Covid-19 Inspired Song
Despite not being able to rehearse due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, Canberra singing group The Australian Voice Collective have launched their new video clip. Filmed by co-artistic director Paul Bissett, it shows the eerily empty streets of Canberra accompanied by the young performers singing Simon & Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence.Though the audio was recorded live during their theatrical show Still, We Rise in November 2019, the group discussed the disappointment and grief of having rehearsals and gigs cancelled, and decided that this was the perfect time to make the film clip. The young performers (aged from 12 to 17) are shown "socially distancing" the mandated 1.5 metres, and singing an arrangement recorded by Pentatonix). Audio recorded live at Ralph Wilson Theatre in November, 2019. Musical direction: co-artistic director Rachel Campbell. Watch: youtube.com/watch?v=qy-6UPLk9sg&feature=youtu.be.
Despite the cancellation of this year's Canberra International Music Festival, the CIMF is not idle. It has started a blog, In Tune: Music from the Homefront. Artistic director Roland Peelman says that "in the coming weeks we will open up blogs and postings, things that will never replace the festival we had in store for you, but, in these straitened times, might just give you a glimpse of the 'best festival we never had'." Read the blog here: cimf.org.au/in-tune-cimf-blog.
3 Weeks in Spring
With Anzac Day services called off because of COVID-19, Endymion Productions have announced they will commemorate the event in their own way. They will provide free YouTube access to a filmed performance of the musical 3 Weeks in Spring by Ian Gerrard and Russell Tredinnick. The show centres on the story of Simpson and his donkey with narration by journalist C.E.W. Bean. It stars Lincoln Elliott as Private John Simpson, Matthew Herne as C.E.W. Bean, Lachlan James O'Brien as Colonel John Monash and Courtney Powell as Hannah Monash. It was presented at the State Theatre, Sydney, for a limited-season tryout last August last year. The production will be available to watch from 12:01am on Saturday, April 25 to 11:59pm on Sunday, April 26 at youtube.com/watch?v=aLnHvP3ytoU.
Goulburn Art Award
The Goulburn Regional Art Gallery Goulburn Art Award 2020 received the highest number of entries this year with 49 being selected as finalists. National Portrait Gallery director Karen Quinlan is this year's judge.
Of the 49 finalists, eight have exhibited in either curated exhibitions or as solo artists at Helen Stephens Gallery over the past two years. The exhibiting artists and finalists are Julie Bradley (Canberra), Lynne Flemons (Goulburn), Alison Ford (Araluen), John Hart (Canberra), Robin Howard (Canberra), Ian Jones (Mittagong), David Ryrie (Exeter) and Peta Thurling (Goulburn). helenstephensgallery.com.
The Amazing Face
The National Portrait Gallery is offering a free online masterclass on the art of portraiture from April 28. Every day, for 14 days, portraits from the gallery's collection will be highlighted, and curatorial contexts and artistic insights shared along with other interactive elements. At the end of the program, participants will be invited to use this knowledge to create their own portrait.
Families will be able to access the gallery's interactive HEADHUNT! which was originally designed for children to use while in the gallery. From the end of April it will be available as a downloadable app, where children can take a virtual tour of the galleries, clicking on individual works to hear more about the subject, the artist, and to participate in various related interactive activities.
The gallery will launch Mo Show in early May, inviting those who are using their time of social isolation to grow facial hair of various kinds to share their growth on Instagram. They'll be highlighted alongside portraits of the similarly hirsute from the gallery's collection.
All can be found on PortraitureComesHome, a new section within portrait.gov.au, with some existing online content and new digital programs. Portrait Stories is a series of more than 100 mini-movies showcasing the collaboration between portrait artists and their subjects.
PhotoAccess has launched a new online gallery space with three dynamic new exhibitions: Ian Skinner and Karen Coombes' Close, Greg Stoodley's Slow and The Salon Member's Exhibition. They are on until May 16. gallery.photoaccess.org.au.