A book to cherish

A book to cherish

Sonam and the Silence

Eddie Ayres & Ronak Taher

When I was in early primary school, the school librarian read us a picture book of the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Planes. The haunting and desperately sad story of a little girl dying of radiation poisoning, quietly folding origami cranes has stayed with me. That is the power that a picture book can have.

Sonam and the Silence tells the story of Sonam, a six-year-old girl living in Taliban-occupied Kabul. She lives with her mother, big brother, small brother and sister and spends her days playing hide and seek in the alleys of the city. When she turns 7, Sonam’s big brother orders her to cover her hair and begin to work.

Running through the market she is battered by noise, metal beaters, food sellers and beggars. She runs into a garden of mulberry and pomegranate trees where she can hear the noise of wind through her flying hair. Amongst the trees, an old man is playing music. The sound nobody in her country is allowed to hear under Taliban rule.

Every day, Sonam sneaks away to the garden where the old man teaches her to play a rubab.

Sonam hums as she is selling chewing gum to people in their cars, she cannot hear the car horns or the distant gunfire.

When her brother hears her humming Sonam’s rubab is taken away. The music is gone.

Planes shriek in the skies, gunfire and rockets roar through the air. There are foreign soldiers on the streets and the old man is gone; the garden is silent.


Taking the last pomegranate from the garden, she plants the seeds in her own home’s tiny garden but in the hole she has dug she finds a buried box. Her brother had hidden her rubab to keep it and Sonam safe. She has found her music.

Musician and author Eddie Ayres has spun a gentle and sad story about the plight of young musicians in Kabul. During a year in Afghanistan, teaching at a music school in Kabul, he met a young musician named Sonam who had been selling gum on the streets and wrote this story for those young musicians.

“They are holding a music thread that has been alive for thousands of years. Some people tried to cut the thread, but the kids stopped them by studying music and bringing it back to life,” Ayers said.

“It is hard for all musicians in Afghanistan, even now.”

Sonam and the Silence is beautifully illustrated by the Iranian-Australian born, Iranian-educated artist and animator, Ronak Taher. Add it to books like Uno’s Garden by Graeme Base and Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss and share them with the small people in your world. 

Eddie Ayres has a fascinating story to tell and does so in his book Danger Music, released in 2017. Watch Eddie in conversation with Jon Faine at The Wheeler Centre below.

Winter Arts

Winter Arts
Fireside 2018

Jack Rabbit Vineyard

Saturday 16 June to Saturday 4 August

Throughout winter, Fireside 2018 hosted by Jack Rabbit on the Bellarine is set to warm up your winter days with glorious music and gorgeous food and wine.

Saturday 16 June


Truly captivating, Adele ‘The Tribute’ is a fabulous night recreating the music of soul sensation and pop idol Adele, performed by the renowned Olivia Hemphill.

Saturday 30 June

Hot Club Swing

The finest in French gypsy swing. Be immersed and enchanted by the heady sounds of 1930’s Paris. Colourful, magical and engaging – kick back and cavort!

Saturday 14 July

Bjorn to be Wild

Back by popular demand, Bjorn to be Wild reunites the soul, fun and music of the legendary ABBA. Every song is a memory, you’ll be singing along and might just discover your inner Dancing Queen ...

Saturday 4 August


Celebrate the songs and stories of Carole King, Carly Simon, Ricky Lee Jones and Joni Mitchell; amazing women whose lives were connected by more than just music. Relive the psychedelic 70s with the acclaimed Gabrielle Parbo and troupe.

All tickets: Show and three-course dinner $100 per person. Show starts at 7pm.

Sidney Nolan - Ned Kelly Series

Geelong Gallery
Saturday 1 March to Sunday 26 May 2019

Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly 1946, from the Ned Kelly series 1946-47, enamel paint on composite board. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Gift of Sunday Reed 1977

Some of the most iconic works of Australian art – Sidney Nolan’s ‘Ned Kelly’ paintings – will be coming to the Geelong Gallery in March 2019 as the exclusive Victorian venue for the Kelly series’ national tour.

