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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

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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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424 items

424 items

Drawing: Margot KROYER-PEDERSON (b.1931 - d.1997) - Frogmouths

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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.

Joh EBELI - Beautiful Eltham (Panther Place, Cottage and Railway Trestle Bridge)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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'

Painting: Barbara MUNRO - Evening at Research

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: David WADELTON (b.1955 VIC) - Looking

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Prints (solar etchings): Christine JOHNSON (b. 1959 AUS) - Voyages Botanical

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Charcoal solander box with artwork title, artist name and flower motif in silver lettering bottom centre (edition 4/5). Catalogue: 52 colour pages. Solar plate engravings x 30; ink on paper. Series A: Ten multi-layered solar plate engravings (edition of 12); Series B: Ten flower images drawn from living specimens (edition of 12); Series C: Ten details from early botanical art engravings (open edition)

Historical information

Johnson undertook this project with a State Library of Victoria 'Creative Fellowship' in 2012, drawing on early botanical illustrations by Sydney Parkinson, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, Ferdinand Bauer and others from the Library's 'Rare Books' Collection. Johnson printed this series in 2013 while working as artist in residence at Baldessin Press, St. Andrews.

Significance

'Voyages Botanical' celebrates the untamed treasures of Australia’s (Nillumbik) vast native flower garden. The work speaks to Nillumbik's natural environment and colonial heritage in the context of our national story.

Inscriptions & Markings

Charcoal solander box with artwork title, artist name and flower motif in silver lettering bottom centre. Solar plate engravings x 30: Series A, B: all prints have edition number '4/12' to bottom left of image, artwork title () centre and artist signature 'Christine Johnson 2014' to bottom right of image. Series C: all prints have artist initials signed 'CJ' bottom right of images. All inscriptions in pencil.

Print (Embossed): Ona Wendi HENDERSON - A Special Corner...Eltham Copper Butterfly and Kangaroo Grass

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Floor mosaic: Deborah Halpern (b.1957 Melb.) - The Spirit of Nillumbik (Mosaic), Location: Eltham Town Square - Main St, Eltham

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Square floor mosaic. Black and white chequered border. Multicoloured coiled snake intercepted with six multicoloured peaks. Made up of small mosaic tiles and hand painted.

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 second 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

Hand painted artist signature bottom right hand side. 'Deborah D. Halpern '01'

Pottery (vase): Elsa ARDERN (b.1918 NZ-d.2006 AUS) - Iron Glaze Vase

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Public Art: Marcus SKIPPER (b.1950 Melb, Aus) - Alan Marshall (Location: Grounds of Eltham Library, Panther Place, Eltham)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

A realistic depiction (almost life size) of Alan Marshall cast in bronze with green patination. Dressed in a jumper and slacks, Marshall is shown perched on a crutch, holding a book to his heart, gesturing to his audience to come and listen to his words.

Historical information

Alan Marshall was an author of more than fifteen books, and lived much of his life in Eltham. He became a central figure in the area's arts community of writers, artists, sculptors, film makers, actors and musicians. He is shown stroking a book to his heart, perched on a crutch, which references his disability (contracted polio when he was young), and his status as one of Australia's most successful and loved authors. His most famous book, 'I Can Jump Puddles' is based on his life story and the obstacles he faced as a child in trying to overcome his disability. Marcus Skipper submitted the idea for the work to the first 'Art in Public Places' Awards in 1990. The selectors at the time recommended that the work would be more suitably placed near the Eltham Library. It was commissioned and installed for the new Eltham Library, which was designed by Greg Burgess in 1994. It was partially funded by the then Shire of Eltham's Art Development Fund (Eltham Arts Council) and the rest donated by the artist Marcus Skipper.

Significance

This work has significance for its reference to two well known names associated with Eltham and its history. The sculpture is a realistic statue of the famous Australian author Alan Marshall who wrote "I Can Jump Puddles". He lived and worked in the Shire. The artist Marcus Skipper represents a highly recognised family of artists associated with Monsalvat. The sculpture 'Alan marshall' has been classified as of regional significance by the National Trust of Australia.

Sculpture (textile): Susan WIRTH (b.1967 Syd AUS) - I want to love this country (Murnong)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Yellow abstract sculpture woven into a vessel with long tentacles using cotton yarn.

Significance

Nillumbik Prize finalist (2018, 2016, 2015, 2014). The artist lives and works in Nillumbik. Abstract sculpture inspired by the artist attending a local ceremony in Nillumbik to harvest tubers of the Murnong (yam daisy), a traditional staple of the Wurundjeri people. Wirth was also inspired by the writing of Bruce Pascoe. Wirth works intuitively with awareness that meaning may be deciphered through the combination of material/mediums/techniques that she uses randomly. Through the process of experimentation and automatism Wirth allows her work to evolve organically. Wirth is represented in public art collections including: Victorian College of the Arts, Victorian Performing Arts Centre and Ararat Regional Gallery. She also completed a residency at Laughing Waters in 2012.

