Cygnets in Cygnet

Cygnet is a pretty little town south-west of Hobart (map). It’s on a sheltered bay so it’s a yachting town as well as a farming town. It welcomes tourists, of course, and I know it as the home of a very good post-Christmas folk festival (still going ahead this summer although in a much reduced format).

wire sculpture
Wire sculpture in the courtyard of one of Cygnet’s cafes

Continue reading “Cygnets in Cygnet”

Strand Ephemera 2017

Townsville’s winter is a busy time for all sorts of open air events because the weather is so reliably beautiful. The fact that tourist numbers are up, as Southerners escape their own not-so-nice winter weather, doesn’t hurt either. Strand Ephemera, occurring in odd-numbered years since 2001, is one of the highlights. (I posted articles on the 2011 and 2013 events but missed out on 2015.)

This year’s event closed last Sunday. The ‘People’s Choice’ winner was also my own favourite because it ticked so many boxes – appropriate to the site and to the notion of ‘ephemera’, saying something important (i.e., ‘don’t trash our oceans’) without letting the message overwhelm the art, collaborative and local. Here it is:

Strand Ephemera 2017
Marion Gaemers and Lynnette Griffiths: Ancyent Marinere … are those her sails?

The sails were even more dramatic at night Continue reading “Strand Ephemera 2017”

I found it on the net

This is one of my occasional “grab bag” or “miscellany” posts, simply sharing sites and images I have come across and tagged for one reason or another.

wall of films

Films for Action ( is a site which documents activist movies, much more methodically than I did in my Greenie Movies posts last year. The page which first caught my attention is their wall of films (above) but they have some interesting articles as well (I particularly liked their overview of worldwide moves towards reducing wage inequality) and a useful list of “independent media” in a sidebar on the article index page.

• This Environmental Art Calendar is just for inspiration. How do people think of such things? And then how do they make them?

• These hyper-stylised Renaissance-inspired insect drawings might hardly rate a mention after the calendar but they do do something with insect forms that I have never seen before, and I do like anything that encourages a positive attitude towards insects and, in fact, the whole biosphere in which we are so intricately embedded.

• Finally I will share a Facebook page. I can hardly believe I’m doing this – I dismissed FB entirely for years as a waste of time and bandwidth, a horrible fad which pandered to lowest-common-denominator narcissism, a time-sink … and it is still, in fact,  all of those if we allow it to be. On the other hand, it has become a useful means of spreading independent news and generating grass-roots crowd energy; and it has spawned its own visual language which, as I said in earlier posts, is sometimes beautiful and often fun. Trust Me, I’m an “Eco-designer” enjoys the possibilities to the full. Reading the “About” info reveals the FB page is run by a real eco-design business … and there is nothing wrong with that, either.

Art for sustainable housing

landscape painting
Sue Tilley: Landscape (house paints on plasterboard)

Another local public service announcement:

Innovation 2 – Studio2 Exhibition 
Opening March 1 at 7pm
In a collaboration between Finlay Homes and Artcetera Studio2, local artists were invited to choose waste materials from the building of Finlay Homes new ‘Innovation’ home, to create artworks for the display home.  A range of materials from steel to plasterboard, wiring to tiles, and even lowly rust was swooped up eagerly for transformation into art.

The ‘Innovation’ home will be an educational and interactive example of sustainable living for the tropics.  Not only is it designed with sustainability in mind, but it will have monitoring systems running to allow visitors to see just how much energy is being saved.  As part of that environmental commitment, and in an attempt to reduce the staggering amount of building waste that heads for landfill, the furniture and artwork will be made from offcuts, recycled and waste materials.

Artists include Alison McDonald, Lynn Scott Cummings, Maggie Wretham, MJ Ryan-Bennett and Margot Douglas.
The exhibition will be on display until March 12 at Artcetera Studio2, 486-488 Flinders Street
For information: 0418 750 854  Sue Tilley.

I missed the opening but got there with my camera on the Sunday. It’s a small show but with a wide variety of good works; the two pictured here are from the two ends of the art-to-craft spectrum on display.

timber breadboard with wrought reo rod handle
Denise Axelson: Bread Board (scrap timber, reo rod, marble)

Ephemera in the Mist – Environmental Art Festival, Paluma

Ephemera in the Mist is an environmental art festival featuring installations in the rainforest of Paluma between August 25th and September 9th. I went to the inaugural festival last year and enjoyed it – see this report. This year’s event follows the same format. It has two key components:

Rainforest Organic Art Trail, a series of site-specific ephemeral installations built in the rainforest around Paluma. The artworks will be created within strict environmental guidelines and will be left in situ to gradually disintegrate back into the forest floor.

Village Sculpture Walk, a separate show in Paluma Village of enduring sculptural works with an environmental theme, created predominantly from recycled materials.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the People’s Choice in each of these two exhibitions.

Complementary activities include an exhibition of small artworks in the Community Hall; an artists’ marketplace on the village green; free art workshops with guest and local tutors; nature walks guided by a resident naturalist; artist talks; and a display of environmentally proactive products and organisations.

Official opening: August 25th
Workshops & Artists Market: August 15th & 26th. Entry is free.
Sculpture trail will be on show until Sept 9th
More information: 0418 750 854 (Sue Tilley) or