While the Kelly paintings have been exhibited at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, they have rarely visited the far corners of Australia. The 2019 tour will span four states and one territory.

The Kelly collection is held by the National Gallery of Australia and NGA Director, Dr Gerard Vaughan, said that it was essential that all Australians have equal opportunity access to the works.

“By experiencing this iconic group of paintings with their radical style, and anti-establishment mythology firsthand, new generations gain insight into the work of one of our most well-known artists.”

Nolan developed his starkly simplified image of Ned Kelly in 1946-47 and these works became part of the shared iconography of Australia. The National Gallery had acquired two of Nolan’s Kelly words in the 1970s before a remarkable donation of 25 paintings from Sunday Reed.

Jason Smith, Director & CEO, Geelong Gallery says “This exhibition will be immensely popular with the Greater Geelong community and a major drawcard for visitors to our great city and region. Following the success of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ 2017 Archibald Prize and upcoming 2018 Archibald Prize, we look forward to presenting this major exhibition to the community.

This travelling exhibition is supported by the Australian Government through Visions of Australia and the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program.

The Geelong exhibition is being supported with funding from Geelong Major Events, and Geelong Mayor, Bruce Harwood said, “The City of Greater Geelong is pleased to support Geelong Gallery in its hosting of this iconic exhibition through Geelong Major Events funding. Bringing this internationally significant work to Geelong is another drawcard for the city and supports our vision of a clever and creative city-region.”

This travelling exhibition is supported by the Australian Government through Visions of Australia and the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program.


Courthouse Youth Arts’ Multitalented new Executive Producer 


Alexandra (Alex) McTavish took the helm at Courthouse Youth Arts in May as the company’s fourth Executive Producer to lead it into its third decade.

A cultural entrepreneur, actor, writer, producer and director, in 2013 Alex became one of YWCA’s Queensland Leading Women as co-founder of Queensland’s celebrated Anywhere Theatre Festival. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, Masters in Writing and studied acting at Rose Bruford College in London.

“Running a theatre is a quixotic undertaking. Live performance means everything you do will disappear forever on closing night and the ephemeral nature of the arts is what makes it so exciting!’ Alex said.

“I want Courthouse Youth Arts to be a place where young people gather to say what they really mean - to let it all out - all the outrage and confusion at what we’re all living through - so they can go home again with some faith in humanity and a sense of purpose.

“I can’t imagine a more fulfilling job than that and I’m so proud to lead an organisation with such a rich history here in Geelong.”

“Kaz Paton and her team at Arts & Culture, City of Greater Geelong have long been dedicated supporters of Courthouse Youth Arts. I want to honour their legacy and continue the great work done by the incumbent administrative and artistic team,” Alex said.

In Art We Trust: New GPAC Leadership

In Art We Trust: New GPAC Leadership

When you live in a city that is changing the way that Geelong is changing, you notice some things more than others. You notice the increased traffic, that there are more people everywhere, almost all of the time. You notice the buildings that seem to sprout up like weeds after rain and you notice that a lot of people have come here from somewhere else.

What you don’t tend to notice as much is the role that culture and art has on this place we call home. It’s there; it’s always been there, ever since the very first people decided this was where they belonged.

More people go to arts and culture events than to sporting events in Geelong. Did you know that? Does it surprise you?

So, when we have a change of leadership at the helm of one of our most visible arts institutions, it matters.

Artist's impression of GPAC redevelopment. Supplied.

That Lesley Alway has been appointed as the new Chair of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust is a position of trust both literally and figuratively. We have a trust in those that bridge the gap between the art we do and don’t have access to. It was a trust that we had in Michelle Quigley and Deakin Vice-Chancellor, Jane den Hollander, who stood in as interim Chair when Ms Quigley QC stepped down following her appointment as a Judge of the Victorian Supreme Court in December. It is a trust we had in Jill Smith, who left a wonderful and enduring legacy after 10 years as CEO of the organisation that led to the centre’s redevelopment, and that trust is now held by Joel McGuinness.

