The visual arts, especially in Victoria Australia’s acknowledged arts and culture state, provide a focus for bringing real gold into today’s state coffers, by attracting both local and international visitors.
You can experience the journey of 150+ of Australia’s most innovative living contemporary artists representing each state and territory, joining Ballarat artists as the ‘Ninth State’, as their works go on display at the Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA) at Ballarat in Victoria.
This all-new festival promises more than just a prawn on the barbie, it is all about providing a feast for all the senses. Artist Gerwyn Davies, will present a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Regionally important, Ballarat is a city quite like no other, full of heritage buildings and lakes and gardens.
One of the state of Victoria’s most accessible regional cities, Ballarat has a historical gold mining past and is an ideal venue for the all new six-week long event, featuring art, sculpture, photography, fashion and music.
Visitors until November 6, 2018, will be able to attend live music gigs, talks, exhibitions and functions, while catching contemporary solar powered rickshaws or riding bikes to get them around.
BOAA Art wear director Christine Crawshaw predicts the art of fashion on display on Saturday October 6, will not only allow models to “walk and breathe” but also provide an atmosphere in which “visual beauty will trump the need for practicality”.
One giant work by internationally renowned artists Ken and Julia Yonetani will feature 24 carat gold thread, which reflects the amount of gold exported during the Goldrush following the discovery of that precious metal during the 1850’s. Gold at the time became a catalyst for change in Ballarat and indeed, Victoria in many locations, as miners arriving from across the country and around the world quickly swelled its population.
Crews abandoned ships in port, while shepherds left their flocks of sheep in London, California, Germany and Italy, boosting Victoria’s population from 76,000 to 540,000 between 1851 and 1860.
Victoria’s capital city Melbourne, in particular, lost half its men as they left to find their fortune on the goldfields.
It was rapid growth in Ballarat, where the goldminers finally rebelled against the colonial government, as they took a stand against the imposition of a licence fee of 30 shillings a month.
Men and women both swore an oath ‘… by the Southern Cross, to stand truly by each other, and fight to defend our rights and liberties’. Led by charismatic Irishman Peter Lalor, they built the now famous Eureka Stockade where they made their stand.
Victory for miners when the licence fee was finally abandoned after a long fight, was later seen as a key step in instituting both ‘male suffrage in 1857 and female suffrage in 1908 in Victoria.
Now seeking to grow into an all new multicultural future, Ballarat is focusing its ‘go to’ attitude and attention on the society and economy of today.
BOAA ART 2018 is all about telling Australian stories; stories past, present and future, reflecting what it means to be an Australian today. Ballarat has a city feel, although on a town-like scale easy to access and easy to walk around.
Activating venues rarely used for the arts, includes the massive, but empty George Farmer and Co building, founded during the Goldrush. It has been that way since the 1970’s and will now be reopened allowing visitors to view its industrial history first hand.
St Andrew’s Gothic Revival style church will present an exhibition of art by local artist Josh Muir, combining today’s pop culture with works that also represent his own aboriginal heritage.
A wondrous Lakeside Sculpture Walk will be sure to attract plenty of interest. Visitors can view the works rendered by both well-known and emerging sculptors, as they stroll happily on a Spring day.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018
On show until November 6, 2018