Water meets land in Walpole

ARTISTIC expressions of land and sea emerge in Petrichor Gallery’s latest exhibition at its Walpole home base.

Waterline is a combined effort between local artist and curator Elizabeth Edmonds and Mandurah-based Stephen Draper, and focuses on both the imaginary and real-life line representing where water meets land, and above and below water.

Ms Edmonds created the paintings and Mr Draper produced the sculptures.

Ms Edmonds said Mr Draper’s sculptures were made from upcycled teak, as this material is lightweight, strong and easy to sculpt.

“His work is just superb,” she said.

“His art has a beautiful, light feel and uses light colour wash, similar to the beach.

“He’s been so generous supporting art in our region and his work has been very well received by the locals.”

Ms Edmonds said her contributions to the exhibition were designed to complement Mr Draper’s, and also feature soft, beachy tones.

“We’ve had overwhelming feedback from visitors,” she said.

“It’s just been a really great experience.”

Waterline will be available for viewing every day until April 29 from 10am
to 4pm at Petrichor Gallery, located on Nockolds Street in Walpole.

All works are for sale.

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Treadly ready for festival

ALBANY’S renowned Vancouver Street Festival is getting a shake-up ahead of its planned May 12 schedule.

The famous Tweed Ride, a feature of the arts and heritage event, will invite retro cyclists to ride into town at their own pace and in their own time, rather than sticking to a specific route.

Cyclists will, however, have a window of time from 11am until noon to get their photo taken at the festival ahead of the competition judging.

In previous years, bicycles such as penny farthings have made an appearance.

WA Historical Cycling Club member Murray Gomm said there will be four categories riders can battle it out for.

“There will be most magnificent bike, most fetching lady, most dapper chap and most magnificent hair,” he said.

Mr Gomm said another new element to the street festival will be the way the retro transportation devices will be displayed.

“The penny farthings and historic bicycles will be ridden up and down Vancouver Street during the festival, which I think will be a bit of an attraction,” he said.

“There’s going to be an original penny farthing, a rare penny farthing tricycle and 20th century vintage bicycles.

“It’ll be a pretty rare opportunity to see these really ancient machines all together.”

Vancouver Arts Centre, the organising body of the event, confirmed other new features to the festival will include a Noongar choir and a focus on tree heritage.

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Conundrum of love

SPECTRUM Theatre’s latest showcase of local talent took its opening night audience on an interesting journey of love and betrayal last Friday.

The intimate seating of the theatre brought the audience both physically and emotionally closer to the play, touching on themes not uncommon in today’s world.

Divorce Me, Darling follows the story of career-driven divorce attorney Amelia Conway, who has just marked 15 years of marriage with husband Jonathan Bentley.

Despite never forgetting gifts for every big occasion, Jonathan’s roving eye has not gone unnoticed by his wife.

Arriving on Amelia’s office doorstep the same day is young bimbo Tina, who asks for an annulment so she can marry a married man.

As Amelia discovers the young woman intends to marry her very own husband, the humourous turmoil kicks off.

Rising talent Morgan Levingston convincingly portrayed Jonathan, a character at least 20 years his senior, and maintained character throughout the entire performance.

Spectrum regular Darian Mercuri was consistent in his quirky character’s tics and twitches – a skill which often drops off when an actor thinks no one is watching.

Sinead Charles’ excitement and enthusiasm for the play was evident in her brilliant smile and her confidence on stage.

Tickets for the April 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21 performances are still available and can be purchased via Paperbark Merchants.

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Mayhem on the move

PLANTAGENET Players will christen their new home next month with a variety show to rival all others from the acting group’s repertoire.

The newly refurbished Plantagenet District Hall is now sparkling with nearly $1 million worth of fix-ups, including retractable tiered seating and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment.

Plantagenet Players media liaison Kristy Kempton said the first show for the hall, 100% Comedy – Caution: may contain traces of nuts, will feature two hours of skits, musical and dance numbers, short plays and poems.

“Plantagenet Players shows are notoriously cheeky and hilarious,” she said.

“The actors are all volunteers, including The Weekender’s own Andy Dolphin, and almost all content is written in-house.”

Co-producer of 100% Comedy Charmaine Gadenne said the show is guaranteed to tickle the cockles of your funny bones.

“It’s a lively variety show full of humour, wit and a touch of mayhem,” she said.