Ms Always comes with significant experience in the Victorian arts community as a former Director of Arts Victoria and CEO of the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne; and internationally her previous role as the Director of Asialink Arts, delivering cultural exchange programs between Australia and Asia. Her CV lists leadership roles in government, not-for-profit and private sectors. Currently, she is a Board Director of Opera Australia, Deputy Chair of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and is a member of the Australia – ASEAN Council appointed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Joel McGuinness. Supplied.

It is a big moment in time for the Geelong Performing Arts Centre and the arts in general in our city; it’s a time for new ideas, and when those ideas are formed through wide ranging experience and high calibre expertise, that trust that we have seems to be in good hands.

And that is important because we can’t afford to take culture and the arts for granted and we need them to thrive, not just survive.

There are wonderful and worldly quotable quotes on what art means to a city’s identity, but I’ve yet to come across one that resonated for me in quite the same way as this, from Iraqi-born, Cardiff-based artist, Rabad Ghazoul, on helping to organise a protest against the cutting of arts funding in Cardiff:

“Culture and art is not an add on. It’s not here to accessorize the city. It’s not an extra when we can afford it. It’s intrinsic to who we are, how we express ourselves, challenge each other, connect and create community.”

In art we trust.

2018 Deakin Theatre Season

2018 Deakin Theatre Season

Geelong Performing Arts Centre's 2018 Deakin Theatre Season was launched last night and it's going to be pretty damn good.

The season kicks off in February with A Little Night Music, an award winning Sondheim classic starring Nadine Garner (star of ABC's The Doctor Blake Mysteries, amongst a long bio) alongside theatre veteran John O’May (Cabaret, Phantom of the Opera).

Then in April, the circus comes to town! Nationally and internationally renowned Brisbane circus troupe Circa will head south with its thrilling new work Peepshow, a delight for the senses presented up close and personal in the intimate Drama Theatre.


New Australian drama includes The Bleeding Tree by Angus Cerini - an award winning production from Sydney’s Griffin Theatre, visiting Geelong for the first time. The company will return later in the year with a second exciting work direct from its Australian premiere, The Almighty Sometimes.

Local choir Raise the Bar (the adult choir from Geelong Youth Choir) will feature in The Events, a powerful new play by David Greig starring Catherine McClements.

A Little Night Music

From Tasmania comes a must-see Australian production The Season featuring charismatic Trevor Jamieson in a laugh-out-loud comedy about family and culture. The family theme continues with Red Stitch Actors Theatre’s recently commissioned drama Jurassica.

Prize Fighter

State Theatre Company of South Australia will make a welcome return to Geelong with a sparkling adaptation of a literary classic, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

Rounding out the season is Prize Fighter, an action packed production from La Boîte Theatre and Brisbane Festival that combines engrossing storytelling with the visceral thrill of live boxing.

Nine and five-show theatre season packages are available offering significant savings on single ticket prices. For details and bookings go to

John Butler in the Vines

John Butler in the Vines

What started as a busking gig on the streets of Perth has led to John Butler becoming the most successful independent artist in Australia today. Once dubbed the ‘millionaire hippy’, the soulful vocals and spellbinding musicianship of Butler are heading our way once again with the John Butler Trio bringing their live show to Leura Park Estate in March 2018.

Joining JB3 for an afternoon of tunes and chill amongst the vines are NSW’s Kim Churchill and the divine duo, Mama Kin Spender featuring Mama Kin and Tommy Spender.

The John Butler Trio have spent the past few years touring Australia, Europe and North America, including headlining at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

Kim Churchill has followed up his breakout LP ‘Silence / Win’ that featured the hit ‘Window to the Sky’ with new LP ‘Weight Falls’. Warmth and a retro vibe along with propulsive guitar is tailor made for an arvo chill out session in the vines.

Rounding out the line up is Mama Kin Spender, the combination of long-time friends, co-writers and mischief-makers Mama Kin and Tommy Spender. With a raw and joyful sound, Mama Kin Spender takes audiences on ride from party to ballad to raising your voice.

This will be one Sunday session to remember.

Tickets on sale at

Event information at

Hello, Gorgeous

Hello, Gorgeous

To 10 December

The Archibald Prize finalists are gracing the walls of the Geelong Gallery until December 10 and oh, how nice it is to welcome this most prestigious of Australian portraiture prizes to town.

Celebrating the best portraits in the nation, the finalists of the 2017 Archibald Prize features subjects ranging from politicians, celebrities, sporting heroes, authors and artists. 

The Archy dates back to 1921 and is awarded each year by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The touring exhibition makes its only Victorian stop in Geelong and is not to be missed.

For tickets and exhibition information visit

First awarded in 1921, the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Archibald Prize is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, it’s a who’s who of Australian culture, with subjects often including politicians, celebrities, sporting heroes, authors and artists. Since its inception, the Archibald Prize has been engaging art enthusiasts, often stirring up controversy and always challenging the way we see ourselves and our society. Over the years, the prize has been awarded to many of Australia’s most prominent artists. The Geelong Gallery is delighted to be the exclusive Victorian venue for the 2017 Archibald Prize.

The Bald Archy

The Bald Archy

14 October - 11 November

Kerry Packer, Amanda Vanstone, Edmund Capon, Shane Warne, Dame Edna Everage, John Howard and Pauline Hanson, Robbie and Gai Waterhouse, Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Kennett, Cardinal George Pell, Tony Abbott, David Warner  and Ian Thorpe - these are just some of the big names attached to the what just might be the country's silliest, provocative, bizarre and hilarious art competition, The Bald Archy Prize.

It might have started as a bit of a joke in a festival of fun in a little place not far from Gundagai, but the Bald Archy has become an irreverent reminder that the grand tradition of extracting the urine is alive and well amongst the art and culture types.

The satirical little cousin of that other portraiture competition is on tour around the nation and has set up camp at the National Wool Museum until November 11. You can see this year's winner 'Pocket Rocket' as well as pointed, pointy, satirical and just a little unsettling takes on the people and events that help shape what we tend to call the national discourse because if we called it what it really is we would be barred from ever joining parliament even if we didn't have Section 44 issues.

Find out more about the Geelong tour dates at the National Wool Museum or chuckle along at previous entries into The Bald Archy Prize.

Parliament Go By Kristen Wiadrowski

Parliament Go By Kristen Wiadrowski

Queen Of Smarts By Judy Nadin

Queen Of Smarts By Judy Nadin

When Theres A Lull By Judy Nadin

When Theres A Lull By Judy Nadin

Under Scrutiny By Julia Davis

Under Scrutiny By Julia Davis

Very Nice Mr Trump By Ed McMahon

Very Nice Mr Trump By Ed McMahon

Pocket Rocket By James Brennan

Pocket Rocket By James Brennan

Leunig’s musings on paper

Leunig’s musings on paper

21 October – 4 November

Small moments of happiness and ponderings on the momentous, that’s what Michael Leunig’s work is to me. That, and the walls of my childhood best friend’s parent’s toilet, that were fully papered with newspaper cartoons and, in my memory at least, there was more Leunig that anything else. There were a lot of laughs in that loo …

There is a place in many of our hearts for the philosophical musings and gentle humour of Leunig, so much so that in 1999 he was declared a National Living Treasure by the National Trust.

Michael Leunig will be exhibiting Recent, Rare and Classic Works on Paper, including original drawings, paintings and etchings at Metropolis Gallery this October.

