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

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“PlayUpis the exhibition space in Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
“PLAYUPis the exhibition space in Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House for children and families based around the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child. The new and third  PlayUP includes lots of hands-on activities such as listening pods, a fuzzy felt wall, a voting interactive and a role play “Kindness” café. 


THE Paperbark Treehouse, made from recycled timber and designed and built by Cave Urban, has been launched by the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and is now open to the public.

“Colourathon” is a 12-hour art-making marathon, which starts today.
“COLOURATHON” will be a 12-hour art-making marathon from 9am-9pm today, which includes over 40 young women as young as 12 from all over the country. It will be launched by 2015 Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner, Rosie Batty, at the NGA. The “Colouring in Art” marathon will take place in the sculpture garden, at the National Gallery of Australia, from 4pm-7pm, Thursday, November 30. All welcome. A national crowdfunding campaign is at


FORMER Canberra author Yasmin Davar will be appearing at the Paperchain Bookstore in Manuka at 6pm on Thursday, November 30, for an author talk and signing of her book, “Our Peaceful Planet: Healing Ourselves and Our World for a Sustainable Future”. All welcome.


Dancing With Alzheimers. Photo by Lorna Sim.
“DETONATE” is the name chosen for Belconnen Arts Centre’s coming celebration of the International Day of People with Disability. There will be many highlights such as a free concert by Canberra Symphony Orchestra, 6pm on Friday, December 1. Then from 11am-4pm, Saturday, December 2, there will be mini-workshops in felting, fibrework, drawing and collage, artisan stalls, live performances, and films, followed by an open dance workshop, forum, dance performances by CDTeens, The GOLDs, Canberra Dance Theatre, Vivacity, Off Beat Xtreme Stars, Dream Team, and Liz Lea and Katie Senior, 11am to 4pm, Sunday, December 3. Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen. Program details at 


THE Friends of the ANU Classics Museum are holding a fundraising talk by Kerry-Anne and Ian Cousins, David Campbell, Mineke Peerboom, David Hogan and Marilyn Dooley called “Travellers’ Tales: The Paths Less Trod”, along with an end-of-year function. At conference room, AD Hope Building, then in in the Classics Museum, 2pm-4pm, Sunday, December  10. Entry by donation at the door. To assist catering, RSVP to or 6288 3373.

Workshops and classes:

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

Arts Business:

Young Music Society practising
CLASSES are filling up for the popular Young Music Society’s Summer Music School coming up in January. “An exciting summer music adventure” is how livewire director of the YMS, composer Stephen Leek, describes it. There are separate programs for juniors, primary school ages and seniors, with the choral stream and advanced program for specialists. At Canberra Girls Grammar School, January 8–19. Registrations to

THE Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council will be trialling a new concept in The Q Exhibition Space in early 2018. “Quirk” will, as well as functioning as an exhibition space, be a shopfront to support and promote regional creatives, with a selection of souvenirs and gourmet goodies. Council’s cultural staff are currently compiling a list of local producers, artists and craftspeople who may be interested in becoming suppliers. Inquiries to with “Quirk” in the heading.

ALSO, The Q would like to invite artists and creators to help celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre in February through to March by submitting a work with the theme of “ten”, “celebration”, “party”, “anniversary” and “birthday” to with “Ten” in the heading.

FOUR Winds 2018 Easter Festival, Barragga Bay, March 28 to April 1. Early bird Tickets on sale along with the new the Four Winds Access Pass bookings to or 6493 3414.

AUSTRALIAN and New Zealand art music composers have the chance to share in about $100,000 worth of funding to create a new commissioned work thanks to the APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund, now in its third year of existence. Applications are now open here and will close at 5pm on February 2018.

THE Young Music Society is holding a “MUSIC Amnesty”. Any items readers can identify that belong to the YMS would be gratefully welcomed back by their rightful owners – no questions asked. Phone 6251 8017 for pick up, or just drop items into the YMS office, or the Belconnen Arts Centre front desk. Good news is that someone has left a long lost YMS viola anonymously at the office door.

THE Collie Art Prize, the $50,000 biggest single acquisitive art prize in regional WA and perhaps across Australia, focusses on the theme of identity, and is now open to all Australians until January 12. 

