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Nillumbik Shire Council

The Shire of Nillumbik is located less than 25 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, and has the Yarra River as its southern boundary. It extends 29 kilometres to Kinglake National Park in the north. The Shire stretches approximately 20 kilometres from the Plenty River and Yan Yean Road in the west to Christmas Hills and the Yarra escarpment in the east.

The Shire covers an area of 431.94 square kilometres and has an estimated population of 64,219 who live in close-knit communities which range from typical urban settings to remote and tranquil bush properties. There is also over 300 hectares of nature and recreation reserves, which does not include some areas of the Kinglake National Park in the north of the Shire.

Contact Information

web
http://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Things_to_do/Arts_and_culture/Art_Collection_and_Galleries
phone
+61 9433 3131

Contact

Opening Hours

8.30am to 5.00pm weekdays

Entry Fee

Free

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Nillumbik Shire Council holds an important Visual Art Collection of over 400 works of art of contemporary and historical interest. The focus of the collection is on works of excellence that reference local content or are works of excellence from artists who live locally. Some notable artists represented within the Collection are Clifton Pugh, Rick Amor, Deborah Halpern, Matcham Skipper, John Young, David Wadelton, Walter Withers, Sue Ford, Adriane Strampp and George Baldessin. Nillumbik Shire Council also holds a Memorabilia and Public Art Collection with sixteen sculptures located in various public places throughout the Shire.

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Drawing: Chris MARKS - Gradually Dissolving

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Photograph: Sue FORD - Matcham Skipper, Montsalvat

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (digital): Tess EDWARDS - Torn (from the INDICIA series)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Alan MARTIN (b.1923 - d.1989 AUS) - Portrait of Alan Marshall

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Historical information

Alan Martin studied under Max Meldrum, at the National Gallery School and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He later established his own art school. He has won several prizes and is represented in several provincial collections.

Pottery: Jeff MINCHAM (b.1950 SA, AUS) - Lidded 'Kagome' Vessel

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramics (vase): Chris PITTARD - Vessel - Flood

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Historical information

Chris Pittard is a painter who has been working with clay for over 15 years. Pittard studied Fine Arts at RMIT and VCA and has exhibited paintings for a number of years. Pittard divides his time between teaching, drawing and painting and working in the ceramics studio where he creates distinctive pieces. Chris Pittard's ceramic pieces translate the narrative to the vessel. His vessels speak to us about our place and even his personal stories become more universal expressions.

Significance

In early 2005 there was a flood which raged through the creeks cutting through the Shire of Nillumbik (Eltham). Not usually affected by catastrophe, these surging waters destroyed bridges and threatened roads. When the water subsided along the banks of the creek, trees had fallen, flotsam and jetsam piled up and even weeks later the long grass flattened by the flood continued to map the raging waters flow. The combination of slightly threatening and destructive forces and eerie beauty interested me. This at a time when world events of a far more horrific and tragic nature where presented to us by strangely beautiful coloured photos in our daily papers. These connections may not be obvious but it was certainly something I was thinking about while making this ceramic piece.

Pottery (jug): Bruce DAVIDSON - Pale Blue Jug

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Mixed Media: Shane PICKETT (b.1957 Quairading, WA - d.2010 Perth, WA - Group: Nyoongar) - Images No.1

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (acquatint): David ARMFIELD (b.1923 Melb. AUS-d.2010 AUS) - Water-Holes at Dawn

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Marjorie SHATTOCK - Untitled (River Scene)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (cup): Leon SAPER (b.1928 POL, arrived 1949 AUS - d.2005 AUS) - Coffee Cup

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Vic WOOD - Limbo

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Drawing: Chris MARKS - Imagine Becoming the Sea

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (vessel): Geoffrey DAVIDSON - Cylindrical Gourd Vessel with Braided Handle

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture: Pamela IRVING (b.1960) - Green Wedge Larry

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Green Wedge Larry - dog sculpture reminiscent of the iconic Larry LaTrobe located at Melbourne City Square. The dog is constructed from Italian Bisazza glass tiles, using a Mapei adhesive system. The theme for his 'coat' is the flora from the local surrounds of Nillumbik, drawing from the 'Live Local Plant Local' Nillumbik plant directory.

