Works created as part of March’s Adelong Falls Art Day are on display at the Tumut Visitor Information Centre from now until the end of September.
The focus of the day was on ephemeral art, created using natural materials to enhance the living world, designed to be temporary. By their very nature, these pieces are not able to be exhibited, but photographs of the works on display capture their effect. Brushes created from materials in the immediate environment, and paintings using natural materials found at the falls, can also be viewed.
Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins Conservation Coordinator Louise Halsey said the purpose of the ephemeral art workshop was to combine human creativity with the natural world in a respectful way.
“It’s using nature, basically,” she said.
“It’s treading softly on nature, without interfering hugely. It’s non-intrusive, and it can be very, very beautiful, in that moment. By creating ephemeral works within the environment, it’s accentuating what is available in the environment. It attunes people to what’s in flower at the time, what’s budding….
“It’s a very beautiful way to work, because it’s non-damaging. The artists are using the ancient rocks in the creek, which have been used by indigenous communities for centuries.
“It’s also using the built heritage of the Adelong Falls Reserve, where the gold mine ruins come into play with contemporary art. It’s wonderful that we’ve got people out to the Adelong Falls Reserve who have used the environment to artistic advantage.
“You might see a little stone cairn that’s built down there – I’ve gone down a couple of times and started one, to see what would happen – and people just build on it. And they do it with respect. It’s interesting to see how people respect what others are doing.
“The quality of the works, once you see them mounted, are just terrific.”
The event was run by Louise Halsey, Jennie Forster, Jenny Crain, and John Thomson.
“Thanks must go to John Thomson who has a great appreciation of using the environment to create ephemeral/environmental art which is demonstrated in the images of works created and photographed by his students,” said Ms Halsey.
“Artists Jenny Crain and Jennie Forster brought another dimension to the day using items found in the environment to produce a diverse range of work.
“Coupled with our photographer Donna Longobardi who recorded the day in very beautiful images, and the important contribution of Talea Bulger in demonstrating and using vegetation found in the reserve as the indigenous community have done for centuries. Thanks must also be extended to the Visitors centre staff who make this community exhibition possible.”
The exhibition and the original workshop were funded by a Tumut Shire Council grant.
Organisers hope to make the day and corresponding exhibition an annual event.