NIGEL McRae, the host at Smith’s Alternative on Alinga Street, Civic, is keen to have more classical musicians take advantage of his “Classical Capers” open mic sessions. The next one will be from 7pm–9pm on December 13. Sign up at

PIANIST-composer Sally Greenaway has launched a fundraising campaign to assist in the recording of the music from her music theatre piece, “The 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age”. To donate visit

THE Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition is on again, with the first prize doubling to $2000 and total cash prizes of over $3000, also there’s recording and performance opportunities too. Full details and entry forms at

Robin Davidson.
ROBIN Davidson’s theatre company, Rebus, will develop an interactive “Forum Theatre” performance about where things can go wrong when people with disabilities want to participate in or use the services of community organisations. They need your responses by December 3. Fill out the survey at or visit or phone 0403 815784.

JULIA Landford’s new Canberra NatureArt Lab is at M16 Artspace, in Griffith, Canberra. Bookings are now open through the website

PRIZE-winning botanical artist, Sharon Field, has set up a blog which considers ideas of “beauty” and “creativity” in botanical art and summarises what is coming up for her on the art scene. Visit or follow her on Instagram at @sharon_field_artist

GARY France’s Groove Warehouse in Hume is expanding its percussion business and now offers daytime adult classes and keyboard lessons at 5/1 Sawmill Circuit, Hume. Information and enrolments to

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


AUSDANCE ACT Open Class is continuing with advanced to professional level classes on Wednesdays from 10am-11.30am at the Belconnen Arts Centre and an evening class on Thursday from 6.50pm-8.20pm at QL2’s Dance Studio, for intermediate to professional level dancers of all genres.


“Warriors of the Rainbow” will be played in the Taiwan Film Festival.
THE Taiwan Film Festival, staged by the Australian Centre on China in the World and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia will be held at the Auditorium, in the China in the World Building (#188), Fellows Lane, ANU, from December 1-3. Free but bookings essential to

IMB Bank Sunset Cinema is back again on the Northern Eucalypt Lawn, Australian National Botanic Gardens, now running until Christmas. Bookings to

THE Fourth Brazilian Movie Cycle will present movies that are “food for thought”. Embassy of Brazil auditorium, 19 Forster Crescent, Yarralumla, 6.30pm, November 30 and December 7. Entry is free and recommended for ages 18 and older. All films are subtitled in English.

THE National Film and Sound Archive of Australia has “Strictly Ballroom: Behind the Curtain”, a new online exhibition to celebrate 25 years since the release of Baz Luhrmann’s debut film in August 1992. Visit

Concerts and Gigs:

SARAH McLeod, frontwoman of The Superjesus and soloist is appearing at The Basement, 2 Cohen Street, Belconnen at 8pm this Thursday, November 30. Bookings to

“The Voice” grand finalist Lucy Sugerman
SIXTEEN-year-old Australian “The Voice” grand finalist Lucy Sugerman will be performing with a four piece band and other guests at the Street Theatre at 6pm this Sunday, December 3. Bookings to

THE Happy Axe album launch is at The Street Theatre with guests Teem & Toby Graham this Saturday, December 2, then at 8pm The Idea of North presents a festive concert, also at The Street. Bookings to or 6247 1223.

BRINDABELLA Orchestra will present its toe-tapping final concert for the year, “Dances and Marches”, at the Queanbeyan Uniting Church, Rutledge Street, Queanbeyan, 2pm, Sunday, December 3. Tickets at the door include a program and afternoon tea.

The Original Wailers
REGGAE royalty “The Original Wailers” from Jamaica will be performing at The Basement, 2 Cohen Street, Belconnen, at 7pm, Sunday, December 3. Bookings to


“MAMMA Mia!” The musical, inspired by ABBA’s classic songs, has seen over 60 million people all around the world pack in for the show. Tickets are now on sale for a new Aussie production that will premiere at the Canberra Theatre, to December 10. Bookings to canberratheatrecentre or 6275 2700.

JOLLY jesters and lusty wenches and mad minstrels are coming to town again for Dirty Dick’s Theatre Restaurant. At Harmonie German Club, Jerrabomberra Avenue, Narrabundah, December 2, 8, 8, 15 and 16. Bookings to 6295 9853 or

Actor Raoul Craemer in “Tristan”. Photo by Andrew Sikorski.
THE Ralph Indie program for 2017 winds up with “Tristan: A Song for the Superior Man”, a theatrical look at masculinity written and directed by Chenoeh Miller featuring actor Raoul Craemer with Chris Endrey, Nick Delatovic, Oliver Levi-Malouf and Erica Field. Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre, to December 3. Bookings top

JONATHAN Biggins’ comedy “Australia Day”, directed by Cate Clelland for Canberra REP, introduces audiences to the Coriole Shire Australia Day Committee as they organise and manage their Australia Day celebrations. Set in a Scout Hall, it is said, by Biggins, to “offend everyone” as it challenges the very concept of “Australian-ness”. Theatre 3, 3 Repertory Lane, Acton, until December 2. Bookings to or 6257 1950.

