Times have been extremely tough for artists in the Bega Valley with the impact of drought, bushfires and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Unable to keep Bega’s Spiral Gallery open during the current restrictions, local artists and craftspeople have opened an online members’ shop that features paintings, mixed media, ceramics, baskets, clothing, digital prints, linocut prints, jewellery, felted and knitted textiles and recycled bags.
Until the gallery is able to reopen, it is encouraging patrons to view artistic works through the shop window, where items have been arranged so a majority of them can be seen.
Spiral Gallery is a not-for-profit artist-run cooperative that was established in 1997. It has a strong community history as one of the longest running arts initiatives in Australia. It offers artists and craftspeople the chance to use and share a professional exhibition space; is a place to connect, exchange artistic dialogue and informal mentoring; promotes and supports arts practice in the Bega Valley region; and offers opportunities for members to exhibit and sell their work. Its online shop has opened just in time for Mother’s Day this Sunday 10 May.
Sadly, the past summer’s bushfires affected one-third of Spiral Gallery’s members who lost homes and studios. The gallery decided to set up the online shop to support those members who were struggling to recover, while allowing them to receive some income while it is temporarily closed.
The establishment of the online shop is a great opportunity to support artists in the community, and help them re-establish their artistic practice, studios and homes.
One Spiral Gallery member, Anneke Paijmans, is contributing all proceeds of the sale of her Koala Cups to the Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust near Numeralla, northeast of Cooma, which lost all the animals in its care, plus its sheds, machinery and houses in the bushfires despite the bravery of firefighters, which included the crew members of the ill-fated C-130 Hercules which crashed nearby.
Spiral Gallery’s online shop also makes it possible to purchase unique, Australian-made and crafted gifts with others, spreading the love far and wide on social media. You can keep in touch with the Spiral Gallery and their artists on its website, where you can browse the online shop. You can also connect with the gallery on Facebook and Instagram.