Historical information

Pamela Irving (born 1960) is a prominent Australian visual artist specialising in bronze, ceramic and mosaic sculptures as well as printmaking and copper etchings. Irving's early art was influenced by artists including Arthur Boyd, John Brack, Noel Connihan, Mirka Mora, Sidney Nolan and John Perceval. In recent years, Irving has been influenced ″by the honest and direct expressiveness of ‘outsider art’ (the art of self-taught or ‘naive artists’) and the craft of ‘memoryware’″ Significantly, this interest grew following Irving's visit to Nek Chand's Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India.

Painting: Alan MARTIN (b.1923 - d.1989 AUS) - Eltham North

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Jodi WILEY - Afternoon Light

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Detailed, cropped view of a tree trunk, warm earth colours and tones

Historical information

N/A

Significance

Jodi Wiley is a local artist who works in acrylic to create detailed images of trees found in urban and suburban environments. “Trees are ordinary features of our everyday landscape. And yet when the light hits them at certain times of the day, the colours and textures that are illuminated can make us gasp in awe if we are truly paying attention". 'Afternoon Light' was highly commended in the 2015 Nillumbik Prize, judged by Melinda Martin, Director of Linden New Art, Melbourne.

Inscriptions & Markings

White, hand painted 'J' in bottom right corner

Drawing: Paul MARGOCSY (b.1945 MELB AUS) - Greater Glider

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Watercolour painting, side view of a Greater Glider sitting on the branch of a eucalypt tree with white background

Inscriptions & Markings

Lower right, black pen, signature 'Paul Margocsy'

Public Art: Deborah HALPERN - 'Queen of the Shire'; Location: Cnr Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd & Research-Warrandyte Rd, North Warrandyte

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Materials: coloured glass tiles, fibreglass, aluminium, steel. A sweeping stylised (female) form covered in bright and colourful tiles held aloft by two steel poles.

Historical information

Deborah Halpern was raised in Nth Warrandyte. Her connection to the area and the significant contribution that she and her family (founding members of Potters Cottage) have made to the artistic heritage and culture of the Shire is acknowledge with the commission of this piece.

Significance

Deborah Halpern is a highly recognised and respected local artist with an acclaimed national reputation in the arts community. This work is a gateway piece, welcoming residents and visitors into the Shire from the southern end of the boundary. 'Queen of the Shire' reflects the creative spirit that flows endlessly in the Shire, inspired by the landscape. This work forms part of a series of sculptures that Halpern has created along the banks of the Yarra in Melbourne ('Angel' - Birrarung Marr and 'Ophelia' - Southgate). This sculpture is an excellent example of Halpern’s ouvere and 'tile construction' technique for which she is renowned.

Sculpture: Peter WEGNER (b.1954 NZ - a.1958 AUS) - The Blanket (from the 'Black Saturday' series)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Solitary male figure wrapped in a blanket, clutched to his chest and over his head. Surface treatment is textured. Metallic brown colour with base starting to turn a green patina.

Historical information

The 'Black Saturday' bushfires were a series of bushfires that ignited across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009. It was Australia's worst ever natural disaster. The fires occurred during extreme bushfire-weather conditions and resulted in Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire: 173 people died and 414 were injured as a result of the fires.

Significance

This work is by a local contemporary artist with a national and international reputation for figurative and portrait works. The 'Black Saturday' series is a powerful investigation of emotion and grief as experienced by many Nillumbik residents during the 2009 'Black Saturday' bushfires. A cluster of bronze figurines either stand alone or embrace in groups. Their expressions and gestures of despair are made more pertinent with the raw like application and surface treatment of the material used. The 'Black Saturday' series is a challenging work, but one that encourages healing, connection and empathy.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sticker underside of sculpture 'WEGNER THE BLANKET AG205642'

Ceramics (vessel): Sylvia HALPERN (b.1918 JAP-d.2008 AUS) - Large Vessel

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Alice Blanch CHEHOVSKI - Dunmoochin, Print Studio

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Lithographic print in black and white depicting the Print Studio at Dunmoochin.

