Spring has sprung, it’s that time of year again, the annual “Art of the Flower and Garden” exhibition. The gallery will be alive with a field of diverse works vying for the attention of the social butterfly and wallflower alike. This is a competition to challenge the ways we portray the world of nature. A Burra Gallery tradition, producing powerful and imaginative works in a variety of media.
Trevor Nottle will open “Art of the Flower” in Burra Regional Art Gallery at 5.30pm Saturday 24 September and will give a talk titled “Rocks in My Head – 30 Years as a Gardening Writer” at the gallery 11am Sunday morning. There will also be a sale of potted plants on the gallery verandah.
Trevor, of “Gardening Australia” fame has been gardening for more than 40 years, having made three gardens of his own around Adelaide. Best known as a plantsman and garden historian, he has also acted as a landscape and garden heritage consultant for the restoration of old gardens in South Australia and overseas. His work has covered National Trust properties, wineries, diplomatic residences and private estates.
Since 1983 his 15 books have achieved worldwide distribution. He has lectured in Europe, the USA, South America and New Zealand and holds a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Adelaide. He is now finishing doctoral research on the impacts of climate change on domestic gardens and his new book “Plants for a Changing Climate” was published in March, 2011.
A big crowd of locals sprinkled with visitors from far and wide attended the opening. Burra’s like that, a country town comfortable with all comers. There are many B&Bs and the caravan park just over the creek where you can walk in to town over a pedestrian bridge to get a coffee and browse the antiques and collectables. It’s all about connections. The town has grown up on a confluence of creeks crossed by bridges and fords of all descriptions. It’s a perfect town for walking and in spring there are wonderful views of the town and surrounding hills.
Since the opening on September 24 many viewers have visited the gallery, enjoying the works and the town’s many attractions. Check out the Burra Visitor Centre website. The flower arrangements added colour and perfume for the first week’s lucky visitors. Now they are gone and we look forward to the school’s contribution of stories based on the artworks once Term 4 begins. Some stories will be recorded with the school’s new video equipment.
Many artists have entered work in Art of the Flower over the years and always manage to come up with something to surprise us. Glenys Christopher, Chris Alway, Natasha Yandell, Harry Sherwin, Anne Bishop and Julianne Pulford are regular exhibitors, as is Christian Vocke who this year won the Open Prize with “In the Garden”, judged by Trevor Nottle. Trevor did a great job of judging and opening the exhibition.
The Photography Prize winner was Kerry Youde with “Spring is in the Air”. Kerry is another regular contributor to Burra Gallery exhibitions, this year with three works. Many artists entered up to four and we thank them for their enthusiasm. It’s great to see regulars and new artists too, as this is one of Burra Gallery’s yearly events open to general contribution. See 2012 program.
Art of the Flower is a favourite with flower painters but we added “and Garden” to the title to include wider interpretations. Note the digitally enhanced works of Brook Gerard who has taken the theme and run with it, to the great interest and admiration of many viewers. The People’s Choice vote will tell it all, to be announced at the end of the exhibition.
It’s encouraging to see ceramic, mosaic work and papier mache on display and felting by Alex Cleland, accompanied by a painting by daughter Emma, age 6, with a photograph of intense concentration at the easel. Well done, Emma!
With another three weeks to run, we hope to see some new visitors discovering Burra Regional Art Gallery and the heritage mining town of just over 1000 people that supports it.