Arts / Kate’s across the ‘Universe’

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“SILVER hairs among the gold”, “every cloud has a silver lining” and “by the light of the silvery moon” – there was no shortage of metaphors for Tuggeranong Arts Centre to choose from in naming their 25th anniversary celebrations.

Film and set designer Kate Llewellyn… “Everybody was welcome to contribute an artwork”.
Film and set designer Kate Llewellyn… “Everybody was welcome to contribute an artwork”.
In the end they settled on two such sayings, with the year-long “Silver Linings” program leading directly into the free Silvery Moon Festival, coming up at the lakeside on November 7.

The concept is that of theatre director and now creative producer, Julian Hobba, and the mighty steel frame works representing the twin orbs sun and moon are the work of sculptor Tony Steel, but it seems fitting that the adornment of the galaxy is in the hands of a star artist who once studied theatre at the arts centre.

Film and set designer Kate Llewellyn, working with Queanbeyan-based textile artist and designer Polly Crowden, is on the rise. In 2013 artsACT awarded her a grant to work as an artist-in-residence in schools. Early this year she designed the set for the premiere production by Honest Puck Theatre. And “CityNews” columnist Robert Macklin, who worked with Llewellyn this year on a film project, describes her as “a fine artist with enormous potential”.

This month Llewellyn and Crowden have been conducting creative community workshops at the centre to cast and produce the 50 masks that will embellish the sun, wriggly sea creatures to inhabit the oceans, and all manner of terrestrial and extra-terrestrial artworks for a “Universe” that visitors can walk through. The sun will be on fire, but Llewellyn assures “CityNews” that the rock-solid gypsum masks will not turn to ash – and they will be spectacular.

The “Universe Alight” art installation, conceived by Hobba and Llewellyn after endless hours of discussion, settled on a huge illuminated sculpture of the sun, three metres in diameter, and a smaller moon with a myriad of individual sculptures and artworks created by the community around them, representing the past, present and future, on and off this planet.

“Everybody was welcome to contribute an artwork, although we had to make sure that there was no ‘adult’ material,” Llewellyn explains.

Llewellyn and Crowden encouraged the use of recycled materials – metal, kitchen utensils, cardboard, paper – anything. And they encouraged families to do it at home if they wanted.

On the big day, hung outside and enhanced by “nice theatrical lighting”, the “Universe” will be there in mist and smoke for everyone to view or touch.

But if there are clouds to obscure the silver linings?

“Whatever the weather is, that’s what’s going to happen,” Llewellyn says philosophically.

The Silvery Moon Festival, Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 137 Reed Street, Greenway, 1pm-9.30pm, Saturday, November 7, details at, bookings via


1pm-9.30pm: The Universe Alight.

1pm-2pm: Mr Tim and the Fuzzy Elbows.

2pm- 2.30pm: The Gugan Band.

3.30: North wall of the centre, launch of the Messengers’ Program mural created with street artists Houl and Small.

2.30pm-5.30pm: Filipino, Nepalese, bellydance, samba and Bollywood dancers.

5.30pm-6.30pm: Cassidy’s Ceili.

6.30pm-7.30pm: Bushdance.

7.30pm-8.30pm: The Groove Kings.

5pm and 7.30pm: in the TAC Theatre, Fresh Funk (paid event).

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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