My Beautiful Creative Hills Community

Yesterday I rugged up in the chilly 8 degrees (and only 5 degrees in Ferny Creek) to check out the wonderful Dandenong ranges open studios.  36 artist from the hills opened there private creative spaces to share… its a brave thing to expose yourself in this way I think,  creative spaces are always full of   pieces of yourself pinned to the walls and in piles on the floor so I am always honoured to be witnessing the creative genious in there natural surroundings… Even the most extraverted artist (which is the catagory i think i could put myself in) can have a trouble really opening up sometimes when it comes to the creative process… imageAll great adventures should start with a planning stage (and coffee) so mine started at my first studio stop.  Burrinja is an amazing cultural community centre in Upwey and is the central home of the open studios, it hosts a group exhibition from all the artists.  This years theme was “the Tencity of change”and is a great way to get a sample of that the artist produce when making the very difficult choice of which studios to visit.  And what better place to make this difficult choice is the new cafe (reopened by the fantastic owner of the Kallista Tearooms which has in my coffee smob opinion the best coffee and service in the hills) What a fantastic exhibition and preview to the artists work…. my favorotes being… imageStunning works from Emma Jennings, Eva Glac and Lisa Hass ….

After checking out the main exhibition I wandered around the studios with in Burrinja… The wonderful naturally dyed textiles from Jacqueline Grace

wpid-collage_20150419171902551.jpgThe quirky “Odd Ball” space from Gareth Hart and Justine Walsh 
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Then I wandered around to see Lisa Hass in her studio of beautiful ceramics which remind me of my favorite Danish ceramic designers with a modern twist…
wpid-collage_20150419172117981.jpgA lovely trip past Christine Lawry to see her printmaking….
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I always check out TBC (Tiffany Bishop Collective) when ever I get the chance as Tiffaney is doing wonderful things with local young creatives and a PHD.
wpid-collage_20150419173013811.jpgAnd for my final destination I got to see 3 wonderful artists in one wonderful space…. Emma Jennings studio is 3 floors of wonder… it is set in the leafy (but very cold) Ferny Creek up the mountain from Belgrave where I live…. This is a shared space with ceramists Eva Glac and painter, weaver, designer (+more) Shelley Krycer … The fire was warming the trees and bushes where green and glistening outside and artwork was fascinating on many levels….

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