SEA all fired up for performances

FIERY sculptures on the beach, musical theatre, glow lights and spaceships form what’s in store for the next performance season of Albany’s Southern Edge Arts (SEA).

Youth performing arts festival Living on the Edge will comprise four separate shows inviting the public to take a step inside the world of theatre and drama and get a taste of the talent buzzing around in the region.

Return of the Sun will take place at Middleton Beach on October 5 as a way to say goodbye to winter and welcome spring and summer.

Expect spinning flames and burning sculptures for this free family-friendly event.

Recent addition to the Albany Light Opera and Theatre Company Emma Davis is hosting a series of musical theatre workshops during the school holidays which will culminate in a cabaret showcase on October 11.

Young people are invited to come along with their favourite song to perfect as well as learn a group song to sing together.

MOON_SHIP 2020, a production directed by Denmark council Town Ward candidate Nelson Blake Gilmour, is loosely based on the 1954 novel Lord of the Flies and will be performed on October 18 and 19.

It also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing and will star the whole Southern Edge Arts Theatre Ensemble.

To close Living on the Edge, a Glow Show circus performance will be presented on October 25 and 26.

Acrobatics and aerial work under UV lighting, directed by Albany’s Cassy Turner, will keep everyone on their toes.

Tickets to the shows can be purchased online at

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Chorus’ final call

NEXT month marks the final opportunity Denmark women have to join local choreographer Annette Carmichael’s large-scale dance project Chorus.

This community dance project will bring together 200 women from across WA’s south in performances to be held at Silverstream Wines over the March long weekend next year.

Since June, scores of women in six communities have begun working with a team of dance artists.

“Chorus celebrates the strength and solidarity of women,” Ms Carmichael explained.

“It is inspired by the peace marches and group actions by women across the globe, calling for equality and demanding safety.”

Women are invited to join the last two groups in Denmark that commence rehearsals in October.

The Denmark ‘Gentle’ group will be performing alongside ex-WA Ballet dancer Holly Carter.

Together they will create dance that is gentle on the knees, with gestures and formation walking. Rehearsals start October 22 at the Denmark Civic Centre and will be held each Tuesday 12.30-2.30pm, with occasional Sundays.

On October 24, the Denmark ‘Active’ group begins their weekly rehearsals performing alongside US-trained dancer Sumer Addy.

This group is suitable for people who can run and get up and down off the floor quickly.

These rehearsals are held each Thursday 12.30-2.30pm, with occasional Sundays.

Women aged 14 years and over are welcome to participate in the project.

No prior dance experience is required.

Visit for full details and to register.

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Musicians blossom

PROUD-as-punch music teacher Neville Talbot could not be more excited to share the recent successes of a large group of Albany, Denmark and Mount Barker music students on both the local and national stage.

Last month, North Albany and Albany Senior High School students combined their talents to compete in the 2019 Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association Annual Senior Bands Festival in Perth.

Thousands of students from across regional and metropolitan WA competed and Albany shone like a bright night sky.

“The group achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating, the highest-possible rating from the festival,” Mr Talbot said.

“This is the first ‘outstanding’ received by an Albany band for some time and a marker of all the hard work the students have done across the year.

“I am so proud of what they’ve achieved, and as such a young group, the future looks very bright indeed.”

Further from that, 20 students from Denmark, Mt Barker and Albany were handpicked to perform in a chorus for Opera Australia’s production Madama Butterfly when it came to Albany recently.

Mr Talbot prepared the chorus and said the number of students auditioning was larger than previous years.

“These young people were chosen for their singing ability, their focus and their willingness to work hard,” he said.

“They demonstrated this yet again, and Albany and the Great Southern can continue to be hugely proud of our local young musicians.”

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Oceans awash with talent

ALBANY’S Oceans Church will host its first Southern Art and Craft Trail event from this weekend and two of its senior pastors hope people will use the opportunity to explore the new venue as well as the Art Trail artwork.

New Song will be available to view at the Brewster Road facility from this Saturday, September 28 until October 13 and feature the work of seven Albany artists.

Senior Pastors Norm and Bev Baty are excited to be part of the Art Trail this year and said New Song would showcase paintings, textiles, photography and multimedia art that “create an atmosphere that inspires hope and new beginnings” and celebrate the four seasons.

