What’s on and Where in the Arts this Weekend

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JESSICA Thomas, public servant-artist,  is coordinating an exhibition featuring her own  favourite drawings and paintings of Australian animals, plants, and landscapes.

A work by Jessica Thomas
A work by Jessica Thomas

The artworks are originals (no prints) and are for sale – starting at just $40. Purchases will support important animal welfare and environmental protection projects as 40per cent of each artwork sold is being donated to RSPCA ACT, the Taronga Foundation, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and WWF-Australia. Australian National Botanic Gardens Gallery, until June 12.


FRIENDS of the ANU Classics Museum’s next talk is on the topic of Palmyra in Syria, to be given by Dr Ross Burns, an expert on the history and archaeology of Syria. Haydon-Allen Tank on the ANU Campus, Thursday May 12 at 6:30pm.  The  talk is being jointly hosted by the Friends of the Australian Institute at Athens (FAAIA), and refreshments will follow at 7:30 in the Classics Archaeological Museum.

SYDNEY University scholar Dr Stephen Whiteman will explore the Qing imperial garden park’s early history under the Manchu Kangxi emperor in a lecture for the Friends of the NLA and the ACT Monaro Riverina branch of the Australian Garden History Society. “A Garden for Empire and Nation: The Qing Imperial Mountain Estate in Chengde”, at the National Library of Australia, 6pm, Friday May 13, bookings to nla.gov.au or 6262 1698.

Carmen Aguirre
Carmen Aguirre

CARMEN Aguirre,  Canadian writer and actress, will give a lecture “Carmen Aguirre: memoirs of a revolutionary daughter,” Monday, May 16 at 2.02 theatrette Sir Roland Wilson Building # 120 ANU,  120 McCoy Circuit, Acton. Register at: tinyurl.com/huja692

ROSALIE Ham,  author of “The Dressmaker”, will be talking at Muse Café in East Hotel Kingston Sunday  May 15, 3-4pm, bookings to  musecanberra.com.au

Arts Business:

HANDEL in the Theatre, Toby Cole’s new artistic company has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise $10,000 for the professional fees, travel and accommodation of his soloists and instrumentalists. Creative Partnerships Australia’s ‘MATCH’ program will match donations dollar for dollar. Visit handelinthetheatre.com.au

APPLICATIONS for exhibitions at M16 Artspace in 2017 are now open until May 31. M16 aims to present high-quality exhibitions from both emerging and established artists and curators from Canberra, interstate and overseas. Application details at m16artspace.com.au

ANCA Gallery is holding its hugely popular ‘PIN’ annual exhibition of miniature wearable artworks (mostly brooches) again in 2016. Professional artists residing anywhere in Australia are encouraged to apply by 5pm June 1. For the application form and details visit anca.net.au

Workshops and classes:

‘DARRYL’S Den supported arts and craft studio’ Wednesday creative art class in painting sculpture printing techniques and mosaic wall tiles, at Holt community hub 80 Beaurepaire Crescent Holt.10am- noon, until June 22. Materials and morning tea provided, inquiries and bookings to darrylsdenactoptusnet.com.au

Prizes and Awards:

“ANTHROPOSCENE” is a global short film competition concerning the landscapes of the 21st, which invites the submission of 3–4 minute short films on the general subject of the new epoch of the ‘Anthropocene’. AUD $10,000 in prize money Entrants can shoot their films on mobile phones or any other device. Competition opens June 1 and closes August 1. Details at aila.org.au

THE 2016 Paul Lowin music prizes are now open for nomination. The Orchestral Prize ($25,000) is awarded for a work for modern chamber or symphony orchestra of at least 30 players and 15 independent lines. The Song Cycle Prize ($15,000) will be awarded to a work suitable for chamber performance, using no more than 1-8 independent vocal lines, accompanied by up to 10 instrumental players. Nominations are accepted from anyone, including the general public. Entries close 5pm June 30.

ENTRIES for the 2016 Australian Catholic University Prize for Poetry are now welcome, with writers from all over the country competing for the coveted first prize. The $7,000 ACU Prize for Poetry will be awarded for outstanding poetry with the theme “Loving Kindness.” Closing date Monday June 6, information at acu.edu.au

Concerts and gigs:

WESLEY Scholars’ Autumn Concert will see talented Wesley Scholars (instrumental and voice) will perform a varied program. At Wesley Music Centre, Forrest, Sunday 22 May 3pm, Tickets at the door.