SUBSCRIPTION bookings for The Canberra Theatre Centre’s “Collected Works 2018” are now open at or call 6275 2700.

CANBERRA Repertory has now launched its 86th season, billed as “a season with something for everyone”. Bookings to

BUDDING Theatre is looking for men and women of all ages (18-90) to perform new comic monologues, children and youth for “The Christmas Channel”, both to run at the Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre in December. Email to express interest and send a CV or outline of experience.


Sever at the new space between Michael Taylor works.
NANCY Sever Gallery has now moved from Kingston to the former Currong Theatre in Gorman Arts Centre and has reopened with “Michael Taylor: New Paintings”, at Gorman Arts Centre, corner of Batman and Currong Streets, Braddon, until December 17.

QUEANBEYAN Art Society has secured a deal allowing one of its artists to have art “splashed” on a Canberra Milk bottle from December. It will be unveiled at the “Splash of Milk Art Award” exhibition opening on December 3 at the society’s gallery under the Queanbeyan Bridge.

BEAVER Galleries have invited Annette Blair, Joungmee Do, Sara Freeman, Shannon Garson, Holly Grace, Rona Green, Daehoon Kang, Ben Landau & Lucile Sciallano, Hayley Lander, Dai Li, Nikki Main, Meg Morton, Ruth Oliphant, Jenny Orchard, Isobel Rayson, Nick Stranks, Wendy Teakel, Sarah Tomasetti, Graeme Townsend, Wayne Viney and Max Lawrence White to contribute exquisite and often challenging small works to its pre-Christmas exhibition, “Small Works”. 81 Denison Street, Deakin until December 24.

Artists Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley. Photo by Joseph Brady.
THE National Museum of Australia is showing artworks inspired by plants of north-east Arnhem Land by Yol?u elder Mulku? Wirrpanda and landscape painter John Wolseley, in the exhibition “Midawarr Harvest”, until February 18. Free entry, but donations welcome.

MORE than 140 artworks created by graduating students of the ANU School of Art and Design have today gone on display in one of Canberra’s biggest annual art exhibitions. Graduating Exhibition, ANU School of Art and Design, Main Gallery, Ellery Crescent, November 25 to December 3. Tuesday to Friday 10.30am-5pm, Saturday, 12pm-5pm. Closed Sunday and public holidays. 

AS part of the program for the “Suomi Finland” 100 centenary of independence, the Finnish Embassy is exhibiting paintings created by Australian contemporary artist Steve Salo, photographer Päivi Arvonen and arts worker Daniel Soma. At 12 Darwin Avenue, Yarralumla,Monday to Thursday, 9.30am–12.30pm, Fridays, 1pm–5pm, Saturdays 9.30am–12.30pm, and Sundays 1pm–2.30pm, November 28 to January 31. All welcome. All details of the Finland 100 program are viewable at

ANU glass on sale.
UNIQUE handmade glass by students, staff and graduates of ANU School of Art & Design will be on sale in the Foundations Rooms on Childers Street, Acton, 12pm-1.30pm, Friday, December 1.

“LES Petits Travaux” (or small works) is the new show at Aarwun Gallery, 11 Federation Square, Gold Creek, Nicholls. “Small works and miniatures have always created a feeling of preciousness and tactility”, they’re saying. High tea and champagne opening 2pm, Sunday, December 3. Inquiries to 6230 2055.

THE M16 Artspace 2017 Drawing Prize is at 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, from 6pm, on Thursday, November 30 to December 18. The prize and the winners will be announced at 6.30pm on the opening night. Also on show is “Portrait and Life: the 2017 Canberra Art Workshop Members’ Exhibition” and in Chutespace, Steven Mark Holland ink on Arches paper work, “Heart”.

Merimbula Beach by Isla Patterson.
PAINTER Isla Patterson is holding an Open Studio Christmas art exhibition and sale at 10 Mainoru Place, Hawker from 10am-4pm on December 1, 2, and 3. All welcome.

EXHIBITIONS by four women artists are presented together as “Women in Design” and are on display at Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, until Saturday, December 16.

