loose – WATCH  OUT!!

For more info on Jay Kochel go here. For more info on Neil Roberts go here.

Bringing up the rear…

Well it’s been a fast and furious finale to the year as per usual – so we’ll give it to you good’n snappy.

A few weeks ago the Gang fanged across the Monaro for the annual Grad-o-rama at the ANU School of Art; firstly for Patron’s Day on the Wednesday (Megsie was choosing the BVRG EASS recipient) and then back again on the Friday for the opening and Awards ceremony.

And what a ripper show it was this year. Plenty of buzz in the old fank yet – lots of goodies we coveted big time – which is always a good sign, eh. Congratulations to Adele Rae Cameron (Textiles) who landed the BVRG Award this year – she’s gains a place in the BVRG’s 2015 exhibition program. Super work (we’d been very keen on her stuff last year too – marvellous bush-dyed tartans and all sorts of whacky scottish/aussie fusion.)

And of course we caught up with lots of our fave peeps, including…OMIGOD!! Sammy Jo who flew in as a surprise treat for Ging…


Megsie, Sammy Jo and Ginger

Megsie, Sammy Jo and Ginger

Major excitement (and thanks to David Broker for the snap – we nicked it from the CCAS social pages – completely forgot to take photographs of most of the salient stuff on the night!!)

Lots to love in the show, but of course we’ll be outrageously brazen and show off Ginger’s work first…


Ginger Bottari, from 'The Prisoners of the Crown' series

Ginger Bottari, from ‘The Prisoners of the Crown’ series


And then of course there was Adele Rae Cameron’s fabulous work..


Adele Rae Cameron's work

Adele Rae Cameron’s work

Adele receiving her EASS Award from Megsie

Adele receiving her EASS Award from Megsie


As usual Megsie had a lovely time blending right in…




Mugshots and highlights (no significance to be read into the order of appearance) here

And then there was the Bega Art Prize 2013. Not without the mandatory merde accompaniment we’re happy to report (after all, what art prize worth it’s salt doesn’t spark at least a modicum of controversy.)

This year’s categories were photomedia and small sculpture and the 44 entries received were judiciously whittled down to 19 finalists by two eminent pros, eX de Medici and Klause Moje…




Plenty of baying for blood as you might imagine but the final field is, consequently, tight and interesting.

This year’s judge Dr Denise Ferris (Head of the ANU School of Art) awarded the prize on opening night to Rocky Hall artist Tony Sweeting for his video Transition 1…


Winners are grinners, Tony with Denise

Winners are grinners, Tony with Denise

Tony Sweeting, still from Transition 1

Tony Sweeting, still from Transition 1




opening 2

opening 3


The Mailroom Prize ($500) went to Suzie Bleach and Andy Townsend’s Horologist’s Horse and Briar Watt-Meek picked up the $1000 eX Factor Award, donated by eX to support a young artist of recognised merit. The exhibition runs until 1st Feb, so there’s plenty of time for gallery visitors to cast their vote for the SEA People’s Choice Award ($500)


Matty flips the bird

Currently showing at the BVRG…

Briar W-M

Grad Show 2013 DL-2

Hot on the heels of the HSC Visual Arts assessment comes the BVRG’s annual Grad Show, featuring selected work from the shire’s four secondary schools; Eden Marine High, Bega High, Lumen Christi and Sapphire Coast Anglican College.

It opened last Thursday night and runs for 3 weeks…


grad 9




Plenty of gems, including Juanita Scott-Funaki’s lino print Avion Garuwangan (Plane Dreaming)  – My World Trip 2009, recipient of the 2013 Linda Deighton Youth Encouragement Award…

Juanita Scott-Funaki

…and Eden Hendry’s digital photography series, of which Stonehouse Trails was one…

Stonehouse Trails_1 copy

…which earned him the Australian National University Student Equity Encouragement Award.

