FLOW – Stories from the Wetlands

‘Raising awareness of the beauty and importance of our wetlands locally and beyond through art and education.’

 

A Hive Gallery Group Exhibition, and our biggest undertaking to date. The concept for this exhibition grew from an encounter and connection several years ago with artist Zahidah Zeytoun Millie, a Deakin PhD student exploring and campaigning for the mangroves in all their beauty and worth as climate change mitigators and a place of connection and story. Zahidah intimately introduces the mangroves to those interested to explore by kayak and capture in paint and poetry and more, and has done so globally, from Dubai to Washington.

Part of her story is featured in our short film alongside local scientists such as Dr Paul Karnell from the Blue Carbon Lab at Deakin University who highlights the value of our global and local wetland ecosystems and their role in climate change, with the ability to absorb up to four times as much carbon as a terrestrial system. Matt Crawley from Bellarine Catchment Network works tirelessly with the local schools and groups to impart education and awareness of care for the wetlands. He is also featured along with Mark Rodrigues of Parks Victoria, an expert in seagrass meadows and their value in Blue Carbon and habitat provision.

Jane Millington, a key artist at The Hive ties her diplomatic and educational skills and has fully invested herself into this project linking many aspects of the community as we passionately aim to bring this marriage of art, the environment and science to every age. Jane has produced lesson plans for the local schools and worked in with Matt Crawley on projects as we try to inspire the little artists of the future as well. See Jane cameo on the screen.

In addition, the film by local photographer Tracie Sullivan and supported with thanks from a grant from Regional Art Victora, introduces several of our key artists that have a deep appreciation of their surrounds, 11 Ramsar listed wetlands in this region alone, with several more earmarked for Ramsar status such as Karaaf in Breamlea. Hear their stories, their interpretations, their inspirations and how that has been portrayed in their art. Richard Weatherly, Kirsty Manger & Linda Gallus are mentioned.

With the enthusiasm for this project growing, the exhibition FLOW – Stories from the Wetlands features over 25 artists in a diversity of mediums from paint, ink, textiles, ceramics to photography and film.

It is inspiring and informative, it is a community event and we welcome and thank the many tour groups already booked in to visit, including Probus, Swan Bay Environment Association and the Geelong Gallery Members, of which we acknowledge are a proud part of their Membership Program. More groups are welcome, just please get in touch.

Running from May 31st to June 30th, ‘FLOW – Stories from the Wetlands’ will open on Saturday June 1st from 2-4pm. Richard Weatherly OAM, renowned artist, environmentalist and author will speak and be available for book signings. ‘A Brush with Birds’ was first published in 2020 and has recently become available again following its third print run. A tale of an inspiring life blending ornithology, environmental action and art and the complex ecosystem that is the wetlands system with varying competing habitat needs will be most informative and entertaining. Two major oil paintings featuring the local wetlands by Richard will also be unveiled and several smaller original studies that have been part of the development phase towards these two significant works.

 

Throughout the month stay tuned for more events but please also consider joining one of three workshops on offer.  Small groups and themed around wetlands flora.

Saturday June 9th 11am-1pm Kirsty Manger Ceramic  Jewellery Workshop – make a pair of porcelain earrings

Saturday June 15th 10.30am – 3.30pm Jo Reitze   Gouache Painting Workshop – paint 1-2 postcard size works

Sunday June 29th 2-4pm Karen Steenbergen     Ceramic Bud Vase Workshop – create a pneumatophore shaped budvase

Significant other artistic highlights of ‘FLOW’ will be the launch of renowned Lucy McEachern’s and Will Wilson’s latest bronze sculptures at the Opening event, a Brolga and Australian Black Swan respectively. Lucy has work in the Geelong Gallery collection and has been acknowledged in multiple sculptural awards. After 11 years of exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London during which time he was honoured to meet HRH The Queen Will Wilson is delighted to launch his newest works on home soil. Naive artist Wayne Elliott, has a painting in the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, the holder of the largest public collection of naive art in Australia. He will exhibit on canvas, a ‘birds eye view’ of the Corangamite Catchment.

Other artists include paintings from local favourites William Linford, Margaret Delahunty Spencer, Pam Connelly, Phillip Butters Linda Gallus, and Ballarat based Steve Sedgwick, fresh from a very successful exhibition at Qdos. Wendy Jagger of Mansfield recently acknowledged with several works in the Omnia Prize, as a Lethbridge finalist and with a part residency from SAM, Shepparton Art Museum, renowned for its ceramic collection will showcase several paintings.  Anne Miller of Gippsland, an area of Victoria where the mangroves and wetlands have been significantly depleted will exhibit two paintings, alongside Jo Reitze and Deb Taylor. Sam Spry also delicately debuts.

Ceramics will feature from Kirsty Manger, a recent Klytie Pate finalist 2023, Karen Steenbergen who can also be seen in the Geelong Gallery store where fellow Drysdale based and Bangerang woman Kaye Clancy‘s clay sculpture is also featured. The ‘breathing tubes’ or pneumatophores of the mangroves stimulate form and glaze, and the special but endangered Orange Belly Parrots will delight. Bridget Foley, known for the beauty of her glazes knows the Point Lonsdale wetlands well. KC Hawke is fresh from a residency in Tasmania and showcases ‘Connewarre Silt’ and ‘High Tide’ sculptures. Kim Drew exhibits for the first time at the Hive and has utilised wetlands flora in her Sagaar pit fired works.

We embrace textiles with Nicola Cerini of Torquay and are honoured to feature Kerrie Taylor who has spent 30 years immersed in mangrove territory figuratively and artistically and brings a deeply conceptual and environmental, sustainability element with this taste of her diverse oeuvre.

Finally photography and film from Roza Marciniak with her aerial views of the Karaaf and other local wetlands, and the local birdlife from Tracie Sullivan.

 

With the popularity of the tour groups we will be open an additional day throughout June, – Friday to Sunday 10-4pm and Thursday 10-1pm.

Please join us for ‘FLOW – Stories of the Wetlands’ … there is so much more to come…