“STUDIO 17? is Strathnairn Arts’ second biennial exhibition showcasing works by current studio holders, GW Bot, Catherine Drinan, Shaun Hayes, Jo Hollier, Cary James, Joan James, Blaide Lallemand, Trenna Langdon, Ilona Lasmanis, Peter Latona, Vivien Lightfoot, Leo Loomans, Michael Sainsbury, Heidi Strachan, Nancy Tingey, Kensuke Todo, Tracey Murphy and Berendina De Ruiter. The show is curated by Peter Haynes. At Strathnairn Woolshed, 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt, until December 17.

ANCA Gallery’s newest exhibition, “Bio Mimic”, showcases the work of five Canberra artists who are united through the themes of bio-mimesis and vessels—Alexandra Frasersmith, Angela Bakker, Danielle Day, Sarah Murphy and Tara Bromham. The show continues at 1 Rosevear Street, Dickson until Sunday, December 3.

THE “3Ds” are three Canberra artists about to exhibit together. The three artists include Dianna Budd, who works with paint and collage; Dorothy Danta, who works with silver; and Dianne Firth, who is a noted textile artist. “3DS: Towards Abstraction”, at Canberra Grammar School Gallery, 40 Monaro Crescent, Red Hill, to December 2.

A work by Belinda Pratten.
PHOTOGRAPHERS Susan Henderson, Michael Masters, Mark Mohell and Belinda Pratten are all exhibiting work now at The Photography Room, in the Old Bus Depot, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston Foreshore, Sundays 10am-4pm and by appointment. Details at

“GLITTER & Critters” is an exhibition of painting and photography by Ralph Nelson, a Canberra artist who has Asperger’s syndrome and other mental health issues and who has been making art since 2004, experimenting with colour and texture without the use of brushes and water using bamboo skewers, sticks, sponges, vegetables and other household goods to apply the paint to the canvas. Belconnen Community Gallery, Swanson Court, Belconnen, until December 1.

KEMARRE Arts Indigenous Women’s Group presents “Tribute”, an exciting new exhibition by emerging and established Aboriginal artists working in glass, textiles, sculpture, mixed media, painting and weaving. Artists include Michelle Bedford, Lyndy Delian, Kayannie Dennigan, Jenny Dries, Alana Garwood-Houng, Ronnie Jordan, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Tahlia Kring and Lyn Talbot. At Belconnen Arts Centre, to December 3.

ALSO at Belconnen Arts Centre, to December 3, will be “Mess, Struggle and Renewal” by participating artists in “Ignite: Alternative Arts Academy” and Liz Faul’s futuristic show, “Fly Me to the Moon”.

“Behind the Lines” – the best political cartoons of 2017 and Political Cartoonist of the Year– is at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House.

NOW in its 23rd year as a self-supporting co-operative of established local artists, the Tin Shed Art Group has this time round adopted the theme, “Elements Of Place” as they express something of the emotions experienced overseas in Cambodia, the Americas, Bhutan, Spain and Hawaii, Australia’s Kinchega National Park, the Kimberleys, coastal rock pools and the outback, or even in the private imagination. As well, each artist will present a small work on Canberra, showing them as a “salon hang”. At Watson Arts Centre until December 3.

CANBERRA Spinners and Weavers have their 50th anniversary show, “Crossing Threads”, curated by Meredith Hinchliffe, at Canberra Museum and Gallery, Corner of London Circuit and Civic Square, to March 18, 2018.

WHEN Sydney artist Jaimee Paul lost her father earlier this year she chose to channel her heartache into something positive. She has created a body of watercolour paintings and drawings for a solo exhibition, “All that you’ve become,” open at Suki & Hugh Gallery, 38A Gibraltar Street, Bungendore, until December 17.

THE exhibition “On The Move” will feature selected student works and works by their mentor artists from the 2017 Sculpture in the Paddock Schools’ Program, accompanied by a series of photographs that tell the story of the art making. At “The Link”, in the Strathnairn Arts precinct at 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt, to December 13.

THE NGA’s summer exhibition “Hyper Real” consists of 50 works in sculpture and video art by 32 artists, varying from the huge “Pregnant woman” by Ron Mueck to Patricia Piccininni’s fragile hybrid babies. National Gallery of Australia, to February 18, 2018. Bookings to or 132 849.

Claire Williams’ “Girl and Hound”, 2017, inkjet print.
PHOTOACCESS presents three new exhibitions by its artists in residence, “Dedications” by Claire Williams, “In Pursuit of Magic” by Ricky Lloyd and “Footprints by Jennifer Minns”. Opening in the Huw Davies Gallery, Manuka Arts Centre, at 6pm this Thursday, November 30. All welcome the exhibitions continue until December 10.