ERIC BURDON & The Animals 2016 Australian Tour, at Canberra Theatre, May 13, bookings to canberraticketing.com.au and  ticketek.com.au

COMING up this weekend at  The Phoenix Pub in Civic,   Thursday May 5, 9pm, Helena Pop, Capes, The Lowlands.  Friday May 6, 9pm, Liam McKahey and The Bodies, House Of Strangers, The Black Horses.  Saturday May 7,  9:30pm, Turbobelco, Looking Glass.

Cracked Actor
Cracked Actor

LOCAL indie-rock favourites, Cracked Actor, will launch their latest EP, Duo, at the Ainslie Arts Centre as part of Ainslie and Gorman’s Confluence series, with support from Happy Axe.  Ainslie Arts Centre, Ainslie Main Hall, 7.30pm May 12. Bookings to  eventbrite.com.au/e/confluence-featuring-cracked-actor-and-happy-axe-tickets-24978383016 or at the door.

 Dead Singer Band
Dead Singer Band

SIX-piece Balkan/jazz fusion ensemble from Sydney Chaika will be performing new material that written while they  were Artists in Residence at Bundanon last year, at  Smith’s Alternative in Alinga St,  on Friday May 13,  and would love some publicity in the lead up to the concert. Visit chaika.bandcamp.com

‘STAND Your Grounds’ sees Disparo! (fast, loud hardcore punk from Sydney) at The Basement (Back Room) in Belconnen, 5pm Sunday  May 15. Entry at the door only), 18+ (minors can attend with a parent or guardian).

THREE former Masters Apprentices band members, reflecting  on the work of the group’s lead singer, the late Jim Keays, form  ‘Dead Singer Band.’ They’ll be at The Basement 2 Cohen Street, Belconnen, 8.30pm May 20.


KIAMA born cabaret queen Amelia Ryan makes her Canberra debut with “Amelia Ryan is a  Storm in a  D Cup”, billed  a dazzling tale of disaster with dysfunction at every turn. Joined by John Martin on the piano, she has takes on hit songs by artists such as 4 Non Blondes, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Belinda Carlisle. At Teatro Vivaldi, ANU Arts Centre, Saturday May 14, Bookings to 6257 2718.

DIRECTOR and noted Chekhov author Geoffrey Borny is staging “Uncle Vanya” in his seventh directorial role with Canberra REP. The cast is headed up by Sam Hannan-Morrow as Vanya and Jim Adamik (in an unusual bit of casting as Dr Astrov). At Theatre 3, until May 14. Bookings to canberrarep.org.au or 6257 1950.


Lena Nyadby, 'Starry Night in Jimbirla and Dayiwool Country', 2015, Etching. Printer: Basil Hall
Lena Nyadby, ‘Starry Night in Jimbirla and Dayiwool Country’, 2015, Etching. Printer: Basil Hall

“ETCHED In the Sun I” is a selection of prints by indigenous artists in collaboration with distinguished printmaker Basil Hall, at Nancy Sever Gallery, 4/6 Kennedy Street, Kingston, 11 am to 6 pm Wednesdays to Sundays until June 5.

THE National Portrait Gallery has a new focus exhibition titled “Mysterious eyes: Arthur Boyd portraits from 194’  opening on Friday, May 6 and running to August 14.  Consisting of nine works, the display will bring together a collection of portraits of individuals close to Boyd. Painted when he was 25, these portraits show how his treatment of the subjects reflected his own state of mind. The display includes five works from the National Gallery of Australia and one from Bundanon Trust.

“EVERYDAY Inspirations” is the title of an exhibition by Sukhvinder Saggu, known especially for his still life paintings. Vibrant art also including flora, figures and landscapes to be opened on Sunday May 8 by Chan Dissanayake at 3pm. Exhibition is on until May 29 at Old Ginninderra School House, Sweet Copper Cafe, Gold Creek, Nicholls, Thurs. & Fri. 10am – 4 pm. Sat. & Sun. 8.30 – 4.30pm.

FORM Studio and Gallery has six artists exhibiting in “Divergence,” Elaine Bradley, Verney Burness, Richilde Flavell, Isabelle Mackay-Sim, Verney Burness, Fran Romano and Lia Tajcnar use divergent thinking to create engaging and unique sculptural works. 1/30 Aurora Avenue, Queanbeyan, until May 22.

A work by Fiona Hall
A work by Fiona Hall

“WRONG Way Time”, the art of Fiona Hall, comes to us direct from the 2015 Venice Biennale. The Canberra-only exhibition provides Australian audiences with a window into this international art event and Hall was the first artist to represent Australia in the new Australian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. At the NGA, until July 10. FREE ENTRY.

