Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Links for Get into Art day & Zine Fair 2008

Photo by Kate Griffen from Get into Art day 2008.

Now that the annual Get into Art day and Zine Fair at Hawthorn Town Hall is all over, it's time to reflect on how many badges were made, zines sold and muffins eaten! A huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who helped out on the day (Olga, I'll keep the chicken suit in mind for next year's uniforms!) also to the tutors and stall holders who really make the day.
Below are some links of blogs and sites where people spoke about the day and posted photos. Take time to check them out!

Photos from Kate Griffin
Thoughts from Bobby
The comic spot
Gallery Flickr site

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Get into Art day 2008

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The badge making stand was extremely busy!

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Super star comic book folk, John Rettallik and Bernard Caleo give us their best pose.

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The lovely Miss Rachel in her gorgeous pink apron, showing people how to make books.

Well we've all survived the 2008 Get into Art day! A big thank you to all the wonderful zine and comic book stall holders who ventured out today to show off their amazing works.

The hands on workshops were very popular this year, especially the badge making stand and also Rachel Hughes and her mini bookmaking workshops.

We also had Caroline in the gallery talking about the current exhibition as well as helping people to make their own self-portraits as well.

Images from the day can be found here. We will also be posting links to our fabulous friends and stall holders who have blogged or uploaded images on their pages as well.

Thanks again to all who came and made it a great day!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Public Programs get a change for 2009.

Town Hall Gallery has been providing public programs in conjunction with most exhibitions held at the venue. Public programs can take a wide variety of forms but their main aim is to give patrons a broader understanding of the exhibitions and concepts presented at the gallery.

Many of you would be familiar with the Slides & Sushi programs held at the gallery over the last 3 years. While these have been incredibly popular, we've decided to shake things up a little and produce some new programs for 2009 for you to get involved in. These programs will be aimed at all ages and will combine hands on workshops as well as hearing from artists and professionals in a critical theory context.

How do you find out what programs are on and what they are about? One of the best ways is to subscribe to this blog to get updated posts. We list upcoming programs on the blog on the right hand side. You can also become a fan of the gallery on Facebook where you'll receive special invites and updates as well.

We'd love to hear from you if you have any particular thoughts about public programs at Town Hall Gallery. Though we also hope that we'll see you taking part in the new public programs series in 2009 also!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Calling all t-shirt designers

Town Hall Gallery will be curating I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2 in February 2009. The first t-shirt exhibition was so popular we decided to do it again - yes, call us crazy!

Applications to be part of the exhibition will open this week. Please contact Curator Mardi Nowak at for more information.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Art, Zines, Comics and a comic book jam!

The annual Yeah Write Zine Fair is coming up very very soon! Stalls are still available and you can download an application form here. It is a first in, best dressed situation with stalls so make sure you are quick!

As our stallholders start to send us in information, I thought it would be great to give all you blog readers details on who will be there on the day, bit of a taste really. So see below for some of our ziney/comicky pals and the links to their sites!

We look forward to seeing you at the fair and hope you take part in our amazing comic book jam!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Seeing Ourselves exhibition starts tomorrow!

Seeing Ourselves project, creating the works

One of the participants in Seeing Ourselves, arranging her still life self portrait.

The Seeing Ourselves exhibition begins tomorrow, 8 October at Town Hall Gallery. The exhibition is a result of a project thought up by Caroline Carruthers and involved 20 seniors from Balwyn Welfare Centre to create still-lives that reflect who they are and what they value. The still lives include photos and treasured items and were photographed for the exhibition.

Viewers to the gallery will see the final still-life result (or still-life self-portrait) along with a short explanation and photograph of the participant. There are also a couple of still lives in 3D set up in the gallery so you will be able to see the process of the project.

When asked about the project, artist Caroline Carruthers had the following to say:

"This project is the result of a combination of inspiration, coincidence and teamwork. It was a book by Charles Handy, the philosopher and business guru, entitled The New Philanthropists which inspired me to develop this project. It reminded me of how I felt in art school when asked to create self-portraits in each creative discipline. Never one to focus overly much on myself I found this very confronting but also liberating. Rather than depict my external appearance I created a sculpture that reflected how I felt my life was progressing (Snakes and Ladders), a collage of my mental state and a mixed media work that illustrated my interests. So it was not a huge leap to the concept of self-portraits that show what we value, what we love and what we believe in, rather than our physical appearance.

The coincidence was my meeting with Gillian Roebuck of Balwyn Welfare Association at a grant information meeting. I was in need of a partner organisation in order to be eligible and Gillian found an opportunity that was exciting and different.

Gillian and I worked together on the successful grant proposal for a Boroondara Community Grant, and enlisted the cooperation of members of the Boroondara Writers Group and associates of Art Nerds on the practical completion of the project. A workable timeline was vital, recognising the difficulties inherent in working with older participants, and in keeping their valuable possessions safe.

