Stories Organisations Projects About Login

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

View on Google Maps

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.

There are no comments yet.

Leave a comment

425 items

425 items

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramics: Jane SAWYER - Fluid Series 2

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (etching & acquatint): George BALDESSIN (b.1939 ITA – d.1978 AUS) - ‘Portrait II’ from 'The Baldessin & Friends' commemorative folio

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Black and white distorted and exaggerated figure (head and shoulders), with hands raised to the face and the figure's right eye.

Historical information

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. This work chosen for the folio is from an incomplete edition from 1966. It has been printed on Baldessin's original 1974 cast aluminium Enjay press (designed and made in collaboration with Neil Jeffreys) and restored specifically for this project by Dan Jones. In addition Deanna Hitti has used Baldessin's original Japanese Torinoko paper, stored safely in his studio for over forty years.

Significance

‘Portrait II’ 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 is a fine example of Baldessin's primary interest of the figure, which displays great sensitivity to and observation of the human condition. Distortion, exaggeration and fragmentation were employed by Baldessin as tools to animate and scrutinize the displaced, dispossessed and alienated figure, flattened against the picture plane.

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Penelope AITKEN (b.1967 Melb. AUS) - Mapping Mass & Void 10

Nillumbik Shire Council,

oil and acrylic on linen

Historical information

Penelope Aitken lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. She makes paintings and installations about relationships: between people, between things and between people and things. Recurring subjects include friendship, genealogy, romantic liaisons, and cross-cultural exchange as well as gardening, craft and landscape design. 'I am interested in the social, psychological and aesthetic motives behind organisation, belonging and displacement and I often make work that investigates such arrangements.' She has held regular solo exhibitions since 1995 and has been represented in group exhibitions since 1989. These have included shows in public and commercial galleries, artist run spaces, outdoor projects and festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Tokyo and Famagusta, Northern Cyprus. Aitken has previously worked at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and at Asialink at the University of Melbourne. From 2006 - 2009 she was a board member of the Melbourne artist run gallery, West Space and she has also curated and coordinated numerous exhibitions and written and edited catalogues, articles and essays. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts) both from The University of Melbourne and completed her Masters of Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004. In 1997 Aitken was selected to be a studio artist for two years at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne and in 2000 she undertook an Australia Council Studio at the Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan. More recently she spent two months in 2007 at the Laughing Waters Residency, Birrarung, in Eltham, Victoria. There she began her current interest in the rocks used in the landscape designs of Gordon Ford. Paintings of Ford's rocks made since 2007 as well as glacial erratics, meteors, and other natural and displaced rocks were exhibited in March 2011 at the Light Factory Gallery in Eltham in a show called My History of here, and Second Nature, one work from this exhibition, was awarded first prize at Eltham Masterworks 2011. Other work made about rocks in nature and culture include: the project, A dark archive, as well as in two installations: You seem so settled for one that doesn't belong held at West Space in 2009 and Gathering these things to remind me of home shown in 2010 at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Queensland.

Significance

In July and August 2007 Aitken undertook an arts recidency at Birrarung, a house and garden designed by Gordon Ford and managed as the Laughing Waters Artist in Residence Program by the Shire of Nillumbik Victoria. The rocks depicted in the painting 'Mapping Mass & Void 10' are all taken from the garden at Birrarung. Aitken has made reference to those rocks and the way in which Ford thought of the rocks as individuals that need to be handled and placed with consideration to show off their best aspects.

Pottery (pot): ANONYMOUS - Spice Jar

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramic (tiles): Tom SANDERS - Untitled

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Three earthenware tiles, embossed with an abstract linear design.

Historical information

Sanders was a well-known local potter who worked for a time with David Boyd at the Martin Boyd Pottery, before returning to Melbourne where he had some association with Arthur Boyd, at the pottery in Murrumbeena. Sanders set up a studio in Eltham in the early 1950s and made the first of a series of architectural ceramic murals with painter and print maker Lawrence Daws in 1956. After returning from his travels in Europe to Australia in 1964, he began to work solely on creating ceramic murals. Murals created during the second half of the 1960s and into the 70s can/could previously be found at Southland Shopping Centre in Cheltenham, Melbourne (1968) - now demolished, the National Mutual Centre, Melbourne (1964-5) - now demolished, Dee Why Library, Sydney (1966), Woden Valley High School, ACT (1967), Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne (1969, 1970), Perth Concert Hall (1971) and University of Melbourne (1975) (with John Olsen). Sanders has worked with many of Australia’s pre-eminent painters and ceramicists including Fred Williams and John Olsen. In 2015 Nillumbik Shire Council will be installing a mural by Sanders, donated by Tom and his family before Tom passed away in 2009, for the redevelopment of the Eltham Town Square.

Significance

During the 1970s Sanders produced a number of tapestry designs. Highly respected artist and one time local resident Hilary Jackman worked with Sanders developing and adapting his tile designs to be translated into silk tapestries that were made in Japanese Mills of Kawashima Orimono in Kyoto. They were displayed in the big Hall in the NGV. Sanders gave these tiles to Jackman as payment for her work. The tapestries are based on abstract designs and have a cotton warp, and silk weft. The tiles are similar to Sanders’ other mural works such as Wall of the Moon (Homage to Miro) and the mural located in the Perth Concert Hall. It’s clear that Sanders was inspired by the Spanish surrealist artist Joan Miro from the 1930s in both philosophy and style. Miro’s work is quite playful, symbolic and imaginative. Miro’s preference for painting like this was “to express contempt for conventional painting methods, which he saw was a way of supporting a bourgeois society”. He "famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favor of upsetting the visual elements of established painting.”