Michael will also talk about his art and philosophies on opening night Saturday 21 October.

Michael Leunig - Affinity

Gallery director, Robert Avitabile, says this is a rare exhibition for any gallery and he is proud to be able to bring Leunig and his work to Geelong.

“Like other Australians I’ve grown up with Leunig’s work in the media since the early 70s. I still have his first book ‘The Penguin Leunig’ among many others and I believe his straightforward outlook on life and nature has helped shape the way many people view the world.”

Leunig himself describes his approach as, ‘regressive, humorous, messy, mystical, primal and vaudevillian’ - producing work that is open to many interpretations and has been widely adapted in education, music, theatre, psychotherapy and spiritual life.

“It is a way of painting. It is a way of living and seeing. It is a heartfelt way of transcending the banal inhibited self and finding the primal, the light-hearted, the simple and the divine. It is a struggling and playful downward journey - this daring and devout pilgrimage to mature innocence and raw beauty: to the sublime joy and natural wisdom of the holy fool.” - Michael Leunig

Michael Leunig - Jonah and the Whale

Leunig has been awarded honorary degrees from La Trobe and Griffith universities and the Australian Catholic University for his unique contribution to Australian culture. His work appears regularly in the Melbourne Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. His prints, paintings and drawings have been exhibited broadly and are held in various public and private collections.

Michael Leunig: Recent, rare and classic works on paper

Metropolis Gallery

21 October to 4 November

Opening Night (featuring Michael Leunig) 5 – 7pm Saturday, 21 October

Michael Leunig - Ecosystem

The Popular Mechanicals

The Popular Mechanicals

Lewd, rude and riotously funny, GPAC's 2017 Deakin University Theatre Season will come to a close with The Popular Mechanicals this October.

From the State Theatre Company of South Australia come Shakespeare’s greatest clowns - the rude mechanicals from A Midsummer Night’s Dream - take centre stage in this wild reimagining of what might have happened off-stage during the Bard’s most loved comedy.

The troupe is bumbling its way through rehearsals of Pyramus and Thisbe, somehow surviving the misadventures brought on by their own sheer idiocy. The result is a riotously funny mix of clowning, vaudeville, slapstick, farce, stand-up comedy and bad puppetry, with both witty badinage and fart jokes to create an anarchic and thrillingly unhinged carnival that revels in its own theatricality and rubber chickens.

First directed by Geoffrey Rush in 1987, The Popular Mechanicals holds a special place in the Australian comic theatre. Go on, have a laugh.

Monty Python eat your heart out; what a hoot this show is... I give it 5 rubber chooks out of 5. - Stage Whispers

The Popular Mechanicals will be in Geelong for five performances in the Drama Theatre, from October 11-14. Book at or phone the Box Office on 5225 1200. Tickets are $59 or less.

Inspired by Nature 5

Inspired by Nature 5

The Geelong School of Botanical Art, with the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens, is again celebrating the work of its students and tutors with Inspired by Nature 5.  This much anticipated biennial event in the Friends’ calendar is at art@wintergarden with 25 artists are exhibiting more than 50 artworks painted during the last two years.

The collection, preservation and presentation of rare and unusual plants, along with hands on gardening, are the accepted focus for Botanic Gardens. However, the exquisite world of botanical illustration forms an important role in many major Botanic Gardens. The preferred method of recording plant material is through illustration. The intimate story of a plant is complex and demands refined botanical knowledge combined with the imagination and skill of an artist to communicate the complete picture.

As in past exhibitions, the style and subject range of Inspired by Nature 5 will be incredibly diverse and presented in a variety of formats. Most of us do not realise it often takes two or three seasons for an artist to finish an individual work. The world of plants and flowers is transient – once a specimen is selected it must be analysed and sketched then translated onto paper for completion. In between collection and recording, the original flower may have wilted, its life cycle finished. The artist will often wait a full year before they can again work directly from a freshly picked specimen.