No amount of planning avoids the potential for disaster: participants delivered the material for their self-portraits on the wrong day, the team was short-handed, a photographer got sick on the day of a photoshoot, but these hiccups pale into insignificance beside the simple fun of the experience for the writers and artists working with the participants. I can only hope the participants enjoyed it as much. We felt honoured to enter their private worlds. "

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Uglies

Ugly, Drunk and Stupid exhibition for Melbourne Fringe Festival came to an end yesterday at Town Hall Gallery. Continuing in the tradition of presenting Melbourne's underground and underrepresented comic book artists, Bernard Caleo and Jo Waite gathered together some grotesque characters and pages of the ugly, drunk and stupid. These new works were commissioned from David Blumenstein, Sarah Howell, Mandy Ord, Kirrily Schell, Andrew Weldon, Michael Fikaris, Bobby Nenadovic, Tim Molloy, Neale Blanden, Tolley, Bernard Caleo and Jo Waite.

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(Artists cheering with their sherry at the launch)

The opening night allowed viewers to delve into the ugly and grotesque while sipping cheap sherry from op shop glasses and nibbling on a green jelly lobster made by the multi-talented Jo Waite!

On Saturday, patrons were given some insight into the history of ugliness in comics by Bernard Caleo and then took part in an ugly draw off on beer coaster shaped paper.

Results from the Ugly draw off public program.

(results from the ugly draw off)

Results from the Ugly draw off public program.

Although a very speedy exhibition at the gallery, Ugly, Drunk and Stupid inspired many to get their pens out to draw along. Many thanks to the very inspirational and talented Jo Waite and Bernard Caleo for bringing their sense of ugly to the gallery!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Are you ugly? drunk? and or stupid?

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Ugly, Drunk and Stupid exhibition as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2008 opens this evening at Town Hall Gallery. You can pop along tonight between 6pm and 9pm to meet some of the artists involved and enjoy a drink - but be warned! Don't end up becoming artistic material for these guys by having a 'few too many'! Town Hall Gallery encourages responsible drinking.

The image above shows a collection of bottle tops that have been collected by one of the curators Jo Waite for the show. They have all been discovered lounging around in the street after been tossed out when the beer has been opened. I think that they are beautiful.

If you are unable to make it to the gallery this evening, then I would suggest coming along on Saturday as there will be 2 public programs in conjunction with the exhibition - all on the theme of ugliness. These programs begin at 2pm.

So if you're ugly, drunk, stupid or all of the above, come along and check out this tongue in cheek exhibition!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seeing Ourselves article

Seeing Ourselves exhibition is starting at Town Hall Gallery next week on 8 October. This project has been co-ordinated by Caroline Carruthers. The article above featured this week in the Progress Leader (please click on article for larger image).

There are several public programs running alongside this exhibition. Keep your eyes on this blog for more details or contact the gallery for times and dates.

A self-portrait is often thought as the external, visual part of a person, how we appear to the world. However it is often many things that make up who we are, our love of music, our passion for cooking or a relationship with particular people.

Artist Caroline Carruthers has explored this notion of the ‘alternative’ self-portrait in the exhibition Seeing Ourselves. In this project, Caroline worked with members of the Evergreen Club, Balwyn, who have dementia. The participants were asked about their innermost thoughts and feelings. What were the important events in their life and what did they value? From these questions the participants selected objects that they felt were important to them and that reflected who they are. These objects were put together as a still life and photographed by young photographer Kate Griffin for the exhibition.

This exhibition received a City of Boroondara Community Grant in conjunction with Balwyn Rotary and is also part of the official program of the Victorian Seniors Festival.

Ms Carruthers thoroughly enjoyed working with the Evergreen Club members and felt that this exhibition will allow viewers to see the world through the eyes of older people and people with dementia.

Viewers will also be able to try their hands at creating their own alternative self-portrait with the artist. These sessions are running as part of the Victorian Seniors Festival as well as on the Town Hall Gallery’s Get into Art Day program, a Public Galleries Association of Victoria event on Sunday October 26. These sessions will be held in the gallery and more information or bookings can be made on 9278 4626. Patrons can also find out more about the project during Slides & Sushi on Thursday 16 October at 6pm.

When asked what she hoped visitors would uncover from this exhibition, artist Caroline Carruthers said:
“There is a real evocation of the past, recognition of other times and events that will be extremely familiar to the viewer. I am sure that people will empathize with the participant’s sentiments and ideas expressed through these works. They will also wonder what they would select as objects to express who they are”.

Seeing Ourselves is at Town Hall Gallery from 8 October to 2 November. Get into Art day is on Sunday 26 October from 11am to 4pm.