Gallery Open 11:30am to 4:30pm

Weekends, Australia Day, Labour Day, Good Friday and the Monday after Easter
Proudly supported by Parks Victoria

Friday 18 April 2008

Ceramics Victoria - the Sculpture Prize - 5th to 20th April

And what a note to finish on! The sculpture prize was awarded with due ceremony on the 5th - the public have been treated to a great show of ceramic sculptural works - the whimsical, the naive, the playful, the sophisticated - all on Herring Island.

Koorie Heritage Trust 15th to 30th March

Koorie Heritage Trust brought us artists that are also represented in KHT's three galleries in King Street - and the more casual environment of Herring Island introduced a lot of people to the work that the Trust does. Quite an eye opener all round.

Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc. 23 February to 9 March

The main exhibition showed a range of two and three dimensional work - a rich blessing of ideas, colours, forms and philosophies. Thirty one artists graced the walls and pedestals for this show - plus, in the courtyard, Robert Lee gave us Nabi 2008 - an installation of branches and other objects found on (and finally returned to) Herring Island.

Monday 25 February 2008

Where the Punt Comes From

Burnley Harbour is hidden behind the South Eastern Arterial. The excavation that cut through the peninsular on the north bank of the Yarra River to create Herring Island also let water into Richmond quarry and created the harbour where Parks Victoria keeps its water craft. Cyclists know that the bike path, on pontoons at this point, swings open when the Parks' water craft enter or leave the harbour. There is also a set of climbing walls sheltered by the free-way and every year the Contemporary Art Society runs a weekend art show there - all hidden treasures of Melbourne.

Sunday 17 February 2008

Sculpture Exhibition 1st February to 17th February

Accompanying the exhibition the exhibiting sculptors have run demonstration events in the courtyard. The work with power tools is noisy - but faster. The more traditional hand tools have given us time to talk to visitors. Each of the sculptors here are also exhibiting work in the gallery - often indicating the breadth of sculptural expression with work in different media. The intimate scale of the gallery gives us the opportunity to show work in different media and styles - John Wooller, in particular,launching a departure from his amazing carved and turned wood and giving us a range of fabricated metal sculptures - two of them maquettes for larger works.
Images of the sculpture will be available on the Association of Sculptors of Victoria web site in due course. After this exhibition the artists are preparing work for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show - a different environment where you will see outdoor, garden sculptures - and again the demonstrators will be out in force.

Previewing the Sculpture Exhibition

On the evening of Friday 1st February a group of 45 took the arts dinner cruise to Herring Island. We boarded Florence on the Yarra at Southbank. It was a magical evening - perfect weather for cruising, great company (of course) an excellent meal, and a rare dusk visit to Herring Island and its gallery full of sculpture.
The president of the Association of Sculptors of Victoria, John Wooller gave us a talk about the work in the gallery. Then back on board for the main meal and a cruise to the wilds of Toorak.

This was our first evening arts cruise to the island. Next season we intend to preview each exhibition in the series. For the artists and organisers it is a wonderful way to finish the hurly burly of creation and installation of the work and celebrate the start of the exhibition.

Sunday 3 February 2008

Celebrating Tanderrum

It was a privilege to be part of the team restoring Tanderrum, and even more of a privilege to be reminded of its meaning when we gathered to celebrate the restoration of the work on 26th January. The name of the work was inspired by the ceremony of welcome - as recorded by William Thomas during the 1840s. A transcript of his writing can be found on the Friends of Herring Island website: We were reminded that the form of the work came from two inspirations -
  • one the ceremony and from that derived the five rocks donated by the five language groups of the Kulin nation: the Woiwurrung, Bunurong, Tuangurong, Ngurai-illam-wurrung and Wautharong; the Mount William greenstone - traded through out eastern Australia; and the flying form of Bunjil overall.
  • the other inspiration is a tongue in cheek reference to the white Australian monument - the stacked Castlemaine slate reminiscent of so many memorials all over the country.

Wednesday 30 January 2008

Australia Day 2008

Australia Day on Herring Island -
in the courtyard . . . . . Ann-Maree Gentile creates in clay while chatting to a visitor to the WASA exhibition; Esther Kirby carves an emu egg; Maree Clarke from the Koorie Heritage Trust looks on.
in the gallery ....... Janet Matthews (WASA) demonstrates while Peter Teesdale (Parks Victoria) chats with Ellen Jose, the creator of "Tanderrum", part of Herring Island's permanent sculpture collection.

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Working on Tanderrum

In 2007 visitors to the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival were generous and as a result - we - the artist/organising committee were able to undertake repairs on the permanent collection of sculpture on Herring Island. Under direction from the artist, Ellen Jose, we set about restoring Tanderrum.

First Ellen came and inspected the work and approved our approach - then the work began: bringing together Castlemaine slate, mortar, oil for the wood and all the little bits and pieces needed to make the process a success.

It was hot work - Summer again by the time we had everything - and the artist - altogether. At last the work is ready to re launch - and the Island is a-buzz again with the 2008 Summer Arts Festival. We are ready for Australia day when Ellen will speak a few words about the significance of her work and its place on Herring Island - in the centre of a ring with five stones.