“We have created some very unique pieces in the usual style of Plantagenet Players that may cause you to laugh so hard, you’ll have tears running down your legs.

“The cast are having a ‘cracking’ good time at rehearsals, adding their own delightful personalities to their characters on stage as they explore our new theatre, whilst the crew have been playing with all the new equipment and creating costumes that will be a treat for the eyes.”

Tickets for the May 11, 12, 18 and 19 shows are on sale now and can be purchased at Mt Barker Scrap Shak.

Tickets cost $17 for adults, $12 for seniors and children, and a light supper is included.

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Mix of creativity on show

A FUSION of colour and acrylic will descend upon Mt Barker’s Art Chatter Gallery when artworks from Albany art students are installed this weekend.

The Mature Mix Art Exhibition will officially open this Saturday at 2pm and continue until May 17 in the Strike Me Pink’s exhibition space.

The art pieces are the result of Vancouver Art Centre’s two Wednesday classes, and tutor Helen Leeder-Carlson said the exhibition comprises acrylic, portraiture, monochrome, seasonal, still life and landscape art.

“We’re a really lively, light-hearted class and I always encourage people to do things and expand their creativity,” she said.

“Having exhibitions like this encourages art students to keep up their art and it gives locals the chance to purchase affordable, original, local art.”

Ms Leeder-Carlson said artwork will be available for between $75 and $150, and the exhibition will be laid out with connecting colours.

The Art Chatter Gallery at Strike Me Pink is located on Langton Road in Mt Barker and is open every day, 10am to 4.30pm.

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Comment wins judges over

VICTORIAN artist Kevin Chin was named this year’s $25,000 major acquisitive prize winner for his piece Sheltered at the launch of the Albany Art Prize exhibition at the Town Hall on Thursday.

Mr Chin was unable to accept the prize in person, but called on City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington to read a letter to the audience.

Mr Chin expressed his deep appreciation for his work being recognised as commenting on what he called a global migrant crisis.

Albany artist John Manson also impressed the judges and won the highly commended award for his piece Mt Clarence No. 2.

“I’ve been watching this award for years, and to even be involved is incredible,” he said.

Mr Manson said inspiration for his work came from spending his time driving and riding past Mount Clarence.

“I’ve spent years admiring the houses as I drove by and found the arrangement to be really pleasing, so I wanted to transfer that to a painting,” he said.

Finalists of the Albany Art Prize will be on display daily from 10am to 4pm at the Town Hall until May 6.

The people’s choice award will be announced at the close of the exhibition.

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Lamp shines bright

THERE’S no such thing as a dull moment for renowned Albany author Dianne Wolfer.

If she’s not writing or editing a piece of work in her study, she’s off around the world chasing snippets of history, gathering writer’s inspiration from the comfort of a café lounge, or speaking with school students about literacy.

2018 is a busy year for Wolfer, who is releasing two new books, speaking at multiple schools and groups across the state about her books, organising her packed-out school schedule for Book Week, and launching her latest historical fiction, In the Lamplight, in both WA and in Harefield, England – In the Lamplight’s primary location.

She took a moment from her busy agenda to speak with The Weekender about her third and final instalment of the historical fiction saga Albanians have come to know and love her for.

While on a trip with her husband Peter to Peronne, France in 2003, Wolfer said the pair stopped over in London.

She said she was keen to visit Harefield, a small village north-west of London, as it housed the site of the first Australian World War I auxiliary hospital.

“It was a village that was completely changed by WWI, and I was really interested in that,” she said.

And so, In the Lamplight was born.

The first two books in her historical fiction series, Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy, travel through time from the beginning of WWI and its major events.

Wolfer said it was only natural to complete the trilogy with In the Lamplight’s plot ending in 1919.

“The war changed Australia forever,” she said.

“We often look at what happened during the war, but not always at what happened afterwards, when all these men were coming home damaged.”

When closing in on her final manuscript last year, Wolfer said she was aware of the possible timing her book launch could have – April 2018 coinciding with the centenary of the end of WWI.

“It was a three-year project, because the research was so time-consuming,” she said.

“Each little fact had to be cross-referenced, and I’d often get carried away with the excitement of it all.

“So, I knew that if I wanted it to hit the shelves in April, I had to have it to the printers by October.

“We were working around the clock.”

Wolfer explored historical war resources in Albany, Perth, Canberra and Harefield to create the beautifully-presented, Australian-English perspective on the first world war that is In the Lamplight.