“IT’S ALL About Eve” is a solo exhibition of new paintings by Canberra-based artist Emma Beer. Beer is cheekily evasive about who ‘Eve’ is. She refers to Adam and Eve, her paternal Grandmother Evelyn, a brazenly feminised homage to artist Yves Klein, and the Bette Davis film All about Eve. She also asks “Am I Eve?” ANCA Gallery, 1 Rosevear Place Dickson until May 15, noon-5pm Wednesday-Sunday.

Sarah Tomasetti 'Influxus'
Sarah Tomasetti ‘Influxus’

THE late Pete Smith, first general manager of M16 at its former home at Mildura St, Fyshwick, was an accomplished artist, whose work won the Phoenix Prize for Spiritual Art in 2007. Now curator Jacque Schultze has put together a huge exhibition across M16 three spaces at Blaxland Cres Griffith, running until May 22. This show marks the first anniversary of smith’s death. All works are for sale and proceeds will go towards emerging artists at M16.

BEAVER Galleries has a new exhibition of paintings by one of its favourite exhibitor, Thornton Walker that has been inspired by his visits to the Batemans Bay region. Alongside this show will be Sarah Tomasetti’s “Influxus” paintings. At 81 Denison St Deakin, until May 22, opening this Thursday May 5 at 6pm, all welcome.

Sally Walker
Sally Walker

CERAMIC artist Sally Walk is still riding high after being awarded the 2015 ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’ Award for Ceramics (first place) at the Florence Biennale in Italy, Walk has opened, entitled “Semblance”, a solo exhibition of her coastal inspired ‘creatures’ at Suki & Hugh Gallery, 38A Gibraltar Street Bungendore until May 29.

THE NEWEST exhibition at Bilk Gallery in Palmerston Lane Manuka will showcase new earrings by Christopher Robertson, Inari Kiuru, Jo Hawley, Atty Tantivit, Taweesak Molsawat, Marian Hosking, Carlier Makigawa, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Cinnamon Lee, Kath Inglis, Bin Dixon-Ward, Mio Kuhnen, Alice Potter, Jill Hermans, Larah Nott, Vicki Mason, Nellie Peoples, Zoe Brand, Sandie Lee, Tanja Taglietti, Carl Noonan, Nick Harper and Johannes Kuhnen. Wed-Sat 11-5.

“SPEECH Acts” is the latest solo exhibition from local artist Nicci Haynes. With language being both her material and her theme entanglement and contortion, expressed via drawings, photography and video, are unavoidable. At Canberra Contemporary Art Space, City, Corner of London Circuit and Hobart Place, Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm until May 21.

BELCONNEN Arts Centre has: “Here and There”, Julie Ryder, Sharon Peoples and Barbara Rogers, textile works that respond to the concept of time and place; “Constructure” – Ashly Kark, a new body of jewellery based on frameworks found in Belconnen Shopping Centre; “Biomimetic” – by ceramicist Skye Gallagher; and “Remember When”…. – Canberra Region Feltmakers’ sculptural installation. All at Belconnen Arts Centre, to May 22.

“SLOW Burn” by Pamela Griffith & Greg Hansell, who have 100 years of successful exhibiting between them, is at Octagon ArtSpace, Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, until June 1.

FROM ‘Play School’ to ‘Countdown’, from ‘Bellbird’ to ‘Alvin Purple’, early ABC television programs hold a special place in the hearts of many Australians. With its new exhibition “Tuning In: ABC TV 1964–76”, the National Archives of Australia has brought together some of the nation’s favourite shows, all from the Archives’ audio visual collection.

“COVET 2” is the second exhibition this year by the Networks Australia, a group of professional artists mainly based in Canberra  until May 14.

“BARBARA Hanrahan: Words + Art” exhibits prints and prose of artist and writer Hanrahan, assembling pieces form UNSW Canberra and UNSW art collection, at ADFA Northcote Drive, Campbell 9am to 5pm until June 17.

CANBERRA Museum and Gallery aims to further the enjoyment of the complexity of the nature of the Canberra region and our ‘bush capital’, in photos, paintings, sculpture, natural history illustration and drawing, scientific specimens and audio-visual material and a program of walks and talks, which can be found at cmag.com.au

PHOTOACCESS presents “Indecisive Moments”, a collaborative exhibition by local emerging artists Ursula K Frederick and Katie Hayne, and Colour/Blind by LA-based artist Sinan Revell.  In the Huw Davies Gallery, Manuka Arts Centre, until   May 22.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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