“Oceans has been a part of the community for more than 20 years and we love to be involved in whatever we can,” Ms Baty said.

“There is so much talent in Albany; we are blessed to have several local artists in the church who will be displaying their work as part of the Trail.”

New Song will be open from 9am to 2pm on weekdays and 11am to 3pm on weekends during the Art Trail.

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Military history is topic for exhibition

SIX Albany artists have looked to Albany Heritage Park and Princess Royal Fortress for inspiration for their entry in the Southern Art and Craft Trail.

Campaign is part two of an exhibition series considering Albany’s military operations during the world wars and features work from Nat Rad, John Cranberry, Tanja Colby, Annette Davis, Terri Pikora and Theo.

Their works cross genres and media to continue the story of the first exhibition held by the group at the Barracks Gallery last year, Crypsis: It’s Not What It Seems.

“We were very influenced by this site,” Rad said.

“There were people living here and working here … there’s actually quite a symmetry in our work even though we didn’t work together, because we were all inspired by this site.”

Cranberry’s work includes video footage of a character exploring the trails of the heritage park, wandering with purpose and searching for an objective that cannot be reached.

Colby has created a series of art reflecting campaign medals, Albany’s military history and the natural elements of the Forts site.

Pikora has constructed five “little people” she has placed in situ across the Forts site for people to discover as they walk the grounds.

Davis’ walks around the Forts site is conveyed in her art with various textile pieces combining clothing and pieces of nature she has collected.

Theo brings a series of monochromatic acrylic paintings to the exhibition, inspired by poet Henry Lawson’s On the Summit of Mount Clarence.

Nat Rad has created a mix of textiles, fabric, light and sound to construct a multimedia experience depicting the imprinted presence of families who lived within the Fortress.

Campaign is venue 75 of the Art Trail and is open 9am to 5pm every day of the Trail – September 21 to October 13.

Some of the artists will speak about their works on October 5 at 1.30pm.

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Mackie’s movement

MOUNT Barker artist Barry Mackie will draw on his inner Jackson Pollock for his exhibition in the Southern Art and Craft Trail.

Pollock, an American artist in the 1940s and 50s, was renowned for breaking the rules of European art and adapting techniques known as the ‘drip technique’ and ‘action painting’.

Instead of classical methods of painting, Pollock would pour or splash paint onto a horizontal surface and ‘dance’ around it to create it.

Mackie has always admired Pollock’s work and hopes to recreate his style of art during the course of the Trail.

“Pollock employed new materials and avoided elegant brushwork, or any of the traditional marks that were usual for artists at that time,” he said.

“He insisted that the artist’s personal expression should be his primary concern and the abstract art dared to stand on its own merits, without the support of the older academic traditions.”

The first of Mackie’s Pollock-inspired paintings will be on three large panels and he will start work on them this Sunday at 11am at Strike Me Pink Gallery in Mt Barker.

He will continue each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday of the Trail from 11am to 1pm, plus Sunday, October 13.

The panels will be laid on the ground so visitors can walk around them as Mackie paints.

Mackie’s Imaginings exhibition will also include new works specially made for the Art Trail.

Imaginings is open every day of the Trail from this Sunday until October 13, 10am to 5pm.

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King River Hall on Trail

A DREAM to have the historic King River Hall included in the Southern Art and Craft Trail has come to fruition with 10 artists joining forces to exhibit their work there over the next two months.

Artist Sue Noakes explained that members of the community wished to see the 1900s hall revitalised and used regularly, so making it a Trail venue was the perfect idea.

The Around The River exhibition features a selection of paintings, ceramics, jewellery, photography and textiles from artists such as Lois Drygan, Libby Sippe and Colin Montefiore.

“We want to make it a community hub,” Noakes said of the hall.

“A place where the community can come together for birthdays, playgroup, parties …“It’ll be fabulous [the Trail exhibition].”

King River Hall is located at 1520 Millbrook Road and will be open from September 28 to 30 and October 1 to 13, 10am to 3pm for the Trail.

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Blending old fibres

EXHUMATION and Resurrection is the theme of the Felters in the Great Southern (FIGS) exhibition for this year’s Southern Art and Craft Trail.

