Arts / What’s on and where in Canberra this weekend?

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“KIRSTIE Rea: the land”, a 20-year survey of works by one of Canberra’s most famous glass creators, has been chosen for the reopening of the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

The show runs from May 13 to August 20. It offers an in-depth understanding of one of the Canberra region’s most celebrated contemporary artists, whose practice is expressed in a sophisticated glass idiom. Rea was born and raised in Canberra and her work often draws on her experience from the local landscape.

A Comfortable Terraine of Distance, Kirstie Rea
Workshops and classes:

THE Makers Collective is offering scholarships for people to attend the Makers Academy and complete online courses in business fundamentals, graphic design and photography, along with live workshops. Applications by May 12

SCOTTISH country dance classes for beginners will be held at St Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall in Forrest from 6pm to 7.15pm on Wednesday evening until June 7. Cost $6 per class. For more information visit or phone Gill on 6281 1825.

MEGALO has “Introduction to Print” classes that explore three print methods over six weeks with Erica Seccombe (screen), Peter McLean (Relief) and Clare Jackson (Etching) to June 8. Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30am-5pm. Inquiries to 6232 604.

“ACTING for the Fun of It” presents “Playing Shakespeare”, a six week course in playing Shakespeare. At the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning, 51 Fremantle Drive, until June 1. Inquiries to course tutor Peter Wilkins at or phone 0408 034373.

CIT Adult Short courses are held every first weekend of the month all year round at Canberra Glassworks. Costs apply and to find out more, email


“ANIMAL Rights Writing” will feature local authors Irma Gold, Karen Viggers, and Sam Vincent in a special panel event. In conversation with writer Nigel Featherstone, the authors will focus on the way in which their various genres; children’s books, contemporary fiction, and essays, can highlight issues of animal welfare. Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 6pm, Thursday, May 11. All welcome. FREE event.

THE Friends of the Classics Museum are hosting a talk by Dr Heather Jackson about significant items on display at the University of Melbourne including the Jebel Khalid archaeological campaign in Syria. Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building, 120 McCoy Circuit, ANU campus, 6.30pm, Thursday, May 11.

Arts Business:

Peter Nilsson engraving, photo Wendy Dawes
CANBERRA Glassworks is seeking help to allow local artist Peter Nilsson to engrave three panels of glass for “Huldra”, a giant outdoor engraving project for the Winter Glass Market on June 17. The finished work “Lady in the Green Dress” by Peter Nilsson, valued at $11,000, will be raffled at the market to raise funds for the Creative Fellowship and other artistic programs. Tax deductible donations by June 9 to

THE ANU Drill Hall Gallery is holding a benefit dinner with fine food, wine and music, at University House. From 7pm-11pm, Friday, May 19. Tickets cost $110 or $1000 for a table of 10. Bookings to

IN The City Canberra is partnering with the 2018 National Multicultural Festival for the second round of “Grants In The City” to help cover costs of engaging local entertainers and enabling local multicultural communities to participate in next year’s event. Grants close on July 3 and are available for “public ideas” of $2000 to $80,000 for professional and popular ideas. Application details at

“GORMAN Commons” is billed as Canberra’s “first and only” arts-focussed co-working space. Located at Gorman Arts Centre, it’s aimed at providing space for individual artists, collectives, companies, emerging arts organisations and creative small businesses. Inquiries to 6182 0000.

THE Snowy Mountains’ coolest music event, The Peak Festival, is coming up again on the June long weekend  (June 9-1) with over 30 artists and around 120 performances across 10 live stages throughout the Perisher Resort. Bookings to

“KURDIJI 1.0” is an app being developed by Indigenous elders to help in the prevention of suicide among young Indigenous people. “Kurdiji” means “shield” in the Warlpiri language and “CityNews” writer Judith Crispin, who has been working with communities in the Tanami desert, tells “CityNews” a crowdfunding campaign has been launched, with Uncle Jack Charles as its patron. You can contribute at

CANBERRA Glassworks, with support from Capital Chemist, will provide an ACT School Residency to one student in year 11 or 12 who is attending an ACT College or senior school. To express interest, please download the 2017 application form from

AINSLIE and Gorman Arts Centres offers supported office accommodation for artists, creatives, as well as arts organisations and music-based organisations and individuals. Inquiries to

Books and literature:

May Gibbs memorabilia
THE National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature is presenting “Still touching hearts: an evening with May Gibbs”, to celebrate the life and work of this Australian children’s author and creator of the Gumnut Babies. Jane Brummitt, an expert on Gibbs, will be presenting an original piece of May Gibbs’ artwork to the Centre. ALIA House 9-11 Napier Close, Deakin, 5.30pm – 7pm, May 11. Tickets at the door.


AUSDANCE ACT Open Class is continuing with advanced to professional level classes on Wednesdays from 10am-11.30am at the Belconnen Arts Centre. The class “Urban” with Will Tran is this Wednesday, May 10, and the evening classes on Thursdays run from 6.50pm-8.20pm at QL2’s Dance Studio, which is for intermediate to professional level dancers of all genres. Inquiries to 6247 9103.

