Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

Arts and Reviews

Where Song Began

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
Young Australian classical musicians Anthony Albrecht and Simone Slattery will perform at Deloraine’s Little Theatre.

Young Australian classical musicians Anthony Albrecht and Simone Slattery will perform at Deloraine’s Little Theatre.

January 2019 | Sharon Webb

TWO OF AUSTRALIA’S most adventurous young classical musicians perform a musical celebration of Australia’s birds and how they shaped the world at Deloraine’s Little Theatre on Saturday 19th January. In Where Song Began, Violinist Simone Slattery and cellist Anthony Albrecht tell the story of the evolution of song, featuring music spanning 300 years, stunning visual projections and an immersive soundscape. The show is based on ornithologist Tim Low’s best - selling book, Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds And How They Changed the World.

Audiences have described the 50-minute show as “like being sung to by the country.” Where Song Began is being performed in many venues around Tasmania with $1.00 from every ticket sold donated to Birdlife Tasmania or a related cause. Anthony Albrecht said the show includes music by J.S. Bach, Vaughan Williams Sarah Hopkins and even a traditional indigenous hymn, Ngarra Burra Ferra. “We perform the music to a projected film of beautiful birds and Australian landscapes,” he said. “All age groups enjoy it and children find it really engaging so I always encourage parents to bring their children along.”

Tim Low’s eye-opening book tells the dynamic but little-known story of how Australia provided the world with songbirds and parrots, among other bird groups, why Australian birds wield surprising ecological pow - er, how Australia became a major evolutionary centre and why scientific biases have hindered recognition of these discoveries.

The renowned biologist with a rare storytelling gift says Australia’s birds, from violent, swooping magpies to tool-making cockatoos, are strikingly different from birds of other lands often more intelligent and aggressive, often larger and longer-lived. Simone Slattery was recently awarded a PhD in Music Performance from the University of Adelaide and performs regularly with Australia’s finest ensembles. Anthony Albrecht is an Australian graduate of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program and is now based in London.

Cindy quilts a forest

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann

January 2019 | Emma Hodgkinson

AWARD WINNING textile artist Cindy Watkins has always had an appreciation for the natural world, and after reading a book titled The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben, she felt inspired to combine her passion of artistic quilting with her love for trees.

Residing by an ancient forest in Golden Valley, Cindy would go on nature walks, collecting gum leaves, tree bark, and other natural debris that she would use to dye silk that would later become a part of an awe-inspiring project that Cindy would later call ‘The 5000 Trees Project’.

“The 5000 Trees Project gives me the opportunity to develop a style that is uniquely mine whilst helping our environment,” said Cindy.

Cindy began by designing trees on paper, soon after she began to quilt her trees in a similar design. She used the naturally hand-dyed silk in most of her trees, experimenting with different colours and designs to create her unique and inspiring quilts.

As well as the silk, there are several other distinct features on Cindy’s quilts that represent her inspiration. Such as the detailed stitching that represent elements of nature, and root systems connect all of her trees together. Cindy says “The Hidden Life of Trees talks about how trees communicate through their root systems, supported by scientific evidence.”

Cindy’s goal is to stitch the grand total of 5000 trees, donating $2.00 to Landcare Tasmania for every tree that she sells. Ultimately aiming to raise $10,000 to help protect and improve the natural environment.

“Without trees, nothing would survive. They provide fresh air, water, shelter, food, and warmth.”

Cindy currently has her art displayed in the Wilderness Gallery at Cradle Mountain Hotel until the 28th February 2019. Her artwork can also be viewed at Brush Rabbit in Deloraine, and The Textile Artist in Launceston. So far, she has stitched 1000 trees.

Photo | Emma Hodgkinson

Golden Valley textile artist Cindy Watkins pictured with some of the works that make up her ‘5000 trees project’. Cindy will donate $2 from each tree sold.

Golden Valley textile artist Cindy Watkins pictured with some of the works that make up her ‘5000 trees project’. Cindy will donate $2 from each tree sold.