All artists have either unfinished and/or unsuccessful project pieces laying around in their studios.

In the theme of upcycling and regeneration, FIGS members have given their long-buried project pieces an opportunity of a new life.

Member project pieces were dug up and then randomly swapped amongst each other in a lucky dip.

Out of this resurrection, the pieces have been destroyed, cut up, modified, and made into new and exciting artworks.

These artworks will be displayed, and be for sale, at the FIGS exhibition.

FIGS will be exhibiting for the first time in Denmark, at the Golden Hill Steiner School hall on Scotsdale Road from Saturday, September 21 to Sunday, October 6 from 10am to 4pm.

The opening ceremony takes place on September 21 from 11am to 12.30pm.

FIGS formed eight years ago, evolving from summer school classes and now have 30 members from Walpole to Cranbrook.

The group meet on the third Sunday of every month at the Bornholm Hall from 10am to 4pm.

Each year the group comes up with a project with profits donated to community groups such as the Albany Hospice.

For those interested in joining, contact Chairperson Lynley Campbell on 0447 782 746 or email

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Immersive collaboration

TWO artists from different mediums have joined forces to share with others their interpretation of the birthing season of Albany.

A Moment in Time is the current project of Vancouver Arts Centre artists in residence, dancer Floeur Alder and visual artist Virginia Ward.

The pair met through mutual contacts within the recently-folded Perth group Ochre Contemporary Dance Company, and Alder knew Ward would be the perfect partner for a residency she passionately wanted to do.

Alder, whose dance training began in childhood with parental teachers and world-renowned ballet dancers Lucette Aldous and Alan Alder, was teaching at the WA Academy of Performing Arts when she realised she was in desperate need of a sea change.

“I guess I was a bit lost,” she said, having taught for so many years and losing her father in July.

“I needed to perform otherwise I was going to go crazy, so I started ringing around for a residency.”

Alder and Ward have been in Albany for one week and have so far visited Waychinicup National Park, Little Beach, Normans Beach and the Porongurups to gather research on Indigenous connections to the land and the biodiversity in the district.

The pair are passionate about Indigenous culture and said works created during the residency would be a response to what they’ve immersed themselves in during their four-week stay.

“My dad was a geologist so ever since I was a child, I’ve been immersed in the landscape and had a deep understanding of the metaphysics of the land,” Ward said.

“So now, we’ve only been here a week, but we’ve been absorbing the place around us and researching.”

The pair’s efforts will culminate with a showcase on September 19, combining Alder’s solo dance and Ward’s words and artworks.

“But that won’t be the final product,” Alder said.

“I’m going to take it back to Perth and work on it, and hopefully bring it back to Albany.”

Ward and Alder are also holding dance and experimental drawing workshops this weekend on September 8.

Contact Vancouver Arts Centre on 6820 3740 to RSVP.

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All smiles for sequel

ESTABLISHED Albany author Naomi Lake recently published the sequel to her first children’s book and will launch it this weekend at Albany Port Theatre.

Harmony the Forgetful Hen and the Fox will debut on September 8 at 3pm after Ms Lake gives a talk and officially releases the book.

She told the Weekender ahead of the launch she’d had requests for a sequel the same day she promoted the first book, Harmony the Forgetful Hen and The Lost Eggs, at the Albany Ability Festival in December last year.

Ms Lake toured the first book 4000km to remote schools between Albany and the Goldfields last year and is planning to take the second book tour to the Pilbara this year.

“Being an author is breathtaking for me,” she said.

“There’s all the madness with getting the book and the signings, but my favourite part is the reactions of the children; they’re all smiles.”

Ms Lake worked alongside the same illustrator from her first book, Dave McCleery, for her second book and hopes children of all ages will enjoy it.

“Writing is the easy part,” she said.

“It comes from here [the heart], goes down my arm and to my hand.

“But I don’t just want to do children’s books – I want to try young adult fiction and maybe cook books for people like Mum.”

Ms Lake is particularly excited for this weekend’s launch as her older sister Paula is coming to Albany especially for the book launch.

Interested people are asked to RSVP their attendance to Ms Lake’s mother Wendy Townsend for catering purposes on 0427 426 926 or

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