We were really keen on Joe Stewart’s Akuna

Joe Stewart, Akuna, Eden Marine High

…and Beth Knox’s Lifecycle

Beth Knox

…but would have to say that Briar Watt-Meeks work, the Heredity – my lineal pattern series, pretty much knocked our socks off…

Briar Watt-Meeks

Briar Watt-Meeks 1

This show is most definitely worth a squiz. Always nice to witness that affirmation of regeneration in the tidal pool of the local art scene, eh.

grad 5





Currently showing at the BVRG…

Liquid Crystal Dreams DL-1

Liquid Crystal Dreams DL-2


The BVRG is maintaining serious currency with a fabulous new media exhibition of 13 works from the ANU School of Art’s Photography and New Media Workshop. It’s very cool…


Jen and Gra watch Dom Aldis's animation



Liquid Crystal Dreams

Throughout the BVRG’s 2013 exhibition program gallery visitors will no doubt have noticed the strong thread of photomedia. This, of course, has been quite intentional − in part as a developmental continuum for projects such as YoofTube and in part as prelude to the gallery’s end-of-year headliner, the Bega Art Prize (the categories for 2013 being photomedia and small sculpture.)

Exposure to contemporary commentary and innovative practice remains critical to the development of local artists and audience alike. Hence the current show, Liquid Crystal Dreams – manifesting the enormous trend towards New Media Arts, now an integral part of the contemporary art scene (most specifically digital media and film.) This exhibition represents ‘a taster’ of new media practice from the region’s closest tertiary institution; the Australian National University School of Art, where the Bachelor of Visual Arts (Animation & Video Major) program provides students with a ‘hands on’ learning experience in the key areas of digital media: digital video, computer animation, digital compositing, visual effects and interactivity.

In the first year of the degree, students engage in a broad range of digital media software and processes, exploring new techniques and strategies in digital image production. As they advance through the program, students become increasingly specialised in their practice by honing their skills in just one or two of the key areas.

The thirteen works curated for this exhibition present a chronology of undergraduate engagement in digital moving image practice since it was offered in a disciplinary framework at the ANU in 2003. All the works were conceived and produced by students in their graduating year. They each in their way possess creative and technical attributes that make them especially engaging or innovative, and are a showcase of the talents of students at the pinnacle of their undergraduate study.

We’ve dropped in some stills, but you can chase ’em up on YouTube…



Andrew Zukoski

Sam Thow, Keith



Liquid Crystal Dreams is on until Saturday 9th November.

Be there or miss the bus – it’s the new millennium, people….

And then there was…

Skun DL-1

Skun DL-2

Haeli Van Veen, Skun


In 2009 the Bega Valley Regional Gallery joined the ranks of the Patrons of the ANU School of Art Emerging Artist Support Scheme (EASS); offering an exhibition opportunity here, at the gallery, to a meritorious student at the school’s annual Graduate Show. Haeli Van Veen is the third recipient of the BVRG award – receiving it in 2011 on the completion of her undergraduate degree in Textiles for a body of work that romanced tattooed embroidery on latex. It was at once humorous and edgy (and immediately prompted the intriguing curatorial possibilities of a combined show with eX de Medici.) Since that time Van Veen has gone on to complete Honours at the ANU SoA Sculpture Workshop, taking a huge leap in scale and creative breadth.

The work in Skun has clearly been informed by both disciplines. And so much more besides, not the least being the advent of baby Juniper, both muse and model for this current show, and the trigger for a thrillingly powerful interrogation of the psycho-biological imperative, wrought by motherhood and driven by universal socio-cultural heritage. The morbid portent of the fetishistic/shamanistic sculptural work is palpable; that black density lurking in the hoods carries unearthly overtones of the portal between life and death further promoted by the contrast between the archaic foreboding and the rude health of the tattooed child.