This is the fifth exhibition in the Inspired by Nature series, and the third season that it has been curated by Jill Shalless from art@wintergarden. Much of the plant material featured has been sourced from the Geelong Botanic Gardens; works will represent artists at many levels from highly skilled to beginner. For some, this will be their first exhibition. The Friends invite you to visit the gallery and join the artists on their wonderful botanical journey.

Official Opening: October 1, 3-5pm by Jason Smith Director Geelong Gallery

Floor Talk Saturday 14 October 3.00 - 4.00 pm with John Pastoriza-Pinol international and local artist and tutor

The Fabulous Ms Burchmore

The Fabulous Ms Burchmore

She sparkles, she shines, she’s nothing short of divine. She puts the glamour in glamazon, and, if all the world is a stage, the spotlight tracks her like a police search light on a runaway red Ferrari. If she had a penchant for futurist hypotheses – and she just might, but I didn’t ask - she’d probably put the sing in singularity as well.

With legs longer than a pre-Christmas airport queue, a personality sharper than an August morning wind on Torquay Back Beach, and a biography you’ll need your specs to reach the end of, the very fabulous Ms Burchmore is back to town with her and Mama Mia co-star Lara Mulcahy’s show, ABBAsolutely Fabulous.

Yep, there’s no doubt about it, when it comes to making a career in show biz work, Rhonda Burchmore has really worked it, baby.

Don’t miss ABBAsolutely Fabulous tonight at GPAC

25 August, show starts at 8pm

Info & tickets available at

Starring in the original production of MamaMia in 2001 – opening before the show’s stellar Broadway run – the fabulous Ms Burchmore became close friends with on-stage bestie Lara Mulcahy after hitting it off in auditions, saying, ‘she became one of my best friends in life’.

After the Abba smash, Rhonda went on to roles in Into the Woods, went back to recording and toured cabaret shows. Lara performed in Les Miserables and other roles.

“I kind of looked at the landscape for musical theatre last year and this year in Australia. A lot of it was Aladdin and Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, and there was nothing really in there for me. I’m never one to sit idle for too long and after having dinner with [Lara] I said, why don’t we do a show together?”

The 40th Anniversary of Abba’s 1976 Australian tour presented an opportunity to revisit some familiar material and Burchmore put up her hand to produce the show that follows the fan story of Lara and Rhonda, two suburban Aussie girls who never got to go to the Abba concert.

“It’s not just an Abba tribute show that there are so many of, from Elvis to Roy Orbison to Abba where they dress up as the people. We don’t pretend to be Frida and Anna, we are Lara and Rhonda, two girls growing up in the 70s in Australia and who never got to go to the big Abba concert 40 years ago. Growing up on opposite sides of Australia, we both used to get our hairbrushes out and pretend we were Anna or Frida.

… Um, confession time, this is me as a 5 year-old, with a building block microphone, singing along to Super Trouper in red UGG boots and standing on what was then known as a pouffe – as in rhymes with hoof. And yes, that is green velvet wallpaper in the background. Thanks for the memories Mum.

Fun fact: after years of awkwardly being called anything from a footrest to an ottoman or even a floor cushion, the handy seat/footrest/substitute side table is once again called by furniture purveyors as a pouffe … of course, you were terribly posh if you added the accent back in 1980…

And speaking of the 80’s, did you know that Rhonda also starred in The Pirate Movie, filmed around Werribee Mansion and the Great Ocean Road? It’s on YouTube and it’s still crazy and brilliant! 

Crazy and brilliant could describe plenty of Burchmore's roles and gigs over the years, remember Hey Hey It's Saturday? And from all reports Abba-solutely Fabulous is no exception.

“It’s an hilarious romp of us growing up, and because we never got to go to that concert, we kind of create that whole feeling and vibe, and finally get to be up there singing all those songs," Rhonda said.

“It’s such fun to do. It’s a perfect distraction to everything that’s going on in the world.”

In the beauteous tradition of skydiving nonagenarians, this show calls to the 70s Abba fans in the same clarion tones as bottom-padded lycra and carbon fibre frames call to middle-aged cycling fanatics. If you couldn’t or didn’t do it when you were young, don’t let that the irrelevance of age stop you from doing it now – complete with iridescent cat suits, back combed hair and platform boots! And, blessedly unlike the MAMILs tearing up the cycling lanes of local roads, this is meant to be funny.

“It’s like the ultimate girl’s night out,” Rhonda said. “Lara is as short as I am tall, she comes up to just under my arm pit so there’s a lot of visual comedy in there. There’s a big dose of the Ab-Fab Patsy and Eddie thing in there too. And that’s just me really in normal life. I’m far more like Patsy than Lara is like Eddie, I go for the designer labels and she goes to Target.”

I’m reliably informed that if you want to make Rhonda smile, get along and see the show and/or pour her a glass of Bollie... showbiz at it’s best.

“I think a lot of people can relate to it. We nearly pee ourselves on stage it’s so funny.”

And we need more of it, much more it, this celebration of female friendships, and not just the 16 year-old soap opera dramas, but real women who laugh together and cry together and put each other back together through decades-long friendships that are a safe haven of sanity and silliness.

But it’s far from a show just for women, every man who recognises this experience of grown-up girl bonding will love every minute of ABBAsolutely Fabulous.

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!

8 July

The Marriage of Figaro

The Downton Abbey of opera is exploding on to the GPAC stage for one madcap evening next Saturday July 8 and with upgrade works having cleared the way for a new release of seats, make sure you snatch up your tickets early.

This new English-language sung production of Mozart’s brilliant The Marriage of Figaro features luscious costuming, artful set design, an adorable chorus featuring the children of the Geelong Youth Choir and the extraordinary talents of some of Opera Australia’s finest singers.

Too much? Scandaloso!

One of the highlights of GPAC’s 2017 Deakin University Theatre Season, with the story unfolding over one crazy day in Seville.

Figaro is marrying Susanna, but the Count wants to seduce her first. Marcellina wants Figaro and the Countess just wants her husband back. But Susanna is smarter than all of them. After a crazy day of disguise and duplicity that sees masters are lusting over their servants, and servants outwitting their masters, will Susanna get her happily ever after?

For tickets and show information visit

False Histories & Confluence

False Histories & Confluence
6 - 22 July
Concurrent Solo Exhibitions

The Metropolis Gallery is hosting two solo exhibitions in July, with colour and light dominating the work of the two female artists.

Heather Stewart: False Histories

Heather Stewart After Ambrosius Benson Oil on Canvas 40x30cm

Heather Stewart’s paintings and drawings are driven by an interest in the nature of identity and focus on the mysterious historical figure of Mary Magdalene. Heather explores how powerful imagery has created a false history of Magdalene’s character, with resultant works evolving through passages of painting that at once reveal and conceal; break and mend; fragment and unite, creating a metaphor for how we have come to know this elusive identity.

Catherine Robertson: Confluence 

Catherine Robertson Victorian Land and Light Acrylic on canvas 91x122cm

Catherine Robertson sees her paintings as an expression of the subconscious processes of life experience and the landscapes of the Australian bush and Papua New Guinea. Catherine’s paintings are an expressive deconstruction of landscape in which the dispersion and layers of colour and light have been strengthened by her interest in artists like Claude Monet and William Turner. 

Enjoy Opening Night of the two exhibitions from 6-8pm Thursday 6 July. Metropolis Gallery 64 Ryrie Street Geelong. The shows run until 22 July. Weekdays 9am - 5pm and Saturday 10 - 4pm. Preview works online at

Legends In Oddball Comedy Theatre

Legends In Oddball Comedy Theatre

June 28 – July 1


GPAC's Deakin Theatre Season returns this month with Minnie & Loraz, a riotous new play starring legendary actors Nancye Hayes and Sue Jones as fiercely competitive bridge-playing grandmothers hell bent on setting up their grandchildren in the great game of love.