She is excited to officially launch the book at Carlyles Function Centre on April 9 and in Harefield in May.

“It’s all go!” she said.

For more information on the launch or to get your hands on a copy of In the Lamplight, visit spydus.albanylibrary.com.au/events or Paperbark Merchants on York Street.

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Windy night under stars

A FAIRYLAND of lights will be the backdrop for Albany City Wind Ensemble’s next big performance, and director Sue Findlay promises it will be a night to remember.

The Under the Stars concert is set for 6.30pm on April 8, at Albany Senior High School’s amphitheatre.

The 45-piece band will be joined by local vocal group About FACE to perform the likes of Lord of the Dance, Light Calvalry Overture, Dance of the Hours and Auld Lang Syne underneath the twinkle of fairy lights Ms Findlay said will be scattered everywhere in the amphitheatre.

About FACE will spice things up with a jaunty sea shanty and high-speed traditional Gaelic mouth music.

The outdoor venue will provide the stage for an intimate concert, with numbers limited to a 300-person audience.

Despite taking a risk with the open-air location, Ms Findlay is adamant the weather will be perfect.

“Autumn has always been my favourite time of year in Albany,” she said.

“The wind drops and the weather can be truly delightful.

“Plus, with cushions for the audience, complimentary sandwiches, hot drinks and chocolates, what’s not to love?”

However, if the skies do open up, the show will be relocated to the Albany Town Hall.

Tickets will cost $28 per person and $15 for children under 17, and can be purchased at Frangipani Floral Studio, on the door or online at albanycitywindensemble.com.au.

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Music moves in to new room

ALBANY’S newest live music venue will be more “show than gig” and more “Hi-fi than PA” according to its coordinator and general music aficionado Geoff Waldeck.

Tucked down the back of Six Degrees bar, the new 6dLIVE room will offer a boutique live music experience in an intimate setting and will quench the thirst for the growing demand for quality visiting acts.

As the finishing touches were being applied to the room’s bespoke lighting and sound, The Weekender had a quick sneak peek and got the run-down on the concept from Waldeck and Six Degrees licensee Anton Davey.

“When we built the place, it was designed around the idea of catering for musicians and artists,” Davey said.

“This will be a unique place for soloists, duos and small bands to per- form. We just want to see live music flourish and there isn’t really a small venue in town like this.”

Davey’s right-hand man in the project, Waldeck, said the room will fit 150 people standing or 70 seated and is all about providing a quality sound to go with the quality of talent he has booked.

“We’ve already tested the room as we’ve been treating it acoustically, and it’s going to be pretty nice. There is no [sound] spill between the room and the rest of the bar,” Waldeck said.

6dLIVE will be officially launched when it hosts alternative folk artist Riley Pearce on Friday, April 6 ahead of his UK tour, although it will get a test-run on Easter Saturday when local outfit Pinstripe take to the stage sans bass player to put the room through its paces.

Tickets are available for Pearce’s April 6 show through the Six Degrees Facebook page.

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Dolphin makes splash

AMIDST graphic design, illustrations, photography and his day job as production manager with The Weekender, Mt Barker artist Andy Dolphin finds time to oil up his canvas and produce stunning life-like representations of the Great Southern.

Two of his recent artworks, Rural Morn and Organised Chaos, won first-class recognitions at last weekend’s Wagin Woolorama.

Rural Morn, an image of an aged shed near his property, won first place in Class 1 – Oil or Acrylic, and Organised Chaos, a depiction of a white gum tree, won the Woolorama President’s Award.

Dolphin was surprised to hear of his win when he received a phone call Friday evening.

“It was great to win. I haven’t entered in four or so years,” he said.

“I always enjoy Wagin; there’s always quality work and they don’t shy away from traditional works.”

Dolphin’s winning works slot into the plein air genre, which is the main area he dabbles in, both during his own time and his Thursday morning adventures with the Albany Plein Air Group.

“I love the great outdoors. I always tend towards rural for my art,” he said.

“When it’s just me, I’ll just get into my car and go; I look for interesting shapes and different light and shade.”

The next project on Dolphin’s agenda is participating with the Albany Plein Air Group in the Southern Art and Craft Trail set for September 15 to 30.

You can keep up to date on Dolphin’s movements and check out his gallery of the Great Southern online at andydolphin.com.au.

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