Nara Dreaming Exhibition Opening Night 2017

The eighth annual Nara Dreaming Exhibition has been declared open early this evening!

For those of you who haven’t heard about Nara Dreaming, to quote a brief explanation on their website, “The Nara Dreaming Exhibition is the manifestation of an ambition held by a small group of Central Victorian  visual and performing artists to bring together a cross-cultural exhibition featuring various mediums including painting, photography, sculpture and craft work.”

This year, shortly after the Rotary Easter Art Show at the Bendigo Town Hall, in which Brian was one of the participating artists, he received a message from the organiser of Nara Dreaming exhibition, Anne Conway. She invited him to join this year’s Nara Dreaming exhibition, which was going to run from 19 May to June 4. Brian, of course, gladly accepted the opportunity.

If you have never been to Bill’s Shed at 1023 Calder Alternative Highway in Lockwood, which is the venue of the exhibition, and if you are coming from Bendigo via Lockwood Road, turn left upon reaching the end of Lockwood Road, where Calder Alt. Hwy intersects. Start slowing down as you approach this green sign board on the left side of the road (see photo below), because just a metre or so after this, to your right, would be the driveway into the property where Bill’s Shed is.  (This tip is quite handy when you’re driving in the dark, on a rainy evening, like we did this evening.)

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There were already a lot of cars in the parking area when we arrived, but it wasn’t a problem as there was more than enough space for parking.

Inside Bill’s Shed was nice and warm, and you can sit on the couch by the wood fire if you want to be warmer. There were a variety of drinks and chips and biscuits on a couple of round tables in the middle of the shed, to which guests were welcome to help themselves. On the walls and dividers were a variety of artworks and crafts created by various participating artists. A number of rectangular tables held wooden crafts, calendars, bookmarks, dream catchers, blank art cards, prints of artworks, jewellery,  and others. At some spots, there were also ticket stubs for guests to buy if they want to join the fundraising raffle, with pens for writing and fishbowls for putting money in.  The top prize for the raffle is a lovely painting by Aboriginal artist, Robyn Davis, with 4 other prizes donated by other participating artists.

At approximately a quarter to seven in the evening, the opening program started, with Anne Conway hosting.

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Naomi Fountain, the general manager/registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo, spoke to encourage guests to support the exhibition and also to thank Nara Dreaming for raising funds to support New Horizons Welfare Services which is part of the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo.

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Bill Whitbread, who owns the shed venue of the exhibition and is also having some of his photos on display (being a multi-award winning photographer), also spoke briefly to welcome the guests and share how the exhibition was a finalist in last year’s Community HART Awards.

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Reverend Robyn Davis, one of the Nara Dreamers, is also exhibiting some of her artworks.

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Councillor Rod Fyffe (of the City of Greater Bendigo) officially opened the exhibition.

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When the exhibition was officially opened, the guests started chattering again, went back to enjoying nibbles, drinks, and the freshly prepared supper provided, and continued to wander around examining the displays. Meanwhile, Kathy Maher (who used to regularly submit lovely photos of nature on Bendigo Advertiser) provided live music with her guitar.

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Brian was able to meet and have a good chat with other artists and guests, who complimented him on his artworks. Here he is with Troy Firebrace, a Yorta Yorta artist from Shepparton, whose paint-smeared jeans proved to be a good conversation starter, especially among artists.  The large square painting (black with large, colourful floral feature) is one of Troy’s artworks in display.

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Here’s Brian with Steve of Stephen White Financial Services, who is also a fan of Brian’s artworks.

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The Nara Dreaming Exhibition is open on Saturdays and Sundays from tomorrow, 20 May 2017 until 4 June 2017, from 10am to 4pm. If you would like to visit during the week, please contact Anne at 0418579501 to book.  There will also be sausage sizzles on Sundays, 21st and 28th of May.