 Haeli Van Veen, Visitor

Haeli Van Veen, Snare, plastic, leather, hair, bone, pigment

Skun at the BVRG


It’s a tension that bridges the mediums. Post-modern urbanity has a fixation with the outward trappings of fealty, of fashionable tribalism (tattooing, scarification, piercing, costume.) But the tattooing of the baby is far more ambiguous. In Tongan culture tattoos are symbols of protection, carrying no aggressive implication whatsoever. In the Chin tribes of Myanmar, the faces of young women were tattooed to discourage lustful kings from stealing them for wives. Over time this has translated into a tradition evincing beauty, strength and pride. Undoubtedly many people will find the images contentious – but in the arts, of course, this is a very desirable thing.

 eX in Iranian censorship mode


eX de Medici is certainly no stranger to contention. She has never shied away from the central tenets of socio-political activism, knowing full well that art is a powerful tool and that some things are best served illustrated. She is represented in all the major national collections from the NGA, to the Portrait Gallery, to MONA and Goma, to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of NSW, and of course in many significant private collections. And some more private than others, those many enthusiasts lucky enough to bear an eX de Medici tattoo.


The Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra very recently held Cold-Blooded, a survey show of de Medici’s signature watercolours – huge, highly detailed and decorative canvasses; overwhelmingly seductive and shocking in the one breath. The work here at the BVRG is from a different though no less powerful facet of the artist’s practice – her photography. Over the past few years she has revisited Iran, spurred on by her perception of the community injustice in a country held and squeezed at the mercy of both its own oppressive government and the callous propaganda of the West. Having grown to love the people and culture of Iran, it’s hardly surprising that the rich and decorative vein of Persia has struck an already long established, sensitive visual chord.


eX de M from her (Un)skun series


Happy snaps here.

Bringing up the rear…

Well honeys, we can feel a quickening in the wind at last and thought we’d better round up some of the missing links before we just carry on as if the bloggo black-out hadn’t occurred. Shan’t bother with the explanations – let’s just call it a bucket of funk and leave it at that, eh. Meanwhile we’ll poke about in the short term memory and see what we can come up with….

Back in May there was…

Tuned DL new proof-1

Tuned DL new proof-2

…featuring work from Andy Townsend and Suzie Bleach, Annie Franklin and Gordon Robinson and Ulan Murray and Rachel Burns. And what a cracker of an exhibition it was,

from the install…


…to the opening…

opening 1

opening 2

…to the dinner…


…and everything in between…

Tuned gallery view

Gordon Robinson

Annie Franklin


The curatorial premise for this exhibition arose from a natural curiosity apropos the degree of creative cross-pollination between artists who, while long established as artists in their own right, yet live in a relationship with an equally professionally esteemed other. One imagined there would undoubtedly be a heightened sensibility and intellectual and critical exchange that couldn’t help but mutually benefit and inform the other, however subtly. Because, in the main, artistic practice is a solitary pursuit – the muse internalised and the production bordering on obsessive. And the artist is, by nature of the game, an isolate. How much more interesting it might be to have the constancy of a supportive and empathetic other; a sounding board, an emotional fillip…a brake.

The six artists in the show are local (although this wasn’t a condition of inclusion); two painters who share a studio, two sculptors who divide their time between a collaborative practice and their own individual work, and a sculptor and a painter who work from entirely separate studios (not at all surprising given the industrial regimen of a sculpture workshop!)  

In the case of Annie Franklin and Gordon Robinson the harmonic communion is plain. While their thematic verse might vary both in measure and subject matter, yet there are points of utter visual concord that is nothing short of breathtaking. In Tuned, Robinson’s work – often reminiscent of the vertiginous sublimity of his homonymous other, William Robinson (though inversed in scale) – plays beautifully on classic marine painting traditions, with just that hint of drama and romantic mysticism. Annie Franklin continues her signature leitmotif of holistic engagement with her coastal environment, now with the recently added dimension of the carved and painted wood. Both celebrate an enveloping landscape that they clearly hold dear.

Though the work of Rachel Burns and Ulan Murray is patently more variant than that of the other couples, yet there is a conceptual collusion in the very ‘style’ of the work. The juxtaposition of Burns’ abstracted landscape alongside the literal naturalism of Murray’s botanicals delivers an intriguing dimensional twist in which the anchored physical landscape counter-foils that rush of peripheral vision. They sit together in total accord, despite the fundamental dissimilarity.

Suzie Bleach and Andy Townsend, like Franklin and Robinson, have more obvious points of engagement; they are both sculptors, they share a workshop, they spend as much time on their collaborative work as they do on their separate pieces − and so it would be fair to say that their overall practice operates on the principle of ‘total synch’. The hint of their broader practice in Tuned demonstrates perfectly their shared aesthetic values, their love of material, and the evident respect they each have for the work of the other. 

Tuned is an exhibition of reciprocal respect and professional affirmation, with a resounding endnote amplifying the advantage of a vision shared. There is strength, according to the old adage, in numbers − and three’s a crowd!


Tuned gellery view 2

Ula Murray and Rachel Burns


Tuned gallery view

gallery 3

What lies beneath

…right up until the de-install…

fish biz

wapengo walking fish


This year’s Contemporary Indigenous offering at the BVRG…

Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu: people of the mountains and the sea and White-out: new work from Michael Brogan was a lovely double show that had gallery visitors hankering for more.  It was rich and varied and full of heart…


Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu: people of the mountains and the sea

gallery view

We’ve dropped in the gallery blurb…

Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu: people of the mountains and the sea.

The seed for this exhibition was sown back in 2011, when Beryl Cruse and her grandson Lee entered work into the Bega Art Prize 50th Anniversary exhibition. This was significant in two respects; firstly for the distinctive quality of the work and secondly for the outré show of self-assurance. Because in the art world there exists a very curious divide between indigenous and non-indigenous art in terms of exhibiting – almost a state of segregation, in fact. Initially, the imposition of separate presentation was a protective measure, to ensure space and engender respect; indigenous artwork is sacrosanct and any appropriation of storylines and/or motifs by a non-indigenous artist remains strictly taboo. As it should be.

Yet there is no reason why indigenous art shouldn’t stand, on its own terms, smack bang in the midst of mainstream exposition. It’s in this context that the submission of work by Beryl and Lee to the Bega Art Prize was a welcome demonstration of both personal and community empowerment – and it sent a loud signal that some serious cultural regeneration was stirring in the southern part of the Shire.

Beryl Cruse’s Culture Bridge belonged to an established tradition of shell work specific to the region stretching from Sydney (La Perouse) down to the Far South Coast of NSW. Decorative shell objects/souvenirs are recorded anecdotally from the 1880s and were a key source of income for a perpetually marginalised koori community.  But the craft has much wider implications than merely pragmatic day to day survival – shell art is part of South Coastal indigenous visual heritage, a direct and crucial line for the transmission of knowledge. The collecting of shells and the making of objects is an inter-generational activity, a social opportunity to share traditional stories and skills. And there is some suggestion from art theorists that the progression from baskets, boxes and shoes to Harbour Bridges – and even Opera Houses – reveals a political underscore; traditional decoration of iconic landmarks was intended as an outward sign of koori cultural persistence. (Google Daphne Nash’s excellent paper shell work to shell art: Koori women creating knowledge and value on the South Coast of NSW)

Beryl passed away last year and her work in the exhibition is an homage to the pivotal role she played in her community.  Liddy Stewart’s darling little shoes represent the continuation of the legacy and allude to the gathering together of the women folk; to preserve and impart local knowledge to the oncoming generations.

