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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://https://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Living-in/Arts-and-Cultural-Development/Art-Collection
phone
+61 9433 3131

Contact

Opening Hours

8.30am to 5.00pm weekdays

Entry Fee

Free

Location

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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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426 items

426 items

Pottery: Neil DOUGLAS (b.1911 NZ - d.2003 AUS), arrived in Australia 1912 - Whimsical Deep Bowl

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Photographic light box: Heather WINTER - Hair: from the series Ego Double Helix

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: David ARMFIELD (b.1923 Melb AUS - d. 2010 Melb AUS) - Untitled (beach)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Oil on canvas, Norman Bay at Wilsons Promontory where Tidal River meets the sea. The pink and purple sky reflects on the sea and suggests sunset, the sand appears russet in the afternoon light. As is indicative of Armfield's seascapes, groups and figures populate the beach. A couple embrace in the foreground, people walk along the beach, wade in the water. There is a lack of beach paraphernalia.

Historical information

David Armfield was an internationally renowned local artist. He studied at RMIT; NGV School in the 1940's. He worked for newspapers until 1965 when he resigned to paint full-time. He travelled extensively in Europe and lived and painted in Italy for considerable periods. His low-keyed, tightly painted land and seascapes are often populated with small figures. Armfield's works are represented in major public collections across Australia eg. NGV and are held in private collections. He won the 1980 Eltham Art Prize and was presented with the winner's cheque by former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam.

Inscriptions & Markings

In mauve paint, lower right signature: 'D. Armfield'

Pottery (pot): ANONYMOUS - Cork Lidded Container (green)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (silk screen): Tony Trembath (b. 1946 Vic, AUS) - Infra Red Diagmostics

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Public Art: Wayne ALFRED (b.1958 Alert Bay, British Columbia) - Commonwealth Games Totem Pole, Location: Eltham Library Foyer, Panther Place, Eltham

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Carved in cedar wood, this totem pole incorporates bold cuts and colours (such as red and green) offset by strong black. A relative degree of realism is used to depict the alligator located on the bottom of the pole, a man and a 'thunderbird'/eagle located on the top. With protuding element.

Historical information

Wayne Alfred is a member of the Namgis Tribe of the Kwakwaka'wakw people. As a master carver he has an extremely high level of carving skill and knowledge about his peoples cultural objects, customs, tribal stories and legends. The Totem Poles of the North Pacific Coast in British Columbia and Alaska are traditionally carved out of red or yellow cedar, which has a spiritual and practical purpose. The wood was known for its durability, its resistance to rotting and the inner bark was utilised in ropemaking, clothing, hats, baskets and so forth. The Kwakitul People consider the cedar tree to be among the most sacred of all things provided by the Creator. They believed the Cedar tree to be the axis of the world and a pathway to the upper world. The wood is shaped using implements such as adzes, axes, chisels, carving knives, and chainsaws. Misinterpreted as Gods and idols to be worshipped, totems usually serve six purposes, such as a house pillar for support, a memorial or mortuary pole to commemorate (and house) the deceased, a potlatch pole (used for important traditional indigenous celebrations), a ridicule pole used to shame and a heraldic or family crest pole. Characters and symbols on these totem poles usually display family crests, history, wealth, social rank, inheritance, and privilege, as well as animalistic imagery derived from native animals and mythological creatures. Their sequence are indicative of past family events, ancestors, myths, and heraldic crests, with the bottom figure usually being the most prominent. In this work the 'thunderbird' is symbolic of power, strength and of ancestory.

Significance

The Commonwealth Games Totem Pole was presented to the people of Nillumbik on behalf of the Canadian Government in recognition of Nillumbik as the hosts of the Canadian Commonwealth Games Team in 2006.

Inscriptions & Markings

No inscriptions. Bold cuts used to outline the characters and symbols as well as decorative and stylised features all over the pole.

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'

Pottery (mug): Leon SAPER (b.1928 POL, arrived 1949 AUS - d.2005 AUS) - Green mug with brushed bird decoration

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture: Vicky SHUKUROGLOU - Object

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture (finial): Malcolm Laurence (b.1974 Melb) - Chocolate Lilies: The Spirit of Nillumbik Location: Eltham Town Square - Main St, Eltham

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Realistic depiction of 'chocolate lilies' in wrought iron (three flowers in bloom, four large buds and six small buds). Chocolate lilies are indigenous to Nillumbik.

