Celebrating Mentors and Role Models 2010
31st October – 19th December
Ten Years Young and Moving Towards Twenty. After years of Nathalia’s artists presenting their work in varied and innovative ways, we realised that it was time to create not just an inward-looking permanent home for the arts but a place that celebrated the work of our artists locally, nationally and internationally. The G.R.A.I.N. Store was intended to help (and has helped) us grow as a community – artistically, socially and economically. It had five documented core elements at its heart; art, community, reconciliation, environment and education. That inaugural exhibition with nine significant local artists sowed the seeds for each of these. This 10th anniversary exhibition – almost ten years to the day – has more recent pieces by each of these same 9 artists. We thank them for their leadership and the creativity and commitment they have shown. This has, no doubt, helped a number of our younger artists to make a career in the arts as professionals and provided a welcoming environment for other professional artists to move into our community. Such ventures are fragile at the start. Its success is a tribute to all in the Northern Country who have attended our workshops, performances, openings and participated in our exhibitions and events. This is your achievement!
Honorary Artistic Advisor and innaugural chairperson of The G.R.A.I.N. Store
Growing Rural Art in Nathalia is such a proud claim and ten years on it still excites me. As well as the what of growing rural art, and the where of in Nathalia, it implicitly raises the who whose answer is everyone and anyone. Powerfully we then reach the why of because we all have important life experiences to share and finally the how of by encouraging and strengthening an arts ecology to which each of us, whether as individuals or in groups, contribute. The early magic of The G.R.A.I.N. Store for me was bound up in bringing my own beautiful deckchair to a concert… in Nathalia; contributing my white bread asparagus rolls to the supper… in Nathalia; and eventually formulating the idea for a one day and night only exhibition: Show Us Your Namatjiras… in Nathalia. But I really knew The G.R.A.I.N. Store was doing crucial and important work when an Elder Artist whose work and life I admired articulated: The G.R.A.I.N. Store insisted that my art and my desire to make art, was taken seriously. So it is this G.R.A.I.N. Store thread of seriously respecting the thoughtful and creative within each of us that I will be fascinated and excited to follow over the next few years. Mentors and role models draws our attention to a key aspect of ecology: the importance of relationships. From there we can identify other elements crucial to a thriving, resilient, diverse and vibrant community. But in identifying those who act as mentors and role models, we are acknowledging that learning, and practice and growth and development take place within a context, and that the existence of mentors and role models contributes to the health and vibrancy of that context.
The nine artists in this show are all fundamental examples of how a creative community is strengthened by art makers who are committed to sharing their knowledge and experiences in ways they are most comfortable with. I had the opportunity to interview some of these artists, which has guided my insight into a more comprehensive history of The G.R.A.I.N. Store and how the existence of such a place in a rural town is so treasured by those who take part in its programs as well as those who are looking on from more of a distance. Curating people’s artwork is an enormous privilege and I always value the opportunity to do so. As an artist, and as a curator, each exhibition teaches me something about the artists and their work in the show, as well as informing my own practices. I congratulate the artists involved in Celebrating Mentors and Role Models 2020 for putting forward such outstanding work again 10 years on from the first exhibition in the front gallery. Our audiences are very lucky to get to see this exciting example of the artists development now in 2020. I also congratulate our supporters who continue to come in and take part – the community surrounding The G.R.A.I.N. Store is such a huge part of what makes it so special.
Curator and Gallery Manager
Art, COVID and Our Story Now
29th August – 10th October
The G.R.A.I.N. Store very proudly presented, Art, COVID and Our Story Now, a photography exhibition curated by Liz Arcus featuring 21 local photographers from Nathalia and the surrounding district. The exhibition took place in the window space of the gallery, on Blake Street, the main street of Nathalia and online.
COVID 19 has invaded our personal space big time. The residents of Nathalia have responded in resilient and creative ways in business, including the farms, in the community and at home. Photographers play a vital role in society to help document historic moments and stories.
What we are living now, is a unique period in history and our local stories attached to the global pandemic are important. This was an exhibition that told those photographic stories through Nathalia’s lens.
ALWAYS WILL BE
27th June – 22nd August
In partnership with Kaiela Arts, The G.R.A.I.N. Store hosts an exhibition of work from local and locally connected Aboriginal artists. As the title suggests, the work explores the significance of this year’s NAIDOC theme – Always Was, Always Will Be and what that statement means to each of the artists. Come in and check out the beautiful show – we are now open Thursday – Saturday 11am – 4pm.
Online opening event
Thursday 2nd July, 5pm
Bright Art in Grey Times
16th May – 20th June 2020 (in the window)
Online live streamed opening event
Sunday 17th May, 2pm
Art can offer up elements of the sublime that are beyond the possibilities of our physical world. It can afford the viewer a moment to oneself in which to reflect, to delve, to wander in and out of the depths and troughs of both the conscious and subconscious imagination. The G.R.A.I.N. Store hopes Bright Art in Grey Times provides the opportunity for viewers to experience some of the sublime on the streets of Nathalia as well as here on the website. You can experience the work online from Wednesday 19th May here.
A recorded version of the live streamed opening is available below.
KIDZZZ ART: NIGHT TIME ON THE FRIDGE
28 March – 2 May 2020 (in the window)
Online live streamed opening event
Thursday 2nd April, 6.30pm
(embedded below to watch back)
Kids offer up unique and exciting perspectives on adult concepts when given the opportunity and the work you see in this exhibition shows some great examples of that. We put the question “what happens at night?” to some of our youngest artists and this is how they responded.
The children from Nathalia Pre-School had already been learning about nocturnal animals, but they also created some beautiful drawings of their own experiences at night in their homes. Nathalia Community Early Learning Centre children read the book Night Noises by Mem Fox to start their thinking process, then they listened with their eyes closed in bed and drew what they heard. The work from Barmah Kindergarten and Occasional Care explores colours, patterns and textures associated with night time, showing really interesting use of a wide range of materials and media. A discussion around the things that might happen at night while you are asleep prompted the children from Tallygaroopna Children’s Centre to create a broad range of solutions to the theme.
The theme for NADDCO’s Bardi Gras this year is ‘Nocturnal Creatures’ so we explored a complimentary and broader theme of ‘what happens at night’ for the work you see on display here. This is not the first time The G.R.A.I.N. Store has displayed young artist’s work on these fridge doors. In 2012, an exhibition called Kidz Fridge Art was on display (again in collaboration with NADCCO’s Bardi Gras) inside the gallery. We hope that this mode of artwork display helps parents who may be home with their children a little longer than average at this time come up with some ideas on creatively getting through this time together.
LOVING MOIRA’S NATIVES
13 February – 21 March 2020
Opening: Thursday 20th February, 11am
When Bethan McKay from Moira Shire came to The G.R.A.I.N. Store with the idea to work with artists to create colouring sheets from their work, we knew there were some key local artists with a passion for their environment and in particular the creatures that live in it that would be keen to be involved. Ann, Mel, Joan and Aunty Rochelle provided work to be adapted digitally by Ruby, which you can see the results of in her transitional piece in Gallery 2. Over the years, The G.R.A.I.N. Store team has worked very hard on developing a relationship with these locals, which means we are able to collaborate on projects such as that and the community benefits from the vast knowledge they bring to their work, but also to the deep conversations had while developing the project.