Historical information

Alice Blanch Chehovski was born in Queensland to a Russian mother and Polish father. When her father died leaving three small children to bring up on her own, her took them back to Russia to visit her own parents. In the following fateful year, Stalin came into power and the family was trapped by Russia closing its borders. At the age of twenty three, 1944, Alice entered Moscow's Institute of Decorative Arts and Applied Arts to study ceramics. Neither the subject of ceramics nor the academic drawing in fine pencil inspired her. At that time Moscow was surrounded by German troops, Russian culture was inhibited by the war and generally speaking it was not the time for arts. Alice said 'My soul and my hands were needed as a volunteer, to help the wounded soldiers survive'. Alice struggled through a lifetime of hardship and triumph before returning to her native land of Australia in 1981 at the age of 60.

Significance

This lithographic print is one of a set of ten produced at Dunmoochin at the time of Clifton Pugh.

Inscriptions & Markings

Bottom left of print: ed. no. '4/10' and work title. Bottom right of print: artist signature 'Alice Blanch '04'

Print (digital): Tess EDWARDS - Purify (from the INDICIA series)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Guan WEI (b.1957 CHINA) - Anonymous Invader No. 1

Nillumbik Shire Council,

acrylic on canvas

Peter Glass (b.1917-d.1997) - Bush at St. Andrews, Winter Light, 1978

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (solar engraving): Christine JOHNSON

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (etching): Tony TREMBATH (b.1946 Vic, AUS) - Bioassay 11

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Textile (shawl): Grace MITCHELL - Grace's Shawl

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Paul CAVELL (b.1946 Aus) - Castlemaine into Chewton

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Video (HD): Ash KEATING - North Park Proposition (from the 'Urban Boundary Proposition' series)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Video of artist painting the facade of a concrete warehouse into a ‘Trompe-l’oeil’ landscape painting using fire extinguishers as paint brushes. The warehouse slowly disappears into the landscape.

Mixed Media: Deidre BOEYEN - Eltham Little Theatre

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (bowl): Joan ARMFIELD - Salad Bowl

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (lino): Mirranda BURTON - Bird Stitchers

Nillumbik Shire Council,

linocut; inks on paper

Inscriptions & Markings

A/P

Assemblage: Peter HOOK - Childhood Reflections, Kangaroo

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture: George TURCU (b.1945 ROM) - The Secret City

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Artist Book: Tommaso DURANTE (b.1956 ITA, arrived. 2001 AUS) with text by Chris WALLACE-CRABBE (b.1934 AUS) - Skin, Surfaces and Shadows

Nillumbik Shire Council,

(a) prints, artist's book (80 pages), ink; Somerset Book White paper (175gsm), digital images, printed in eight inkjet colour pigments, from digital files. Set in digital typefaces Utopia STD Display, Italic and Bold, Frutiger 57 Condensed, 67 Bold Condensed, and 56 Italic. Section sewn around 3 tapes. Full paper binding with blind blocking on front cover handmade head and tail bands. (b) CD of slide presentation to accompany bookwork on display

Historical information

'Skin, Surfaces and Shadows' was created by Tommaso Durante in 2004 during his stay in Bundanon (gifted to the Australian people by Arthur & Yvonne Boyd - South East Australia) as international artist in residence and it was enriched during the artist’s stay in Broome (Western Australia) in 2005. On that occasion he collected the raw materials that were subsequently wrought to develop the actual bookwork.

Significance

On the edge of artistic practice and philosophical inspiration, 'Skin, Surfaces and Shadows' pushes the boundaries of art, craft and design by combining digital technologies with traditional techniques and materials. Durante visually explores the surfaces of organic things (trees, surface textures, etc.) and the figurative dividing line of the shadow. The poet Wallace-Crabbe responds to these images in words. The poet and the artist flit in and out of shadows, skin and the surfaces of paper and life.

Inscriptions & Markings

Primary Insc: In black biro, signed and editioned by Tommaso Durante and Chris Wallace-Crabbe (last page '8/25 T DURANTE CWallace-Crabbe')

Painting: Rick AMOR (b.1948, Melb. AUS) - Out to Sea

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Oil on linen, seascape painting. A solitary and motionless male figure in an overcoat stands at the edge of a dock/jetty with his hands in his pockets looking out to sea with his back towards the viewer. A motorised boat is moored close by and a white house with a blue roof can be seen in the distance. The figure is engulfed by the landscape and a resounding sense of desolation. A storm is brewing; the mood forecast by dark, heavy and thick ominous clouds, alternately darkening with the approach of night, a polluted haze and rough seas.