Inscriptions & Markings

N/A

Pottery (jar): Bruce Davidson - Lidded Jar

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Prints (solar engraving): Christine JOHNSON (b. 1959 AUS)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: David PEARSON - The Embrace

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: George CHALMERS - Untitled Study (yellow flowers)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Walter MAGILTON - Sunlight and Shadows, Warrandyte

Nillumbik Shire Council,

'Sunlight and Shadows, Warrandyte' is an oil on canvas painting depicting the Warrandyte landscape, featuring a winding creek with beautiful reflections cast upon it. The colour palate comprises muted green and earth tones, with a vivid aqua for reflective water.

Historical information

Walter Magilton's professional painting career is highlighted by numerous solo exhibitions, five of which have been in Great Britain. He has also won countless prizes, which include many 'Best in Show' awards. Walter is represented in a great number of private and corporate national and international collections, including ART Bank, in approximately twelve countries.

Significance

This painting is a one of a series of approximately eight works of the river at Warrandyte and the local creeks, with particular emphasis on the reflections in the water and of the wattle growing along the banks. I was particularly inspired by Penleigh Boyde who did similar work while living in Warrandyte in the early 1920s.

Painting: Marjorie SHATTOCK - Untitled (River Scene)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture: Peter WEGNER (b.1954 NZ - a.1958 AUS) - The Wake 1(from the 'Black Saturday' series)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Three figures embrace in despair (two men, one woman). One throws his arms around the other two figures who are consoling each other in an emotional embrace. Surface treatment is textured . 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

'WEGNER THE WAKE 1 AG205643'

Drawing (ink): Cameron ROBBINS - 1-9-06 KGMT 9am / strong northerly, gusty / 2-9-06 quiet night 23hours

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (vase): Geoffrey DAVIDSON - Small Inscribed Vase

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Hilary JACKMAN (b.1943 Melb. AUS) - Glenda

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Mosaic sample: Deborah HALPERN (b.1957 Melb, AUS) - Untitled - Mosaic Sample for the Spirit of Nillumbik

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture: Jill KAHANS - Bark

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramic (plates): Alma SHANAHAN (b.1924 - d.2015 Melb.) - Horse Power - The Flip Side

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Made from Chullora (Sydney) clay. Glazed stoneware plates (x2) with brush decorations resting on hand made ceramic stands. Plate one: 2006.64.1VA (Horse Power + stand) shows a figure on horse back with blue foliage in background. Plate two: 2006.64.2VA (Flip Side + stand) shows a horse with figure under it's hooves.

Historical information

Alma Shanahan (1924-2015) was a Victorian potter who came to live at Clifton Pugh's Dunmoochin art colony at Cottlesbridge, on Melbourne's outskirts in 1953. Unable to join the co-operative proper, as she was a potter, not a painter, she built her house at the top of the hill, 135 Barreenong Road, Cottles Bridge. The c.1953 house is historically, aesthetically and architecturally significant because it is a good example of the design and ethos of mud brick dwellings synonymous with Eltham and features the extensive use of recycled materials, which was characteristic of the 'Eltham style' of architecture. Like the others in the artist community, Alma Shanahan built her own residence in stages out of local materials. Shanahan was later joined by neighbours and Dunmoochin potters Peter and Helen Laycock. She trained for a term with Peter Laycock but was otherwise self-taught, basing her practice on the teachings of Bernard Leach. After Pugh's death in 1991 she became the longest standing Dunmoochin resident. Her works are incised with her full name.

Significance

Alma Shanahan was a part of the Dunmoochin Artist's community whose (other) members (Kevin Nolan, John Howley, John Olsen, Mirka Mora, Peter Laycock, Helen Laycock, Peter Wiseman and Chris Wiseman) made an important contribution to Victoria's cultural history. From the mid 1950s Pugh persuaded a number of other painters, as well as potters and other artists, to come and live at Dunmoochin and they formed one of Victoria's most important artist communities. She started potting around 1961 (aged 37). "Horse Power" was made using Chullora clay, which indicates it was made during her first seven years of production. Horse Power is about man's search for "energy" and how the "energy" can turn around.

Inscriptions & Markings

Hand painted signature in brown/black on back of both plates; "Alma Shanahan"

David BRENCHLEY - Hill Path, Hurstbridge

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,