What's happening in the Canberra arts scene, August 25, 2018
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What's happening in the Canberra arts scene, August 25, 2018

Connection with place

Avi Amesbury, former director of Design Canberra and former artistic director for Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, has left the admin behind and is practicing her art full time.

Inspired by her international residency in Tel Aviv, her new solo exhibition celebrates the notion of place in the artist’s life. It also inspires viewers to find their own connections with place.

Pieces from Bogong High Plains to the Coast by Avi Amesbury, showing at Sturt Gallery, Mittagong.

Pieces from Bogong High Plains to the Coast by Avi Amesbury, showing at Sturt Gallery, Mittagong.

Country: Ancient Lands comprises four of Amesbury’s series, including: Bogong High Plains to the Coast; Monaro to the Coast Series; Coast Series; and the Makhtesh Series.

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“The work explores memory and place,” she says, “traces of memory, memories felt and experienced and connections to place.”

Running until September 16 at the Sturt Gallery and Studios, Mittagong. Open daily 10am to 5pm (except public holidays).

Three artists united

At The Left Hand in Braidwood, three artists with very different approaches to making pictures are united by the quiet authenticity of their diverse sensibilities.

John Pratt, recently retired from a long and valued career teaching at the ANU, and Andrew Powell, a multi-award winning artist now living in Binalong, along with a newcomer, Jay Davies, last year shown in Art Express at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, will exhibit until September 9.

The exhibition opens with celebratory drinks on Saturday, August 25, from 5pm, and then open over three weekends, August 25-26, September 1-2 and 8-9. 81 Lascelles Street, Braidwood.

Jazz hands

Creative Spirits is a night of fabulous jazz music by staff and students of the ANU School of Music jazz faculty. The program includes The Jazz Faculty, Jazz Collective, Gravy Train and the Jazz and a contemporary choir.

In the Big Band Room, Peter Karmel Building, ANU School of Music, on Wednesday, August 29, from 7-9.30pm.

Tickets available online or at the door. $25 entry, $20 for members of the Friends of the School of Music, $10 students of the School. All proceeds to grants and prizes for students of the ANU School of Music.

M16 openings

Three new exhibitions opening at M16.

In Just Playing, Clare Martin and Mike O’Kane start with the idea of a spontaneous undirected type of play, similar to a child’s exploration or make-believe. The artworks aim to preserve this light, with a sometimes joking, sometimes role-playing, point of departure. What happens then when play becomes more dark and sinister?

Dream Home, detail, from Just Playing, Clare Martin and Mike O'Kane. 

Dream Home, detail, from Just Playing, Clare Martin and Mike O'Kane. 

Urban Fragments presents paintings which interrogate aspects of Canberra’s urban palimpsest, where the layers of its history have only been partly erased. Phil Page uses layered imagery to explore some urban incidents of this relatively young city and the environmental interventions that have made it.

Kendell Kirkwood’s photographs in Hold Tight, Tomorrow aim to give thought to women who have been broken by a society which did not understand the immensity of their creative capacity.

Art at QT

QT Canberra is looking for artists to collaborate with for the “Your Art. Our Halls” initiative, with the chance to add to the hotels’ eccentric art collection.

“QT Canberra wants to challenge the creative community to be a part of our storytelling,” says Shannon Craig, QT Canberra general manager. “For us it’s a chance to encapsulate local spirit on our walls, we want our guests to explore and admire the uniqueness of each work of art.”

With art and design at the heart of the hotel’s identity, QT Canberra wants to be the canvas for local creativity. Each month, QT Canberra will be opening up its lobby space to promising talent, giving them the unique opportunity to showcase their work in style, be it paint on canvas, print, decal, photography, sculpture, drawing or textiles.

Entry into the “Your Art. Our Halls” initiative is open to all residents of Australia aged 18 years and over, running until June 30, 2019. Entrants are able to submit their artwork proposal via an online portal during this period.

Sculpture on Clyde

Willinga Park will open its gates to host Sculpture on Clyde from August 25 to September 2. See the competition entries and the permanent sculpture collection, scattered among the stunning gardens.

Sculpture on Clyde is a nine-day art festival celebrating imagination in 3D. The festival is open to professional, emerging and novice artists with prize money in excess of $60,000.

A great day out for the whole family and an opportunity to get a glimpse of Willinga Park. Tickets $5.

Until September 2, M16, Griffith.

Political thriller set in Canberra

Deceit, by Richard Evans, Simon and Schuster, $29.99.

Deceit, by Richard Evans, Simon and Schuster, $29.99.

Former federal politician Richard Evans reimagines a darker side of Australian politics in his political thriller for fans of House of Cards.

Evans served as a Liberal Party member for Cowan from 1993 to 1998 in the Australian House of Representatives and his unique insider view of Australian politics inspired him to write The Democracy Trilogy – a snapshot over three years of power in the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia, and how its misuse corrupts even the most ethical.

Book one, Deceit, begins with a plane crash that starts a sequence of events which leads corrupt Prime Minister Andrew Gerrard to rush through legislation designed to secure his ill-gotten gains after a long political career.

Political stalwart – and soon to be retired – Clerk of the Commonwealth Parliament, Gordon O’Brien, reluctantly sets out to foil the Prime Minister’s plan with the help of a young-gun investigative journalist, Anita Devlin.

A great read set in our own backyard. The Canberra references are as much fun as the plot. Simon and Schuster, $29.99.