Historical information

Rick Amor was a good friend of three times Archibald Prize winner Clifton Pugh, living and working at Pugh's artist colony Dunmoochin, (Cottles Bridge) during the 1980-1990s. Amor made frequent outdoor painting trips with Pugh. His studies of Williamstown and areas around the port fuelled a period of sustained painting in his studio at Dunmoochin.

Significance

Amor is an artist of national significance who had lived locally in Dunmoochin (Cottles Bridge) during the time of this work's making. This painting was exhibited/entered into the 1993 Shire of Eltham Art Awards. The work is representative of Amor's style and interest in seascapes as subject matter.

Inscriptions & Markings

In red paint, lower right, signed 'RICK AMOR '93'

Painting: Tony Harkin (b.1938 Aus) - Bush Study, Eltham

Nillumbik Shire Council,

A bush study of Eltham Park. Blue and green tones with the foliage of a tree in the foreground and trees and grasses in the background.

Inscriptions & Markings

Lower left, red paint: "TONY HARKIN 77"

Ceramic (plate): Greg DALY - Images on a Platter

Nillumbik Shire Council,

stoneware, glazes

Print (etching): Michael LEUNIG (b.1945 Vic, AUS) - ‘Pilgrim’ from 'The Baldessin & Friends' commemorative folio

Nillumbik Shire Council,

one colour (yellow) etching on Somerset paper. Thick lines weave in and out to produce a figure reminiscent of his 'curly flat' characters holding a long stem flower/vine.

Historical information

Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, poet and cultural commentator. His best known works include The Adventures of Vasco Pyjama and the Curly Flats series. Leunig was declared one of Australian Living Treasures by the National Trust of Australia in 1999. George Baldessin (1939-1978) was a printmaker and sculptor who built his bluestone studio at St Andrews (Nillumbik) in 1971 with his partner Tess and the three Hails brothers, Rob, Doug and Don. Made of recycled materials the studio today contains all of George’s equipment including the large press, which he modelled himself with the help of Neil Jeffrey (Enjay Presses). George won many prizes throughout his career and is represented in many of Australia's public art collections including his famous 'Pears' sculpture in front of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 1975 he represented Australia in the Sao Paulo Biennale, before living and working in Paris until his return to St Andrews in 1977. In 1978 George was killed in a car accident aged 39 years. In 2001 Tess returned to St Andrews to reclaim the run-down studio and reconstitute it as The Baldessin Press & Studio - a printmaking retreat. It operates in George’s memory, so that artists may continue to create, perpetuating the generous spirit of George.

Sculpture: Dean Bowen - Bird Boy

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Small bronze sculpture of a short boy holding birds, both of different size, in each outstretched hand. He has a long thin (length-ways) head and a flat squat body.He is wearing a belt with eyelets holding up his stripy long sleeve shirt. His head and the birds are showing green patina, yet is less prominent on his body.

Significance

Was purchased by the Nillumbik Shire Council after being a finalist in the 1997 Nillumbik Art awards.

Inscriptions & Markings

On bottom boy's left foot, are the initials 'DB' the artist and '97'; the year created. On bottom of the right foot, '5/9' has been etched, indicating it is the fifth of nine pieces..

Painting: Alison Hann - A Summer's Day, Panton Hill

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Inscriptions & Markings

Lower right corner "Alison Hann 1982"

Print: (archival inkjet): Jessie IMAM - Ground Cover

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Photograph of the artist immersed from the waist down in green moss (landscape).

Significance

Imam is represented in the Nillumbik Shire Art Collection and was the winner of the 2015 Nillumbik Prize for her work "Diagram of sentiment #1" (judged by Linden New Art Director Melinda Martin). She was also a finalist in the Nillumbik Prize 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2010. Imam completed a residency at Laughing Waters in 2011. Imam works within photography, the moving image and installation to create works centred on themes of embodiment and the female perspective. In this work she participates in a dialogue between her body and the Finnish Archipelagos in order to develop a relationship with the islands as both a place and an organic body [of land] where flux and change occurs.