Lee Cruse won second prize in that Bega Art Prize 2011 – and the work, Joongar hunting, has since been acquired for the Bega Valley Shire Council’s Permanent Collection. He has gone on to paint a new series of work in his now recognisably idiosyncratic – and unique – style. Indeed members of propperNOW (the indigenous artist-activist collective from Brisbane who showed at the BVRG last year and met Lee at a Yarn-Up organised as a gallery public program at Jigamy) were highly impressed by his ‘moiré’ cross-hatching technique, declaring that they’d not seen anything like it. Lee now eschews the literal and tells his grandfather’s stories in his own inimitable fashion – the imagery is mesmerizing, the secret business artfully preserved.

Poker work has long been part of the indigenous trade repertoire and the cute carved poker work lizards made by Ossie Stewart demonstrate why – they’re irresistible and, as he explains, easy enough for a tourist to slip into a pocket. Less transportable but equally desirable are Darren Mongta’s snake sticks. As a boy Darren watched his uncles and cousins make snake sticks around the fire at Cann River – a laborious task of heating wire in the coals, then burning the wood one hot scorch at a time. There was no handing down of technique involved here, however; ‘just watch’, they told him ‘you’ve either got it or you haven’t.’  He patently has it – the eye for just the right branch in the bush, the patience for the stripping, drying and sanding process, and then the meticulous decorative work. The sinuous works are astonishingly lifelike and really quite beautiful – if you’re not ophidiophobic!

At the end of last year the BVRG facilitated a youth film project under the guidance of indigenous film maker Lou Glover. Filmed at Jigamy by a group of proud young people and their special guest star Uncle Ossie Cruse, Connected went on to share the major JD Shaw prize at the recent Festival de YoofTube short film competition held at the Picture Show Man Cinema in Merimbula.

Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu: peoples of the mountains and the sea is a wonderfully encouraging exhibition, a hint of the richness to come. Because while each step in the cultural evolution continues to sustain and venerate the sacred knowledge, the artist’s personal interpretation of that knowledge is key to the integrity and longevity of the Yuin culture. The past is the primer for the future, to borrow a painter’s term, and it’s the turn of the next generation to leave their own mark.


Lee Cruse, Spirit of Balawan, acrylic on canvas

Lee Cruse, Spirit of Balawan, acrylic on canvas

Darren Mongta, Snake sticks, pokerwork

Darren Mongta, Snake sticks, pokerwork


The exhibition had the bonus treat of being a double-header…


For the last four years the New Black mentoring program has been running under the aegis of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery, courtesy of funding from artsNSW. The aim of the program was fairly simple; to encourage local artists to consider their work in terms of a contemporary art practice – that is, as an expressive response to the specific socio-historic realities of their own experience (as opposed to just pumping out stereotypical commercial ‘tourist’ art.) In other words to move away from what the Brisbane-based artist activist collective proppaNOW call ‘ooga booga’ art and position their work firmly within contemporary social context. Otherwise there’s a danger that indigenous art will forever remain relegated to an anthropological curiosity show.

Michael Brogan has been both an exhibitor and key mentor throughout the New Black program. He presents work that is pared down to the essential, using low tech and easily accessible materials (in this case Wite-out on Arches and his signature polypipe) – and manages to convey so much in an extraordinarily unassuming way. These deceptively simplistic, minimalist works are a subtle representation of the indelible nature of indigenous culture. Try as the colonisers might, it cannot be erased.

reconcileNOW is a whitey guerrilla group empathetic to the cause of Brisbane’s proppaNOW mob. There can be no doubt that the visual arts provide a powerful platform for social change and the perennial political vacillations regarding all things indigenous – from reconciliation to basic rights and protections – has long been a source of angst for all decent Australians with a moral pulse.

Post Modern Tokenism III comes from a series of work alluding to the capricious nature of public displays of respect for our indigenous citizens – wheeled out when it suits for gala events (like the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games) and then shoved back into the gloom the moment the scrutiny is past. They emerge and fade from view as pomp and circumstance/politics/the marketplace dictates. It’s unconscionable.