Inscriptions & Markings

N/A

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (vase): Geoffrey DAVIDSON - Inscribed Large Vase

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

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

Painting: Eric Stephensen (b.1916) - Silent Lagoon, 1966

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Oil on canvas. Painted at Art Historian, Bernard Smith's dam beside Karingal Drive in Eltham, Victoria. Rich, green shrubs and eucalyptus trees surround the water, reeds grow in the dam. The surrounding landscape is reflected in the water. Sloping land and bush fill the background.

Ceramic sculpture: Stefan SZONYI (b.1945 GER, arrived.1948 AUS) - Oh Henry

Nillumbik Shire Council,

ceramic (earthenware), glazes, music mechanism

Sculpture: Ken ROBB - Bonded

Nillumbik Shire Council,

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Ceramic stoneware vase, reduction fired, cobalt/copper glaze / 'Bud vase' is a circular, squat vessel decorated with attractive cobalt carbonate mixed with copper / The result is a stunning range of blues, ranging from turquoise to cobalt which seem to stain the exterior and form an orange peel-like texture which is neither glossy nor matte / The use of copper in glazes has been found decorating ancient Egyptian fainece ware and ancient Islamic pottery.

Historical information

Elsa Arden was one of the founding members of Potters Cottage / Potters Cottage was established in the late 50's in Warrandyte as a co-operative / The artists built a studio, gallery shop and restaurant to experiment, make, promote and sell predominantly domestic wares of the time, which helped sustain each member's practice both financially and creatively / Potters Cottage was influential in the development of contemporary ceramics, building and developing a school that experimented with traditional ceramic processes and raw materials, as well as promoting the use of local clay.

Significance

Elsa Arden (1917-2006) concentrated mainly on producing tableware (cups, mugs, plates, jars and vases) made with clay sourced locally, particularly from Kangaroo Grounds / Her design approach and ceramic process was very inventive / She would often experiment with her own sourced wood-ash glazes and use seaweed and gum leaves when raku firing / "I enjoy collecting my own materials for bodies and glazes." / Ardern's outside glaze receipes were influenced by the great British potter Bernard Leach who himself was influenced by the great Japanese potter Shoje Hamada.

Inscriptions & Markings

Initials 'ea' in lower case inscribed in base of vase

Drawing (charcoal) Peter WEGNER (b.1954 NZ - a.1958 AUS) - Portrait Of Danny Moynihan

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Black and white charcoal portrait drawing on paper of artist/teacher Danny Moynihan.

Significance

This work is by a local contemporary artist with a national and international reputation for figurative and portrait works. This drawing has a link to another of Wegner's work in the Collection, the lithograph 'Mandarin on a Kitchen Table'. This portrait is of Danny Moynihan, one time lecturer at Phillip Institute of Technology (now RMIT - Bundoora campus) who taught Wegner printmaking (lithography) when he was a student at the institute in the 80's. Wegner is well known for his drawings and enjoys the immediate and directness of the process. He sees the drawn image as an experience of observation, with the content revealing the process of its making. He is inspired by English artist Leon Kossoffs' drawings where the likeness of the subject is secondary and separate from the credibility of the drawing itself.

Inscriptions & Markings

Hand written (signature) in charcoal - lower right - 'Peter Wegner'

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Photograph: Dena ASHBOLT (b.UK, arrived 1982 AUS) - Waking Time

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Paper Edition of 7

Historical information

'Waking Time' is part of the series ' So when do you throw the flowers out?', which Alcaston Gallery exhibited from 8 May - 1 June 2012.

Significance

In this series Dena Ashbolt used photographic pigment prints, video and Raku Nu ceramic funery urn drawings to explore time as evidenced by movement and exploring the beauty of aging.

Inscriptions & Markings

AK18136 PNT817

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

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Lynn QUINTAL (b.1952 Aus) - The Fleet

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (mug): Leon SAPER (b.1928 POL, arrived 1949 AUS - d.2005 AUS) - Blue Mug

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Print (solar engraving): Christine JOHNSON

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (boowls): Judy TREMBATH - Two Bowls

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Textile (quilt): NILLUMBIK QUILTERS (est. 1982); Makers: L.Higgens, O.Gangell, P.Hicking Gotham, S.Brewin, C.Beattie, J.Lowe, C.Davies, L.Robson, R.Parsons, D.Pickering, J.Kaufmann, B. Mulle - Shades of Nillumbik

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Historical information

Nillumbik Quilters merged into 'North of the Yarra Quilting Guild'. In 1992 Lee Higgins and Wendy Kenny called a meeting asking for expressions of interest in forming a Quilt Guild - 22 people attended. Many of those were from the Nillumbik Quilters who had existed for 10 years, and the Cowin Street Quilters who had existed for a brief time. In November 1992 the North of the Yarra Quilting Guild was formed with Lee Higgins as the President. Pamela Gurney's design was chosen for the logo. The Guild hold monthly meetings with guest speakers/workshops, plus an annual retreat and exhibition - the precursor to the Quilt Show.

Sculpture: Julie BEGG - Night Flight

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (vase): Jack DAVIDSON - Small Flared Vase

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Painting: Peter GLASS (b.1917-d.1997 AUS) - Cecile in Paris

Nillumbik Shire Council,

Pottery (jar): ANONYMOUS - Spice Jar (brown)

Nillumbik Shire Council,