Mundaring Hills Open Studios: spend the weekend touring creative spaces of artists

Mundaring Hills Open Studios: spend the weekend touring creative spaces of artists

DOWNLOAD a map and plan a tour of art studios in Mundaring to experience creativity in the making this weekend.

Established painters, sculptors, glassblowers, ceramic makers and mixed media users will open their doors to the public, from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The annual Mundaring Hills Open Studios is a golden ticket for anyone contemplating a creative hobby or career.

Many of the artists also teach in art programs in schools and at community centres.

Visitors with an appreciation for the works on display will have the chance to buy, while gaining insight into the artistic process and the story behind the making of each piece.

Glen Forrest mixed media painter and sculptor Neil Elliott said the event was much more than an art display.

“In part, it’s about the demystification of art and breaking down some of the stereotypes we are given,” he said.

Elliott’s pieces have won several prestigious awards including recent works at Perth Royal Show, Canning Art Awards and the Kalamunda Show; all of which expressed the sense of fun he accredits to his “love of children’s stories and a fascination with machines”.

Alongside Elliott’s quirky pieces will be paintings by Tina Bryce, who attributes her love of “gardening in countries across the world” as a major influence.

Visual artist Rachel Gillam will present mixed media in acrylic and resin, based on floral and ocean themes influenced by holidays in Albany.

The trio agreed the open studios event was “an opportunity for Mundaring artists to create an understanding of our work, the role it plays and the greater appreciation for art in the community”.

“We all work differently in different environments, with different mediums and different approaches and inspirations,” Elliott said.

“Some people like to work in a studio, others need facilities for kiln pottery and glass blowing; one guy works in a stable …

“Before I joined Mundaring Hills Open Studios, I enjoyed going around to the Kalamunda Open Studios and taking in all the ways artists in the Hills do their work.

“We still get a lot of artists from across Perth coming around for inspiration,” he said.

Elliott joined the open studio program shortly after moving to the Hills seven years ago, “to seek a suitable-sized studio and a less stressful place to paint”.

“The open studios event and similar projects at the Mundaring Arts Centre have been helpful for us in developing a sense of community in the Hills art scene,” he said.

“Events such as local art awards have brought us together, so everybody is now pretty well acquainted.

“These days, it’s like catching up with a group of friends.

“We have all seen each other’s studios and often catch up at our houses.”

Gillam said being free of stress and close to nature for inspiration drew creative types to the Hills.

“The (open studios) event helps motivate a group of us to produce a body of work around the same time, for a shared purpose, so we are constantly able to relate to one another.”

Meanwhile Bryce said it was good to remind the community that artists are an industry of professionals and as a newcomer to the Hills, she had been reassured to find the art network.

“Then to be invited to become a part of the group was like having someone lay out a welcome mat for me,” she said.

Along with the open studios, local galleries NEST of Darlington and Just Add Passion in Stoneville will present work by local artists.

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