On the trail of art

Mountain Views Mail  

10 August 2016 9:55 AM .


Savaad Felich, Ali Griffin, Christen Jo Stone and

Brooke Collins at the Toolangi Sculpture Trail.

157819 Picture: JESSE GRAHAM



FIFTEEN artists from the Yarra Ranges and

surrounds will be gathering in Toolangi in

November to create works of art, in a revival

of the Toolangi Sculpture Trail after 20 years.

The Toolangi Sculpture Trail 2016 will see

Victorian artists converge on the area around

the Toolangi Forest Discovery Centre for a

two-week residency from 5-20 November,

where artworks will be created in the forest.

Project manager Sharon Plummer said the event was organised to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the International Sculpture Event, held in the same area in 1996. At the ISE, nine artists from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region created sculptures using materials sourced mainly from the Toolangi State Forest. Many of the original sculptures, of which few remain, were made to respond to environmental concerns and Ms Plummer said the same ethos was carrying on to the modern event.

“The idea is that every sculpture is responsive to the site, or to environmental issues that are pertinent to that artist,” she said. Another aim of the trail, according to the event brochure, is to “challenge and stimulate” the artists to work in an environment and with materials that are different to traditional studio artists.

Artists Aaron Carter, Ali Griffin, Brigit Heller, Brooke Collins, Carmel Wallace, Christen Jo Stone, Forest Keegel, Gay Chatfield, Isadora Vaughan, Joanne Mott, Klara Kelvy, Marynes Avila, Mick Harding, Mike Nicholls and Scott Selkirk will be making pieces during the residency.

Site co-ordinator of both the 1996 and 2016 events Savaad Felich said a selection panel featuring himself, curator Maudie Palmer AO and Professor Rob Haysom chose the 15 artists. Ms Plummer said the entire event would be open to the public, with events to be held through the fortnight. “Throughout the two-week period, every day people can come and go on a guided tour to observe the artists at work and possibly have a chat,” she said.

“We’ll have workshops happening with local school groups and youth groups, and part of their educational process will be coming and talking to the artists, asking them questions about what they’re doing. “It’s a full, interactive experience between professional artists and our local community". Ms Plummer said the trail will include a community sculpture, which will be made by the visitors to the event.