Historical information

In October 2000, Council invited three artists from the region (Deborah Halpern, Matcham Skipper, Tony Trembath) to submit designs for a sculpture / public art work for the Eltham Town Square. The commission was paid for by supermarket giant Safeway (Woolies) as part of its supermarket permit, which required them to contribute to beautification work in the Town Square.

Significance

This is the third of three parts. The 'Spirit of Nillumbik' is a celebration of the artistic spirit of Eltham and surrounding communities. Each area is identified through the flora and fauna represented in the panels. The work honours the many creative artists and architects, past and present, who have built homes and shaped lives and livelihoods with their unique creative spirit. Halpern describes her work as a public expression of their individual and collective visions. Halpern acknowledges these contributions to our hand-made history and the influence they have on the character and identity of Eltham and Nillumbik.

Inscriptions & Markings

N/A

Painting: Yvonne BIRCH (nee BALL) - Untitled

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Oil on canvas board, landscape painting in muted tones of an dry creek bed. Trees line the creek banks and a log bridge crosses the creek bed, perhaps built from the local tree timbers.

Inscriptions & Markings

Lower right, black paint 'Yvonne Ball'

Pottery (dish): Elsa ARDERN (b.1918 NZ-d.2006 AUS) - Casserole Dish

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: John SERLE (b.1928) - Untitled (landscape)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ewald NAMATJIRA (b.1930 - d.1984) Language Group: Western Arrernte - Untitled

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (Lithograph) Clifton Pugh - Untitled (Black Birds) from the Bodford Terrace Suite 1978

Nillumbik Shire Council,

lithographic print on French Arches paper. Dynamic and expressive depiction of black birds in flight on far left of composition, cropped elements of Australian landscape in blue and red in the background (trees, shrubs, rocks).

Historical information

Pugh was one of many artists who brought an Australian experience to attention. This work reveals the colour, textures, harshness and inhabitants of the natural bush, with the angular forms found on the ‘black birds’ dominating the composition with dramatic effect. Shanahan, Albert Tucker, Frank Werther and Fred Williams have at one time settled and or work there.

Significance

Untitled (Black Birds) from the Bodford Terrace Suite 1978, created by Clifton Pugh - a celebrated Australian artist known for his landscapes and portraiture as well as (three-time) winner of Australia’s Archibald Prize. This piece plays a significant role within the Nillumbik Shire Collection due to Pugh’s strong connection to the local land where he settled in Cottle’s Bridge in 1951, purchasing 15 acres and named it Dunmoochin. Artists, potters and others settled at Dunmoochin and formed the Dunmoochin Artists Co-operative in order to collectively protect the land. Numerous renowned artists worked or resided at Dunmoochin including: Rick Amor, Fred Williams, Albert Tucker, Frank Hodgkinson, Mirka Mora, John Olsen, John Percival and John Howley amongst others. Upon his death in 1990 he left an art collection and extensive properties at Dunmoochin to be appreciated and utilised by artists for years to come

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed lower right 'Clifton'; 1:1; 179/300

Print (Lithograph) Alice Blanch CHEHOVSKI - Dunmoochin, Sunlight

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Black and white lithograph on paper depicting the elaborate stone and wrought iron (open) gate/ entrance to Pugh's artist colony 'Dunmoochin' situated at Cottles Bridge.

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'

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (jug): Lesly MARTIN - Small pale tan jug, brush decoration

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Assemblage: Peter HOOK - Artist Reflection, Studio Summer

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture: Angela NAGEL - Last on the Island

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramic - sculpture human and animal like (koala) armless figure depicted standing in a similiar stance to that of a classical sculpture / Blue and white body with a yellow face / Made from porcelain with oxide, clear glaze and undergaze.