Michael Brogan, Mock Turtle series, Wite-out on Arches

Michael Brogan, Mock Turtle series, Wite-out on Arches

Michael Brogan, from the Mock Turtle series

Michael Brogan, Mock Turtle series

Michael Brogan, Mock Turtle series

Michael Brogan, Schell Shock, polypipe

Michael Brogan, Schell Shock, polypipe


White Out: artist statement

Recent works on paper have become the extension of an ongoing going dialogue I have orchestrated between my self and an invisible art audience or general public who might just walk in off the street into the gallery. However, my concerns with both the medium and the subject matter are focused on the here, now and immediate future.

Though, the concepts and ideas surrounding my artwork are stark contrast to responses, encounters and engagement with other artists in between exhibitions and group shows over the last 10 years.

This particular body of work is in transition… a body of work in progress that has been fast tracked on account of a number of factors beyond my control. Most people familiar with my work will recognise that the Mock Turtle series is about returning to the nature of things and moving away from the incessant head stuff that has occupied my time working in academia over the last 20 years.

The little poly pipe sculpture pieces are also undergoing a transition of their own; from shield motif morphing into organic augmentations that appear like simple life forms you might encounter washed up on the shoreline after the tide has ebbed.

Michael Brogan


Post Modern Tokenisn III

Post-modern Tokenism III

Post-modern Tokenism III


Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu: people of the mountains and the sea was complemented by a very rich and varied program, from the welcoming dances at the opening




…to the floortalks given by Lee and Darren…


Lee Cruse floortalk

Darren Mongta with his snake sticks


…to the culture walks down at Jigamy where Uncle Ossie had everyone playing the gumleaf (well, we were attempting to…)


Uncle Ossie's gumleaf session


More snaps here.

Movement in the murk…

Omigod, we hear you gasp – there’s still life out in them thar hills…

What can we say? It’s been the winter of our discontent. But wethinks Foo may be just starting to peek over the parapet.

So much to catch up on and a few happenin’s missed, but we’ll cobble together a flying retrospective (…soonish!)

Meanwhile perhaps we should kick off where we left off; Stephen Skillitzi, who has just had an open studio event (which you’ve missed, alas.)


Stephen Skillitzi

Stephen Skillitzi glass

Stephen Skillitzi glass


Seems like a fitting launching point…especially given that it’s also Ranamok this Wednesday night. Puts ya right in the mood, eh?

The Gang won’t be able to make it to the gala Aussie/Noozelland studio glass  event this year, sad to say – Megsie has change-over at the BVRG, and will be hard at it hanging eX de Medici and Haeli Van Veen in Skun, which opens this coming Friday (16th Aug)…


eX de Medici packing up the photographic work destined for the BVRG

eX packing up the photographic work destined for the BVRG

Lordy, Lordy, it’s been a long time coming…

…we’ve been distracted, but hey – the show must go on.


Showgirl ritz: 'Best Heifer in Herd', Debbie Petersen

Showgirl ritz: ‘Best Heifer in Herd’, Debbie Petersen


The Country Show, that is, at the BVRG. And what a corker it is, and the fun hasn’t been confined to the gallery – the public program component hitched up with the Bega Show, beaming old-fashioned goodness from the bosom of the glorious old Show Pavilion itself.


Waratah and Caren man the Pavilion

Waratah and Caren man the Pavilion


There was a great turn-out of participating artists for both the opening and associated ag show event and a splendid time was had by all. [Anyone who thinks the country ag show scene is past its use-by date needs to get with the program – it’s the perfect antidote for pestilent IT-dysplasia.  n(Ed)]


Tanya and Lia check out the local talent

Tania and Lia check out Simon Ramsay’s trophy


Side-show alley was a treat, with leanings ever so faintly toward Victorian freak show…


Simon Scheuerle's fabulous Stallionator

Simon Scheuerle’s beyond awesome Stallionator

Chloe Bussenschutt's Lambs, Bellies, Fairyfloss

Chloe Bussenschutt’s Lambs, Bellies, Fairyfloss

Simon Scheuerle's Transbovine adaptor harness

Simon Scheuerle’s Transbovine adaptor harness

Visitors are loving it, and if ever there was an exhibition that could boast ‘something for everyone’, this is most certainly it.



man from snowy river

Miss Showgirl with Waratah's blokes

Miss Showgirl with Waratah’s blokes


Best in show? Too hard to pick – but we’re really taken with Elvie’s banana…


Elvie's banana


More exhibits here.