Sydney Hotshots
THE Sydney Hotshots show for 2017, “Secret Fantasies” promises to “unleash steamy breathtaking dance routines” to hit numbers of the ‘70s, 80s, 90s and now. The Abbey, Gold Creek, from 6.30pm, May 13. Bookings to

PADMA Menon’s next course focuses on the popular Buddhist and Indian archetype, “Green Tara”, who represents freedom from eight fears including pride, doubt and anger. The dance focus in the six-week course will be a combination of Indian and western styles and will also include guided reflection through movement. Two free introductory workshops will allow participants to learn more about the style and the course. At Currie Crescent Community Centre, 11 Currie Crescent, Kingston. From 10am-11am, May 13 and 20. RSVP essential to


THE Persian Film Festival will run again from August 31 to September 10. It showcases films from Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the Persian-speaking diaspora, with awards for “Best Feature”, “Best Documentary”, and “Best Short Film”. The festival will feature Q&As and masterclasses. For terms and conditions and to submit films visit

Concerts and Gigs:

Catherine Britt and Amber Lawrence
COUNTRY singer-songwriters, 2015 Golden Guitar winner Amber Lawrence and former Country Music Association Global Artist of the Year Catherine Britt will be in town with their “Love & Lies” tour with 2017 Golden Guitar New Talent of the Year, Fanny Lumsden. At the Harmonie German Club, Friday, May 12. Bookings to

ONE of the world’s greatest pianists, Canada’s Angela Hewitt, will be performing work by Bach and Beethoven for Musica Viva. At Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, 7pm, Thursday, May 11, and bookings to

PHOENIX Pub in Civic has as follows: Thursday, May 11 at 9pm, Kegs n Karaoke; on Friday, May 12 at 9pm, PALS, Marlon Bando and Spaceboys; and on Saturday, May 13, Society of Beggars, Capes, Signs & Symbols and House of Strangers.


Die Fledermaus
“REVENGE is a dish best served cold”, say members of Canberra Opera as they prepare for their coming production of Strauss’s famous operetta “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat) in a new English translation and musical arrangement by Ian Gledhill. It’s at Belconnen Community Theatre, to May 14. Bookings to


“VELVET” is billed as “a party with an exhilarating disco soundtrack that never lets up”. It features Tom Oliver playing a young ingénue who slips behind the red velvet rope at a glamorous nightclub, where he encounters members of the glitterati like singer Marcia Hines and aerialist Emma Goh. At The Playhouse, until May 14. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

ARTHUR Miller’s “A View from the Bridge”, written in 1955 as a modern “Greek tragedy”, has found contemporary relevance in recent years. Directed by Chris Baldock in his first directorial role with REP. It is at Theatre 3, Repertory Lane, Acton to May 20. Bookings to or 6257 1950.

Robert Stankov as Trekkie Monster picture by Family Fotographics
SUPA Productions presents the R-rated puppet musical “Avenue Q” at the Q (Performing Arts Centre) Crawford Street, Queanbeyan, to May 13. It features adult topics, offensive language, and an onstage portrayal of puppet sex. Children under five are not admitted. Bookings to or 6285 6290.


Rusty Peters. Middle Creek, 2015. Natural ochres and pigments on canvas.
THE Nancy Sever Gallery presents an exhibition of Indigenous art from the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia that features the work of senior Gija artists from the same community as Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie. At 4/6 Kennedy Street, Kingston. Wednesday to Sunday 11am-6pm, until June 4.

KYEEMA Gallery’s new exhibition with sale is “Margaret Ballard: Works in Resin”, which opens at 13 Gladstone Street, Hall Village. There will be an artist’s talk at 2pm this Saturday, May 13. From 10.30am–5pm, Thursday to Sunday.

ARTISTS Gillian Bellas, Leigh Murray, Ann Hand, Nyree Mason, Wendy Antoniak, John McKenna, Jeff Isaacs and Coby Brinkman are exhibiting paintings of native and exotic plants, birds and animals under the title “Birds, Beasts & Buds”. Sweet Copper, Old Ginninderra Schoolhouse Gallery, Gold Creek Village, running until the end of June.

“FAUNAcation” is an exhibition put together by 16 local artists Debbie Paton, Karyn Fearnside, Shan Crosbie, Liz Faul, Paul Dumetz, Angela Parragi, Monika Leone, Rita Evans, Tricia Wimpenny, Leah Martin, Jenny Sinn, Anne Sawkins, Carol Laurent, Patsy Robinson, Caren Wilford and Robyne Parolin, which aims to challenge the viewers’ perception of animals and how people’s actions cause them harm. At Tuggeranong Arts Centre until Saturday May 27.