Inscriptions & Markings

N/A

Pottery (mug): Peter LAYCOCK (b.1927 SA - d.2009 Vic, AUS) - Mug

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Peter GLASS (b.1917-d.1997 AUS) - The Yellow Peril - Early 1940s, St. John St's Weed

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Photograph: Joshua HOLKO - Portrait of a Skipper

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Drew GREGORY (b.1947 Melb, AUS) - Grong Grong

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Photograph (performance): Jill Orr (b.1952 Melb, AUS) - Ash 2002

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (jar): Bruce Davidson - Lidded Jar

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (etching and photo polymer): Imants TILLERS (b.1967 Syd., AUS) in posthumous collaboration with George BALDESSIN (b.1939 Treviso ITA – d.1978 Melb., AUS) - 'Unsaid + Nameless' from the 'Baldessin & Friends' commemorative folio

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Solar plate etching of Odilon Redon's 'Laraignee souriante' (The Smiling Spider) on an incomplete plate etched by George Baldessin in 1976 on Somerset paper. Other images include skewed perspectives of a wooden window frame, 'wooden' floor or table(?) folded sheet of paper and unknown apparatus.

Historical information

Imants Tillers has been identified as a quintessential postmodern artist in his use of appropriation and quotation. Since 1981 he has used his signature canvas boards to explore themes relevant to contemporary culture, from the centre/periphery debates of the 1980s to the effects of migration, displacement and diaspora. Most recently, his paintings have been concerned with place, locality and evocations of the landscape. Imants Tillers and Baldessin met on their way to the Bienal de Sao Paulo in 1975 and in the following year worked on two collaborative etching plates in Paris that were printed by Pierre Giarudon. 'Unsaid + Nameless' harks back to his experiences with Baldessin in Paris forty years ago. It is a poignant image of absence that can be read in the tradition of the momento mori. George Baldessin (1939-1978) was born in San Biagio di Callalta, in the Veneto in Northern Italy and arrived in Australia ten years later. A printmaker and sculptor he built his bluestone studio at St Andrews (Nillumbik) in 1971 with his partner Tess and the three Hails brothers, Rob, Doug and Don. Made of recycled materials the studio today contains all of George’s equipment including the large press, which he modelled himself with the help of Neil Jeffrey (Enjay Presses). George won many prizes throughout his career and is represented in many of Australia's public art collections including his famous 'Pears' sculpture in front of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 1975 he represented Australia in the Sao Paulo Biennale, before living and working in Paris until his return to St Andrews in 1977. In 1978 George was killed in a car accident aged 39 years. In 2001 Tess returned to St Andrews to reclaim the run-down studio and reconstitute it as The Baldessin Press & Studio - a printmaking retreat. It operates in George’s memory, so that artists may continue to create, perpetuating the generous spirit of George.

Significance

'Unsaid + Nameless' is one of eight prints in the 'Baldessin & Friends commemorative folio. The folio was conceived by Tess Edwards as a fundraising initiative in celebration of the The Baldessin Press & Studio's fifteen year anniversary, and as a way to honour George Baldessin's memory. The Baldessin Press & Studio is a not-for-profit organisation created in memory of the late George Baldessin (1939-1978), whose original studio is now open to the public for creative use and as a practical legacy to living artists. The Studio is located in St Andrews, Nillumbik. The folio is a unique coming together of seven very different and acclaimed artists who are connected by their friendship to the missing eighth member, George Baldessin. In 1976 Baldessin and Tillers embarked on the collaborative work 'According to des Esseintes'; a post modern Surrealist game of consequences and sequences. In homage to his friendship and work, Tillers completed an unfinished Baldessin plate from 1976 inspired from their 'des Esseintes' collaboration. The addition of Odilon Redon's 'smiling spider' is indicative of Tiller's broader post-modern approach.

Inscriptions & Markings

In pencil (handwritten): low plate: left '14/25' (edition); centre: 'Unsaid + Nameless' (title); right 'Imants Tillers' (signature); low paper: right emboss 'GB' (Baldessin Press & Studio monogram)