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

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Women of Empire installation
“WOMEN of Empire 1914-1919” is an evocative pop up exhibition of original World War I-era costume staged by “Dressing Australia – the Museum of Australian Costume”, a private collection run by Fiona and Keith Baverstock. The show takes viewers into the lives of around 30 of the women of Australia and NZ, female doctors, nurses and masseuses who joined the men on warships, at Gallipoli, in Egypt and on the Western Front, and others who drove ambulances, became cooks and orderlies, Red Cross aides or motor cycle messengers. National Film and Sound Archive, January 6-14, bookings to or at reception.


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.

Workshops and classes

Marion Halligan by Leeanne Crisp
PAINTER Leeanne Crisp is running four Sundays of drawing and painting at the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion in the Nation Arboretum. Crisp’s work can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery and the National Library collections. 9.30am-4.30pm, January 7, 14, 21 and February 4. Fees apply and lunch is included. Bookings to

NIDA Open will launch its summer program of fun performing arts classes for young people and adults in a new partnership with Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre. Professional artists will be leading courses at the venue from January 22–28. Details and bookings to

THE Alliance Française de Canberra at 66 McCaughey Street, Turner, offers language and culture courses all through the year. Information about courses to

MUSIC for Canberra has opened enrolments for Term 1, 2018. To trial a new class or audition for the James McCusker Orchestra and Canberra Youth Orchestra visit

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

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

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

Subscriptions for 2018

Benjamin Bagby will perform from ‘Beowulf’ at the Music Festival
TICKETS are now on sale for the 24th Canberra International Music Festival, running from April 27 to May 6. There’ll be 23 ticketed concerts, intimate conversations with festival artists, musical talks and free events. Bookings and full program at

FOUR Winds 2018 Easter Festival, Barragga Bay, March 28 to April 1. Bookings to or 6493 3414.

SUBSCRIPTION bookings for The Canberra Theatre Centre’s “Collected Works 2018” are now open at

THE annual subscription theatre program for The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, is now open. Bookings at

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

Arts Business

A CraftAct exhibition
CRAFT ACT is calling for new exhibition proposals from artists, craftspeople, designers, makers and curators for the 2019 (next year’s) program. Submissions close at midnight on Sunday, March 4 to

WITH productions like Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s “La Bohème” and “Don Quixote” coming up, Opera Australia is offering gift vouchers, which can be emailed, at

CANBERRA artist Val Johnson and Fellow of the Royal Art Society of NSW, is planning to take an art tour to Scotland from August 27 to September 5, 2018, in conjunction with Reis and James Travel Associates and Backroads Touring Company. Participants will spend time painting in the Cairngorms, in quaint fishing villages, on the Isle of Skye, the Isle of Mull and Iona, and view the Colourists work in galleries in Edinburgh, Kirkaldy Perth and Glasgow. Bookings to Lisa on 6208 0155 until January 31, $200 summer discount now available.

THE “Art, Not Apart” festival will return on March 17 with performances, exhibitions, installations, film, projection an parties held around NewActon, The Shine Dome, the National Film and Sound Archive and the Alinga Street Footbridge. The 2018 theme is “Climax”. Submissions to close at midnight on January 10.

“SHORT+Sweet Theatre 2018” is in planning now and playwrights have until January 15 to submit scripts for 10-minute plays to festival director, Trevar Alan Chilver at

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.

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.

Beetle image from NatureLab
JULIA Landford’s new Canberra NatureArt Lab at M16 Artspace, in Griffith is proving very popular. Bookings for 2018 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

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


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,

AUSTRALIAN and NZ 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 in February 2018.

ENTRIES have now opened for the 2018 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Canberra artist Andy Snelgar is exhibited this year and a Canberran, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, is a former winner. The Museum and Art Gallery of the NT delivers this unique annual event that showcases the best in indigenous art from across the country. Entries are open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists over the age of 18 until March 16 at

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. Entries close COB, April 20, 2018 to


Canine fan at OpenAir coinema
AMERICAN Express Openair Cinemas is bringing movies to Canberra with over 40 events happening on Patrick White Lawns outside the National Library of Australia from January 11 to February 25. Dogs are welcome and catered for, and movies include Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman.” Bookings to

Hugo Weaving as a country town police officer in a still from ‘The Dressmaker’
THE big summer exhibition, “Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits”, is a coproduction of The National Portrait Gallery and the National Film and Sound Archive. The NFSA is celebrating the show by screening seminal Aussie movies this week, including a Chips Rafferty double feature, “Jindabyne” + “Somersault” and “The Getting of Wisdom.” All details and bookings to

 FOUR Winds in Bermagui are presenting nights of cinema featuring films which are all united by music. Live music performances will begin each night in the Windsong Pavilion from 7pm. The films will be screened in the exceptional natural setting of the Four Winds Sound Shell from sundown. Still to be screened are “Inside Llewyn Davis” on January 4 with live music by Joshua Wellington, “Once” on January 5 with music by Texture Like Sun, and “Shine” with piano by Pambula pianist Luca Ziino on January 6. Bookings to