“RING Master”, an exhibition exploring the notion and designs of the humble (and not so humble) ring, features rings by Helen Britton, Julia deVille, Johannes Kuhnen, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Carlier Makigawa, Godwin Baum, Julie Blyfield, Melissa Cameron, Cinnamon Lee, Chris Robertson, Sean O’Connell, Jane Bowden, Bin Dixon-Ward, Philip Noakes, Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro, Mikki Trail, Sam Mertens and Mio Kuhnen (and more). At Bilk Gallery, Palmerston Lane Manuka, to December 24, “White Christmas”, its annual festive season exhibition.

ARTIST and painting teacher, Michael Winters, once made an honorary citizen of the island of Leros in Greece, for his art activities, is wandering again, this time to the Orange Regional Gallery, where his unusual exhibition of three-dimensional landscapes, “Dissected by Time and Space”, will run to December 10.

THE NPG’s big summer exhibition, “Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits”, is for people who love film and portraits, at the National Portrait Gallery until March 4, 2018. Bookings to

“GLOW” is Kate Bender’s second solo exhibition at X Gallery in Bungendore, and continues her exploration of the representation of light in bold and luminous abstract paintings. 32 Gibraltar Street, Bungendore until December 4.

“SONGLINES: Tracking the Seven Sisters”, the story in arts of the women of Central Australia, at the National Museum of Australia, to February 25, 2018.

GROUND-BREAKING Australian audio-video artist Angelica Mesiti has launched an exhibition of five major works, including the National Gallery of Australia’s most recent acquisition, “The Calling”, at the NGA until March 2018.

THE ANU Drill Hall Gallery’s show, “Liz Coats – Active Seeing”, coincides with celebrations for the ANU School of Art’s 40-year anniversary. As a former doctoral student (2009-2012) and vice-chancellor’s “College Artist Fellow” (2015) this major survey of Liz’s artwork will feed into these celebrations. The exhibition runs at the DHG, Kingsley Street, Acton, until December 17.

“EIRENE Mort: A Livelihood” marks the 40th anniversary of Eirene Mort’s death at the age of 98. Mort was a prolific artist, collaborator, teacher, writer, family historian and a ‘new woman’ pursuing a profession in the arts at the beginning of the 20th Century. Curated by Dale Middleby, this social history exhibition features an extraordinary array of artworks and artefacts created by her. Canberra Museum and Gallery, until February 25, 2018.

WORKS by painter/printmaker Pamela Griffith and sculptor/carver Silvio Apponyi are in the Octagon ArtSpace, Bungendore Wood Works Gallery. The show continues until December 10.

MEREDITH Hinchliffe has curated an online exhibition of work by tapestry exponent Belinda Ramson, who died in 2014. This exhibition was mounted at the American Tapestry Alliance, visit

MEGALO is opening its final exhibition for the year this this Thursday night before closing over the festive break until January 23. Exhibition opening + End Of Year Celebration, Megalo Print Studio + Gallery 21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston, 6pm, November 23, and until December 16.

“FINDERS Keepers: Collectors and their Stories MoAD at Old Parliament House runs from 9am-5pm, daily, until the middle of 2018. Entry is free after museum admission.

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

SECOND World War veterans —6500 of them—are showcased in a unique photography installation at the Australian War Memorial, “Reflections – honouring our WWII veterans”. The images will be archived and made accessible to the public as part of the Memorial’s online collection.

A LARGE painting by artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia has gone on permanent display in the Australian War Memorial. “Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa” [Country and Culture will be protected by spears] is in in the orientation gallery, directly opposite the Gallipoli landing boat that took men of the 13th Battalion ashore on April 25, 1915.

“A CHANGE Is Gonna Come” is an exhibition focusing on the 1967 Aboriginal Referendum and the 1992 MABO land rights decision by the High Court. At the National Museum of Australia, until January 30, 2018.

THE exhibition “Boundless Volumes,” new artworks made from excess leather bound volumes of parliamentary proceedings by Michael Eather, Simryn Gill, Katherine Hattam, Pam Langdon, Archie Moore, Elvis Richardson, Kylie Stillman, Imants Tillers and Hossein Valamanesh. Presiding Officers’ Exhibition Area (level 1) at Parliament House. Free to the public and open until February 11.  



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