Arts & Culture

River of Art to flow from Durras to Tilba starting Friday

Alex Rea 15 May 2019

Heidi Hula Hoops will perform for all the family at the Narooma Kinema. Photo supplied.

The 2019 River of Art Festival is about to showcase Eurobodalla spunk, flair, and culture over 10 days.

From May 17 to 27 there’s a wide range of exhibitions and performances to dive into, with 120 individual events on offer.

“It’s huge, its colourful and it will surprise, delight and inspire you,” say Co-Chairs, Robin Scott-Charlton and Di Jay.

Wendy Sharpe, one of Australia’s most awarded and accomplished artists, will officially open the festival and the ‘River of Dreams’ exhibition at the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre (The BAS) in Moruya this Friday (May 17) at 6:30 pm.

Wendy Sharpe in her Sydney studio. Photo supplied.

“We really want the community to get on board and join us for some fine art and fun at our opening celebration,” Di says.

“That evening in Moruya, Splinters, the woodworking group will open their exhibition at the Mechanics Institute, and you can see the CIA (Comrades in Art) exhibition at the Air Raid Tavern.

“We expect people will then want to stay in town for a bite to eat and wander the streets checking out Art on Parade,” Robin adds.

The 2019 Art Trail includes almost 30 open studios where you can meet artists in their own spaces and see or purchase their work.  A further 30 artists have partnered with local businesses to be part of Art on Parade, showcasing their work in shopfronts.

And over 17 musical events will have your feet tapping.

“We are really pleased to see more music and performers featuring this year,” Robin says

“Listen to visiting soprano, Celeste Haworth, enjoy the guitar work of Daniel Champagne, or see Chris McGrath perform – just to mention just a few.”

The Narooma Kinema will be transformed into a cabaret burlesque circus show on Saturday, May 18 – Kinema Kabaret.

Memphis Mae and Mae de la Rue, will perform along with other acclaimed Australian artists, Heidi Hula Hoops, Rosie Rivette, and Rebelle Velveteen. Orchestrating this big performance be the brilliant ringmistress, Sassy Ludo.

“Expect some cheeky burlesque and a good laugh in a night that is set to be heaps of fun,” Ludo says.

“Each performer will delight you with both a traditional tease and a unique modern performance. Definitely for the over 18s, but decent enough to bring your nanna.”

Kids can take their parents along to see Heidi Hula Hoops at the Narooma Kinema for a fun matinee show for all the family – rope twirling, circus tricks, and hula hoops aplenty on Sunday, May 19 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

‘Artists in Conversation’ is a new part of the program this year. An opportunity to hear artists talk about their work and indulge in local produce prepared artfully by some of our best local chefs.

Archibald prize winner, Wendy Sharpe is in Conversation at The River restaurant, Moruya on Sunday, May 19.

Meet Graham Fransella, four-time winner of the Wynne watercolor prize, in Conversation at the Sandbar, Batemans Bay, on Saturday, May 25.

Graham Fransella, ‘Crossing’, watercolour. Photo supplied.

You can also try a workshop – there’s Taiko Japanese drumming, a poetry slam, rock and roll dance lessons, get your hands on some textiles or do some silver jewelry making.

The Busking Championships in Narooma will bring the streets alive for the day on the second weekend of the festival.  Busking starts from 9:00 am with a free grand finale concert at Narooma Golf Club by finalists from 4:00 pm

“We are so proud of this year’s program. There are 15 individual visual art exhibitions,” Di says, “including Umbarra Indigenous Arts at Akolele, MACS in Narooma, CABBI in Batemans Bay, CIA in Moruya and more in Durras, Mogo, Tilba and Bodalla.”

And SOART Gallery, Narooma, again hosts the prestigious River of Art Festival prize.

“We have tried to bring you something new, quirky and fresh this year plus all the regular festival events loved by the local community and those visiting the festival from out of town,” Di says.

The full festival program is now available on the River of Art Festival website.

See you there!

River of Rhythms: Stonewave Taiko Drums Concert. 6-7.30pm 25 May Moruya RSL Hall. Photo supplied.

River of Art is funded by the NSW Government through Destination NSW and Eurobodalla Shire Council.

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