Meanwhile we’ve lifted this article from the Bega Times…

Show ponies

While the Bega Show is over for yet another year the spirit burns brightly in the Bega Valley Regional Galley’s current exhibition The Country Show. Described as ‘a convivial contemporary take on a cherished agronomic tradition’ the exhibition showcases the work of a group of Canberra artists who for the last 5 or so years have held their own annual homage to the spectrum of agricultural fare.

This year, on the occasion of the Canberra Centenary, they’ve made the trip across the Monaro to help celebrate the BVRG’s own 25th anniversary milestone (the current gallery space was opened by the then Premier of NSW Nick Greiner.  

‘It’s a wonderful exhibition,’ said BVRG curator Megan Bottari. ‘A great mix of serious skill delivered with flair and good humour. It’s so nice to sit in my office and hear visitors chuckling away in the gallery. When it comes down to it, you know, the visual arts are just another form of entertainment. This show is certainly that.’

The out of towners − Emma Beer, Joyce Bell, Ali Aedi, Jacqui Bradley, Cathy Laudenback, Chloë Bussenschutt, Hilary Cuerden-Clifford, Julie Cuerden-Clifford, Denise Ferris, Dan Edwards, Tania Evans, Kirsten Farrell, Caren Florance, Cathy Franzi, Erik Krebs-Shade, Cathy Franzi, Simon Ramsey,  Mini Graff, Bernard Hardy, Waratah Lahy, Janet Meaney, John Pratt, Simon Ramsey, Simon Scheuerle, Wendy Teakel, Lia Tajcnar, and Lyndall Kennedy – have been joined by local artists Debbie Petersen, Elvie Preo, Cathy Jarratt, Vicky McCredie and stalwart Bega Show Art and Craft Champions Rita Roberts and Elvie Preo.

But perhaps the biggest excitement of the exhibition is the inclusion of Gail Schaefer’s panels from the Southern District’s 1991 Royal Easter Show exhibit. The Man From Snowy River tableau has graced the north facing wall of the Bega Town Hall foyer since it’s return from the big smoke and, after years of relentless exposure to direct sunlight and dust, has faded away to a ghost of its former self.

‘But from a visual arts point of view, ironically enough,’ says Megan Bottari, ‘the work has come into its own. The subtlety and movement in the fleece is intriguing. It was the perfect foil for The Country Show and gallery visitors are absolutely loving it.’

‘And there was a surprise bonus – a marvellous inlaid wooden piece was found hanging behind the horse panel. Apparently when the Man from Snowy River was installed somebody decided that the ‘plaque’ was no longer of any value or relevance and so just covered it over. Which is lucky, really, because it’s been protected from the sun for all that time and remains in fair condition.’

‘There’s an inscription on the back – from Pedro to Happy Manning – and we’re rather hoping that people might come forward and fill in the mystery gaps in the story. Who, for instance, was Pedro?’

‘The show is running for another 4 weeks, so we’re hoping to garner all sorts of information during that time. Already we’ve had a number of people who remember seeing it in the old municipal chambers when they were children. It certainly provides a great point of local interest.’

The exhibition is open until the 23rd of March; entry free, all welcome.



the wild bush horses 

Photograph: Gallery staffer Jenny Greenwood with the recovered inlaid wooden ‘plaque’ and ‘the wild bush horses.’