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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

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (cup): Artur HALPERN (b.1908 POL arrived 1945 AUS - d.1976 AUS) - Cup

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Mixed media: Liz NETTLETON - Respite and Repose

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Mixed media (acrylic paint, acrylic ink and indian ink) on board / Landscape painting of Mount Sugarloaf and green pastures after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires / Mount Sugarloaf is depicted in an indigo haze in the background / A line of trees bathed in light border the mountain's edge / Lines of trees parallel to each other jut out diagonally in the foreground / Framing this view of the landscape is a pattern (topographical maps of the Nillumbik area), which suggest the vast extent of the devastated area of landscape.

Historical information

Nettleton creates an image of peace and tranquility after the violence felt from the 2009 Black Saturday bush fires / At the Arthurs Creek cemetery Nettleton found the grave of Reg Evans and Angela Brunton, friends who had perished in the fires / Nettleton sat on the edge of their joint grave and photographed their view / It was only after examining the photos more closely that she realized Mount Sugarloaf had burnt almost to the valley / Sugarloaf is always in an indigo haze.

Significance

This work is by a local contemporary artist and encompasses themes dealing with the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

Inscriptions & Markings

In black marker 'LIZ NETTLETON' + artist signature '2011' on back - middle right side

Pottery (pot): Elsa ARDERN (b.1918 NZ-d.2006 AUS) - Pot

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (lino) Kate HUDSON - Banksia Cobs and Circle Vase

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Alan MARTIN - Interior

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (bowl): Elsa ARDERN (b.1918 NZ-d.2006 AUS) - Deep Bowl

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: C DUDLEY WOOD (b.1905 - d.1980 AUS) - Golf Club Hotel, Lower Plenty

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Sculpture: Julie BEGG - Night Flight

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Hilary JACKMAN (b.1943 Melb AUS) - Brougham Street Bridge

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Oil on canvas board. Landscape painting of Eltham with Brougham Street bridge in the foreground. People walking down the road and cars in the background

Inscriptions & Markings

Lower left, red paint 'HILARY JACKMAN 80'

Painting: Pam WALPOLE - Black Saturday

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (lino): Libby SCHREIBER - My Place

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: David MOORE - The Acqua Bowl

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (mug): Alma Shanahan (b.1923 - d.2015 Vic, AUS) - Green Mug, pressed decoration

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (Goblets): Chris SANDERS - Set of Six Goblets

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: John WAKEFIELD - Vale, Eltham North

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (sugarlift etching): Jan SENBERGS (b.1939 Lativia, arrived AUS 1950) - 'New Jersey - rust belt' from the 'Baldessin & Friends' commemorative folio

Nillumbik Shire Council,

sugar lift etching of an urban (cityscape - New Jersey) scene - bridges, roads, buildings, in thick black brushstrokes. The image is busy; full of energy and movement. A bleed print in which the paper barely contains the city scape.

Historical information

Jan Senbergs was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1939 and came to Australia when he was ten. Senbergs’ work has been characterised by a simple and bold aesthetic. From lush landscapes to barren urban spaces, his body of work signifies an artist who has continually experimented with shape, form and motif, a fundamental humanist vision, a finely-honed sense of the absurd, and a rigorous studio practice spanning printmaking, drawing and painting. Senbergs is Baldessin's exact contemporary. He was also born in Europe and fled his homeland because of the war, arriving in Melbourne in 1950. Like George, Senbergs also worked at the RMIT and in 1973 represented Australia at the Bienal de Sao Paulo. Senbergs first met George when he was living in St. Kilda. George asked if he could screen print his 'Argus' catalogue for a show at the gallery in the Argus building. 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. The bluestone studio was hand built by George, 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

'New Jersey - rust belt' 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. This print finds its' origins in the time Senbergs spent at Harvard in America in 1989-90. In the context of Baldessin it explores an industrial urban surreal vision that was common to both artist. The image captures the life force of the city revealing the keen and observant eye of Jan Senbergs. Similar in sensibility to his large scale charcoal drawings of the 1990s, the artwork is not only a record of what the artist sees, but of what interest him. By following the movement of each line the viewer can witness the artist's eye travelling through, over and around each element of the urban landscape. The scale is deceptive with the image bled to the full-size of the sheet of paper like a microcosm of a much bigger whole.

Inscriptions & Markings

In pencil (handwritten): top centre: left '14/25' (edition); centre 'New Jersey-Rustbelt' (title); right 'Jan Senbergs' (signature);

Print (drypoint): Marco LUCCIO (b.1969 ITA, arrived 1974 AUS)) - Cranes and State Library from the QVB Site

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Peter GLASS (b.1917 - d.1997 AUS) - Park Orchard

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramics (platter): Gus MCLAREN (b.1923 - d.2008 Vic, AUS) - Platter

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (pot): Geoffrey DAVIDSON - Cork Lidded Container

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Lindsay EDWARDS (b.1991 - d.2007 Vic, AUS) - Untitled (abstract painting with grey border)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (goblets): John MILLS - Goblets (set of eight)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Lindsay EDWARDS (b.1991 - d.2007 Vic, AUS) - Untitled (townscape with arcs)

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Reinis ZUSTERS (b.1918 Ukraine, arr.1950 Aus - d.1999 NSW Aus) - Sunday Morning Montsalvat, 1979

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Historical information

Reinis Zusters OAM was born 15 October 1918 in Odessa, Ukraine, of Latvian parents. Zusters’ father died before he was two years old and he was raised in an orphanage from an early age. He had one sister. He studied Art at the Riga Technical College, Latvia, from 1935 to 1940. He married Aldija Kapteinis, and they had a daughter, Rudite (born 1942 in Riga). After World War II the Zusters family were refugees. They reached Western Australia in 1950, where they stayed for 6 months before moving to Canberra, ACT. In 1952, Zusters moved from Canberra to Pennant Hills in Sydney with his second wife, Arija Biks. Their daughter Laura was born in Sydney in 1956. In 1966, Zusters met his future third wife, Venita Salnajs. In 1969, Zusters bought a house in Greenwich, Sydney. He married Venita on September 17, 1976, and they moved to Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains. Zusters died on 8 October, 1999 at Wentworth Falls, and was cremated at Rookwood Crematorium, Sydney. His ashes are buried in the Latvian section of Rookwood Cemetery. Zusters studied at the Technical College of Riga (Latvia), and at East Sydney Technical College, Australia. He was influenced by his Latvian cultural heritage, and admired the artist Voldemars Tone (1892-1958). Shortly after arrival in Australia, Zusters became a draughtsman with the Department of Works and Housing in Canberra. Later he was appointed chief designer with the Australian-American architectural firm Austin-Anderson, at St. Leonards, Sydney. Zusters practised as a full-time professional artist from 1968.

Significance

Zusters was a prolific painter, predominantly in oils. He produced many large landscapes, including triptychs of the Blue Mountains. His landscapes were mountain scenes prepared in the manner of Jackson Pollock and completed with washes and pale glazes of colour. His cityscapes featured a rich paint surface and sharp-edged thickness of paint applied with a palette knife, layer upon layer. He painted urban scenes of Sydney, inland Australian scenes, and several major portraits including Sir Winston Churchill’s gardener (purchased by Art Gallery of NSW). He made many small informal portrait-drawings of friends. His usual signature was “Zusters”. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections in Australia and abroad. He won numerous prestigious awards in Australia, Japan and USA and was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal in 1994.

Painting: Reg COX - Exhibition Building

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Solitary figure sitting on rock/log with elbows resting on knees and hands on head. Face looking down in despair. Surface treatment is textured. Dark metallic brown colour with figure 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 'No. 205640 (AP)'