Have a barrel of fun square dancing

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann

WEEKLY SQUARE Dancing classes will begin at the Deloraine Bowls Club on 18th January 2019. Square Dancing is a great way to exercise both mind and body to music and make new friends all while having a barrel load of fun. It will be a modern take on square dancing says experienced caller Gary Peterson. To find out more about the Square Dancing classes, please call 0499 088 680 for more information.

Calendar Girl does it again

Arts and Reviews, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann

MEANDER VALLEY resident Leanne Osmond ‘freezes’ out the competition - again!

The Bureau of Meteorology has produced Australia’s best-selling weather calendar the ‘Australian Weather Calendar’, for over 30 years. It contains thirteen carefully selected photographs from all corners of Australia, each capturing an authentic and breathtaking weather experience, and it hangs on the walls of around 70,000 homes and offiœces across Australia and around the world.

The Bureau of Meteorology received over 900 entries for their 2019 ‘Australian Weather Calendar’, and Meander Valley resident Leanne Osmond of Leeo Photography was chosen as one of the ‘lucky’ thirteen finalists. Her photograph Icicles at Liffey is the featured image for the month of December.

This is not the first time she has made it into the calendar. Her image Frozen Spiderweb in St Marys was chosen for the 2017 calendar.

Leanne moved to the Meander Valley in 2015 from South Australia and has been photographing the beautiful scenery of Tasmania ever since. She is an active member of the Mole Creek Photographic & Visual Arts Group, and was the inaugural artist to be exhibited at the Deloraine Online Centre’s Pixels Digital Gallery.

Leanne’s latest exhibition at Pixels is entitled Tasmanian Treasures. Leanne’s image in the 2019 Australian Weather Calendar was taken in June 2016 on the Highland Lakes Road.

View a selection of Leanne’s photos including Icicles at Liffey at Pixel’s in Deloraine during the month of December. All prints on show are available for purchase. Or for a larger selection head to

‘Icicles at Liffey’ by Leanne Osmond.

‘Icicles at Liffey’ by Leanne Osmond.

Cambodian carving

Community, Arts and Reviews, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Sharon Webb

COOL TEMPERATURES during the Tasmanian Craft Fair were a new experience for four visiting Cambodian artists and sculptors demonstrating their skills at the Deloraine event this year.

Accustomed to the 30C-plus temperatures of their homes in Siem Reap in Cambodia’s north, the artists rugged up with scarves and jackets to combat cold November winds.

Their manager, installation artist Svay Sareth, said the four were having an outstanding trip to Tasmania; stone sculptors Rath Phun and Chab Khchao had never been out of Cambodia before he said.

“We are staying in a stone cottage in Dunorlan and loving it,” he said.

“It was arranged for us by the Deloraine Rotarians; we have never stayed in such a place before.

“We are interested to see the support for young artists in Australia; in our country to be an artist is to take a risk.”

Svay, whose large installation art was not being exhibited at the fair but can be seen in Hong Kong, South Korea, Berlin and New York, spoke for the two stone sculptors who have workshops at Artisans D’Angkor in Siem Reap.

There, tourists can see Rath and Chab and other craftspeople at work, using their ancient skills to make replica sculptures to rejuvenate the 9th – 15th century Angkor temple complex on a 162 hectare just outside Siem Reap – temples only uncovered from the jungles in recent decades and which are now Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction.

The fourth Cambodian, Nguon Savann Melea, is communications director at Artisans D’Angkor and showed fair-goers stunning silk scarves and handbags made from fabrics created at Cambodian silkworm farms and their attached weaving mills.

Svay described bringing large slabs of stone to Tasmania, used by Rath and Chab to sculpt an elephant and an ancient Khmer king during the craft fair.

But he also spoke to Rotarians in particular about the precarious political situation in Cambodia and the impact of China on the world economy.

These subjects are embedded in Svay’s contemporary art, some of which has been collected by the National Gallery in Melbourne. Having grown up in a refugee camp in Cambodia during the 1970s and 1980s, a time of the notorious communist government of Pol Pot, the themes of war and resistance are always present in his work.

Announced Contemporary Asian Artist of the Year in 2016, Svay’s message is ultimately positive: “Artists have the possibility of power to change things for the new generation,” he said

Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores

Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores