Some months are inspirational and, for me, September was one such month.
We spent the first weekend of September in Ballarat visiting the amazing exhibitions that formed part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
Two years ago, we only went to the Foto Biennale for one day, and found that it was impossible to enjoy everything in such a short time, so this year we spent two weekends in Ballarat. The exhibitions were hung in galleries, coffee shops & retail outlets around the town and ran the gamut from very traditional photography to modern art work … it was fascinating.
While my husband attended photography workshops each weekend I visited the patchwork shops, strolled around the weekend markets or relax with a book.
Later in the month we headed for the country once again, this time we spent the day in the Yarra Valley for the “Open Studios” event. Forty five artist from all around the Yarra Valley had collaborated to create this event, and they each had a signature piece hanging in the Barrel room at Sticks winery in Yarra Glen.
This was a great introduction and, from there, visitors were encouraged to visit the artists working in their studios. It was great fun to meet felt makers, air brush painters, potters painters, silver & goldsmiths and glass blowers all working in their studios, happily explaining techniques, and proudly displaying their work.
You can see more of Gayle’s work, and find out about her workshop program on her website. The visit to her studio was a double treat as she had members of the “Crazy Crocheters” keeping her company each day. None of them were using Aurifil Lana in their work, but their modern take on crochet is wonderful.
The “Open Studios” is a wonderful event for creative / crafty people, both the artist and the visitor, as not every artist has a main street gallery, and not every visitor is comfortable visiting a home based gallery.
In this situation, however, visitors are encouraged to visit the studios to meet the artist without any immediate expectation that the visitor will also be a “shopper”. The idea is designed to encourage, & publicise, not only the artists but also the Yarra Valley region as an arts & crafts mecca and the handbook guide included a short synopsis about each artist and maps to the studios & cafes in each town.
Next year, I think that we might visit the Yarra Valley for a weekend so that we have time to visit more of these wonderful studios.