THE National Film and Sound Archive will train the spotlight on fashion and in film from January 6-14. Guests include academy-award nominated costume designer Anna Senior (“The Getting of Wisdom” and “My Brilliant Career”) who still designs costumes for REP and Pigeonhole Theatre. Focus films like “The Dressmaker”, “Moulin Rouge!” and “Picnic at Hanging Rock” will also be screened. Bookings and program details to

SANGUINETI Media’s Dan Sanguineti will run for the first time a “junior” Primary School summer holiday filmmaking workshop alongside the usual “Hero” program. Filmmakers from the age of 8 years and older will run on an editing deadline with a screening planned for the final afternoon session at the end of the week. Canberra Technology Park, Watson, January 15-19. Details and bookings to

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:

Friends of Chopin – Lukasz Krupinski recitial.
BRILLIANT Polish pianist from Warsaw Lukasz Krupinski will be performing at an afternoon tea concert in late January. Krupinski won the San Marino Piano Competition in 2016 and was a Finalist in the Busoni Piano Competition in August. His CD “Espressione” has been nominated for the International Classical Music Award in the Solo Instrument category and will be available for purchase. 57 Arthur Circle, Red Hill, 3pm on Sunday January 21 bookings to 0412 625 920 or


The Merry Widow at the Opera House
SYDNEY Opera House will become a hub of dance activity this summer as theatre-goers are treated to free waltz classes ahead of performances of “The Merry Widow,” directed by Graeme Murphy. Classes are free for all paid ticket holders and will be held 30 minutes before evening and matinée shows in the Southern Foyer until January 13. No booking required. The operetta continues until February 3, bookings to

QL2 Dance is looking for an inspiring, creative and entrepreneurial permanent, full time general manager to commence in late February. This position offers the opportunity to make a lasting difference to young people and dance in the ACT and environs. For full position details and application process visit


THE New York hit production of Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” will be taking audiences down the rabbit hole this January. With lavish costumes and puppetry, it will of course feature the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter. At Canberra Theatre, 1pm and 4pm, Sunday, January 14. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

THE ‘Infamous Spiegeltent’ circus has been so popular that it is returning to Majura Road, Cnr Spitfire Ave, opposite Costco, for another season from January 12-28, bookings to


“PLAYUP” is 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.

YOUNG artists in Years 11 and 12 from colleges in the north Canberra region explore the world around them through photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, textiles and new media in “College Express 9”, sponsored by Ray White Belconnen, at Belconnen Arts Centre, until January 28.

Heart necklace worn in’Titanic’ film, the original is owned by Celine Dion
“TITANIC The Exhibition” is still on Sydney at Byron Kennedy Hall, The Entertainment Quarter, Lang Road, Moore Park, until February 4. Bookings to or 8240 2135.

BELCONNEN Community Gallery and the BCS Bungee program presents “Under the Sea”, an immersive experience created by the Expressive Art Bungee Youth Resilience group, which created an exciting underwater experience during term four. In gallery@bcs Swanson Court, Belconnen, until January 12, Monday-Friday.

IN the exhibition “Unfinished Business”, artist Belinda Mason reveals the stories of 30 people with disability from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through 3D photography. The show was originally launched in Geneva by the director-general of the United Nations and was a part of Australia’s official contribution to the United Nations 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Persons in New York. At Tuggeranong Arts Centre, until January 20.

“THE Selfie Factory” by Ralph Kenke and Elmar Trefz, winner of the 2017 Digital Portraiture Award at the National Portrait Gallery, will be available for public interaction using the hashtag #selfiefactory along with all the front-runners, until February 18. Interaction times are between 10am-11am, 1.30pm-2pm and 3.30pm-4pm daily. All of the finalists’ works can be viewed at

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.

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, to January 31. All welcome.

 NGA Play has opened an arty play area for children set up by Indonesian art duo Santi Ariestyowanti and Miko Bawono, known as “Indieguerillas” in the play space near the entrance desk, National Gallery of Australia, until May 13.

SA Adair’s “Encasement” is an amazing network of felt components making an organic, perhaps alien appearance. Adair’s work has been selected by the Canberra Museum and Gallery for the ‘Enlighten’ festival in March. “Encasement” is in the Civic Square window gallery facing the Legislative Assembly until further notice.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

ALSO at the National Museum is the annual exhibition celebrating the achievements and contribution of nominees for the Australian of the Year Awards. Main Hall, until February 18. Free.

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

“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.

“BEHIND the Lines”, with the theme this year “Three Ring Circus”, is showing the best political cartoons of 2017 and Political Cartoonist of the Year – at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House, until further notice.

In Hyper Real at the NGA, Ron Mueck’s Wild Man, detail
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.

“THE Art of Giving” is a summer trail showing new acquisitions by general donors to the National Gallery of Australia, free, excepting for entry to “Hyper Real”.

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. Bookings to

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 Print Studio + Gallery 21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston, is closing over the festive break until January 23.

“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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Helen Musa
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