Sunday, January 2, 2011

art·ist·ry becomes art-is-tree ...

art·ist·ry –noun 1. artistic workmanship, effect, or quality.  2. artistic ability. 

"artistry." Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 01 Jan. 2011.;

Art-Is- Tree is also a series of events in 2011, one of which I am involved in. I mentioned in my last post that I will exhibit soon ... that will be part of Art-Is-Tree.

The exhibition will be held in a great little art space called Saraghi Art Space at Cafe Lugano in Cowes on Phillip Island.  Phillip Island is best known by Melbournites (depending on yours interests) for it's little penguins, amazing surf beaches, and the Motorcycle Grand Prix.  It's an island to approximately 7,000 people, which booms to something like 50,000 people in summer ... 

And there's little surprise it does, with it being only 90 mins from Melbourne down the Monash Freeway and South Gippsland Highway.  It's a gorgeous little slice of Victoria, at the mouth of Western Port Bay with sandy beaches, wetlands, wildlife experiences, art and cultural events, a mirage of accommodation options, local produce to taste and markets to visits.  I've mentioned my love for urban exploring before ... well this is rural exploring and I'm not necessarily talking about the "tourist" things here ...  

Front Row Seats - Phillip Island, 2010

You can go and see little penguins, seals at the Nobbies, Koalas, feed pelicans in San Remo (just over the bridge to mainland) and if that doesn't satisfy your need to get up close and personal to our furry or feathered friends there a number of wildlife sanctuaries on the island and in the Bass Coast region. 

If history is your thing, then there is Churchill Island, which is accessed by bridge from Phillip Island.  The island is the site of Victoria's first European agricultural pursuits and has been farmed since 1850 and is still a working farm.  There are of course various other options around, both on and off the island, including the Wonthaggi State Mine, the National Vietnam Veterans Museum and Dinosaur Diggings nearby on the Bunurong Coast near Inverloch.

Rock Pools near the dinosaur diggings, Bunurong Coast.

If the great outdoors pulls your heartstrings, then Phillip Island and the Bass Coast will leave your singing with joy.  There are a number of beaches to choose from for swimming, surfing or just exploring.  Phillip Island has a number beaches for surfing including the renowned Woolamai surf beach (warning - Woolamai beach is renowned because of it's strong rips and currents, which I witnessed years ago when an inexperienced swimmer got swept out to sea - he got saved luckily).  If you need assistance on tackling the riding of waves you can even get lessons via Island Surfboards who have been on the island since 1969.

There are also various walking tracks around the island where you can view the coastline, wetlands and native reserves.  If you like history, bird watching, walks and gardens then head for the aforementioned Churchill Island ... and while you're at it ... look out for a fancy wooden carved park bench with a peacock carved into one end, and a boat at the other.   The sculptor, Angie Polglaze ... who is also behind Art-Is-Tree, carved this bench.    I'll tell you more about her very soon.

Phillip Island is also great for those whose taste buds dominate.  For a start there are a number of wineries on the island and on the Bass Coast who run cellar doors.  There's also a great choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs to taste some of the local produce or if you'd rather get closer to the source the area hosts a number of Farmer's markets where you can meet the farmer.  I'm particularly fond of the Kongwak Market in South Gippsland (about 45 mins from the Island), which is held every Sunday.  The hills around this area are stunning and a drive through the countryside around here is highly recommended.

More direct to the island is the highly dangerous Phillip Island Chocolate Factory ... dangerous to sweet tooth's waistlines ... mmmmm.  Very dangerous.  Another special local produce delight for me is the seafood.  I'm not particularly into the idea of going out and sourcing it, but if you are there are plenty of options and I wouldn't say no to helping you consume the catch! I have fond memories of San Remo fish and chips as a child!

If none of that really appeals to you then you are probably someone who's more attracted to some of the events held down here ... like the Motorcycle Grand Prix, World Championship Superbikes and Australian Touring Car Championships ... if you have a need for speed!  You can even do a circuit of the track.
There's also events of a more musical nature if roaring engines isn't music to your ears ... like the Pyramid Rock Festival (which is held every New Year's Eve) or the forthcoming Art and Soul Festival, which coincidentally is also related to Art-Is-Tree ... but again I'll tell you more about that as well!!

The Bass Coast region is also home to a number of artists ... and the area has various galleries and studios to visit.  Not surprising to me, since I have been quite "inspired" particularly photographically by the island and the coastline around it.  In fact I need to go back there again ... real soon.  And I hope I've inspired some people to come and visit our exhibition in March. 

Art-Is-Tree will be launched at 2.30pm on Saturday 5th March
Saraghi Art Space
at Cafe Lugano
71 Thompson Avenue
Phillip Island

The space is open daily from 9am - 3pm  and you have all of March to view it, it will feature sculptures by Angie Polglaze, ceramics by Sian Adnam and photos by Vanessa Brady (me!).

The Art and Soul Festival will be held on Saturday 19th March where you can also see Angie Polglaze sculpt.  But as I said ... more about her soon.

Early Morning views on Phillip Island, 2010

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