‘Bloom’ by Harriet Schwarzrock02
“EXQUISITE Nature” is a show of neon artworks by Emilie Patteson and Harriet Schwarzrock that has been curated by Aimee Frodsham. Patteson’s work is grounded in collecting and preserving plant material within glass, while Schwarzrock is known for her bold, bright use of text and neon installations. Opening reception at Suki & Hugh Gallery, 38A Gibraltar Street. From 3pm-5pm this Saturday, May 13. All welcome.

THE 18th John Briscoe Memorial Art Award is at the Raglan Gallery in Cooma. Sponsored by the Briscoe family in memory of their father, a prominent Monaro artist. The show runs Wednesday to Sunday 9.30pm-4.30pm, until May 28.

ART In Miniature Canberra is staging its 16th annual exhibition. The tiny “jewel-like” paintings are by artists Camelia Smith, Cheryl Hodges, Deborah Hamilton, Eva Henry, Isla Patterson, Sharon Buckland, Jan Vincent, Lyn Cottingham, Heather Pricket, Michaela Laurie, Stuart Marshall, Sandra House, Jocelyne Godber, Val Johnson and Arlene Williams. Strathnairn Gallery, Stockdill Drive, Holt, to May 21.

A work by Jill Hermans
BILK Gallery is presenting “Shared Concerns”, an exhibition of work by eight jewellers from Australia, Denmark and the US who were initially brought together to work in the famed Penland craft studios in the mountains of North Carolina, runs until June 2.

THE digital and the real collide in curator Sabrina Baker’s show “Me Time”, in which Tully Arnot, Grace K Blake, Benjamin Forster, Claudia Greathead, Anna May Kirk, Janis Lejins, Claudia Nicholson and Giselle Stanborough, explore increasing integration between life, art and technology. Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Ainslie + Gorman Art Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon, until June 24, Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm.

TWO exhibitions at Beaver Galleries highlight street works on paper exploring the human form in space by Canberra printmaker John Pratt and the contemporary ceramics by Keiko Matsui, Kenji Uranishi and Prue Venables. 81 Denison Street Deakin, Tuesday to Friday, 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm. Until May 14.

ARONE Meeks’ exhibition, “Beyond the Blue: Unbroken”, by Roger Butler, the senior curator of Australian Prints & Drawings, NGA. At Megalo Print Studio + Gallery, 21 Wentworth Avenue Kingston. From 6.30pm, Thursday, May 11. The show runs until May 27, Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am-5pm.

FEMALE photographers explore cultural identity and “Asianness” in a new exhibition at PhotoAccess’s Huw Davies Gallery. “Chinese Whispers and Other Stories” features photo-based work by artist/curator Pia Johnson, with Tammy Law, Janelle Low and Siying Zhou. Their stories sit within a wider context of mass movement and migration across the globe, and include Zhou’s video: “Our first Lamington made in Australia”. The exhibition continues until Sunday, May 21.

GLASS-blowing virtuoso Tom Rowney and experimenter in would Zeljko Markov have a joint exhibition curated by Jane Cush running at Canberra Glassworks, Wentworth Avenue Kingston, until May 28.


gallery@bcs, Untitled by Rebecca Stangret
“AWESOME” local art is up for sale at a fraction of the cost in an exhibition and Silent Auction to raise money for the Belconnen Community Gallery’s Community Art Support program, which includes initiatives like “the Springboard series”, the “peace of mind” series and the “RESPECT” series. In gallery@bcs, Swanson Court Belconnen, weekdays until May 19.

CRAFT ACT: Craft and Design Centre is holding a 10th anniversary celebration of the annual Craft ACT Artist-In-Residence program at Gudgenby Ready-Cut Cottage, Namadgi National Park, as well as “Curious Tales – A journey through form”, a solo exhibition by mid-career furniture maker Peter Bollington.

M16 Keith Bailey, Fire Storms and Flooding Rains (detail), 2017, oil on canvas
M16 Artspace in Griffith has several new exhibitions opening at 21 Blaxland Crescent Griffith at 6pm this Thursday, May 4, and running to May 21. Among them are “Recent Small Paintings” by Martin Paull, “Together Apart”, by Keith Bailey, Lex Beardsell, Ian Robertson, Alan Howard, Cherylynne Holmes, and Jane Styles, who are all voluntary guides at the NGA; “The Palm House”, by Jessica Bock, inspired by the Palm House at Kew Gardens; and “Green Space: scenes from the Bush Capital”, by Thea Katauskas.

THE National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 will be on display at the Portrait Gallery to June 18. The exhibition will then tour. The final works were selected from a national field of over 3000 entries from amateur and professional photographers. The finalists include photographers from every state and territory except Tasmania.

“THREE Ways”, work by G.W. Bot, Meg Buchanan & Anita McIntyre, is a show of Canberra arctic strength in an exhibition curated by Peter Haynes. Goulburn Regional Gallery Corner Bourke & Church Streets Goulburn, to May 20.

THE Australian War Memorial has as a permanent exhibition “The Holocaust: witnesses and survivors”, which includes over 85 collection items.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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