Historical information

With an interest in 'Collective Unconscious' Nagel aims to explore the human condition, and our impact on the natural world / This figure embodies human and animal traits with semi-autobiographical references to investigate concepts relating to identity and home / Nagel focuses on the extinct, the pest, the endangered and the introduced as a way to reveal her concerns of humanity as creator and destroyer / In this sculpture a koala headed figure is in the pose of the martyr St. Sebastion / With no arms, there is an inability to protest or fight.

Significance

This work is by a local contemporary artist and encompasses contemporary themes / This work was a finalist in the Nillumbik Prize 2012.

Sculpture: Michael WILSON (b.1943 Hastings, Victoria) - Cicada

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Made of steel and powdercoated in aluminium with a concrete base. Decorative elements such as the ring encasing the cicada and the cicada's wings are guilded with 24ct gold leaf. The steel rod is burgundy in colour with the cicada painted a dark olive green to represent the 'Green Grocer' variety common in Eltham. The colours used in this sculpture match the surrounding Elm and Ash trees in the landscape.

Historical information

Michael Wilson learnt the craft of Goldsmithing after seeing well known sculptor and silversmith Matcham Skipper working in his studio at Montsalvat in and around 1970. This work is a gift to the Eltham Community in recognition of his twenty five years of developing his goldsmith skills and operating his business within the Shire. Wilson officially opened his commercial premises in 1985.

Significance

Michael Wilson is a local jewellery maker. His work is influenced directly by the environment in which he lives. This sculpture is representative of his distinctive style of work as a nationally and an internationally recognised Designer and Goldsmith.

Inscriptions & Markings

N/A

Painting: Lesley SINCLAIR (b.1901 - d.1999 AUS) - Montsalvat

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Significance

Lesley Sinclair studied art at the National Gallery School in Melbourne in the 1920s, and lithography at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She became a member of the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, but rarely exhibited her work. She was a student of Justus Jorgensen and a founding member of the Montsalvat group in Eltham. She lived at Montsalvat and taught painting until her death.

Painting: Alan SARTORI (b.1936 - d.2007) - River Glen

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Drawing: Ian BOW (b.1914 - d.1989 AUS) - Templestowe Pub

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Historical information

Ian Bow studied at the Melbourne Technical College. He is best known both as a painter and as a sculptor. His works are represented in several state and provincial galleries.

Pottery (plate): Joan ARMFIELD and David ARMFIELD - Platter with Crackled Glaze and Grevillia Decoration

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramics (bowl): Mary-Lou Pittard - Decorative Bowl

Nillumbik Shire Council,

'Decorative Bowl' is a wheel-thrown/moulded bowl, oblong in shape and has been manipulated by hand. Narrow sections have been incised from the main body, perhaps a practical design feature for air circulation, and the rim has been altered to form a jagged edge. Bold colourful shapes decorate the interior of the bowl. They have been applied directly to the bisque surface and subsequently covered with a transparent glaze which protects them and enhances their permanency.

Historical information

Mary-Lou began exhibiting in the mid 1980s and over the years has been involved in producing unique pieces as well as developing a large range of domestic ware. In 1984, six months after graduating from a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Phillip Institute of Technology, Mary-Lou was invited to present a solo exhibition at Devise Gallery in South Melbourne. This objective, she says, compelled her to find a studio and was an incentive to focus on developing her ceramic practice independently.

Significance

Mary-Lou Pittard holds close ties to the Shire of Nillumbik - living and working within Eltham. Her Eltham North Mudbrick Studio employed 5 assistants until recently when Mary-Lou and partner Chris Pittard have scaled down operations. They now produce everything themselves and find that this enables them to focus on producing unique, sculptural ceramic works. Mary-Lou is currently exploring the fine qualities of porcelain and combining these with her ongoing passion for decorative colour and form.

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Solitary male figure wearing a long hooded coat clutching his hands underneath his chin in shock. Surface treatment is textured. Dark metallic brown colour.

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

Hand carved on base, back of figure '2/6 WEGNER 10'

Painting: Marian SUSSEX (b. 1916 Vic - d. 2007 Melb. AUS) - Timeless Land

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Alan MARTIN (b.1923 - d.1989 AUS) - Portrait of Neil Douglas, 1962

Nillumbik Shire Council,