A brainchild of the magnificent Lally Katz and directed by award-winning director Anne-Louise Sarks, Minnie & Liraz comes to Geelong this month after premiering at Arts Centre Melbourne in May.

Virginia Gay (Winners & Losers), Rhys McConnochie (Endgame), Georgina Naidu (Newton’s Law) and Peter Paltos (Calpurnia Descending) complete the cast of this charming oddball story of Jewish grandparents and raw ambition.

The Autumn Road Retirement Village in Caulfield has an ultra-competitive bridge club, although with time and tide doing its inevitable work, no bridge partnership lasts for long. When Minnie Cohen loses her partner in an unfortunate swimming accident, the best player in the village, Liraz Weinberg, wants them to team up. They’d be unbeatable all right, but Minnie abhors Liraz and wants something in return. She has a granddaughter and Liraz has a grandson, and both are hopelessly single. Laying all her cards on the table, Minnie is bidding hearts.

Director Anne-Louise Sarks said, ‘I was immediately drawn to the incredible, charming and complex women at the centre of Minnie & Liraz. I can’t wait to bring it to life. Lally’s writing is truly original and her latest play is deeply funny, honest and heart-warming – plus there’s the excitement of the bridge championship and a twist that even I did not see coming! In Minnie & Liraz, like all great comedies, there’s real truth at the core and the stakes are high.’

Award-winning writer Lally Katz has earned a reputation as one of the most unique voices in contemporary Australian playwriting. Anne-Louise Sarks is an award-winning theatre maker whose work has been performed around the world.

Melbourne Theatre Company’s Minnie & Liraz comes to Geelong for five performances in the Drama Theatre, June 28 to July 1. Tickets are $69 or less. Book at or phone Box Office on 5225 1200.


Print Prize Finalists Announced

Print Prize Finalists Announced

The Geelong Gallery has announced the shortlisted works in contention for the 2017 Geelong Acquisitive Print Prize.

Selected from hundreds of entries from around Australia, the 38 shortlisted works include works by some of the nation’s most talented established and younger generation artists along with a number of artists from the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast regions.

Anita Iacovella, Cumulus CR blue 2017, monoprint, photogravure and collage; unique state.

Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Port Jackson Press, Melbourne

The selection panel for the 2017 Geelong acquisitive print awards includes Jason Smith (Director, Geelong Gallery) and Lisa Sullivan (Curator, Geelong Gallery) along with guest judge, Anne Virgo OAM (Director, Australian Print Workshop).

The prize-winning prints, including the Geelong acquisitive print award ($5,000), the Ursula Hoff Institute award ($3,500), and additional acquisitions (up to $3,000) will be announced at the official opening of the exhibition on Friday 18 August.

Janet Parker-Smith, The vanishing point 2016, screenprint; edition 4/ 8
Reproduced courtesy of the artist and May Space, Sydney

One additional artist will be selected by the judging panel and invited to take up a 5-day printmaking residency at Queenscliff Gallery and Workshop (QG&W).

To see the full list of shortlisted artists click here

[Featured image: Carolyn Hawkins, Trashed (detail) 2015, etching; edition 3/8. Courtesy of the artist]

Scarf Fest Winner Over The Moon

Scarf Fest Winner Over The Moon

This year’s winner of the National Wool Museum’s Scarf Festival is Karina Irvine from Christie’s Beach, South Australia with a creation titled Trappist 1 made from felt.

National Wool Museum Director, Padraic Fisher, said the number of entries were increasing each year, with the overall winner this year chosen from a field of 298 entries.

“The number and quality of entries for the Scarf Festival just gets bigger and better each year - such is the strength of craft in Australia,” he said. “We are blessed to have practitioners who insist on keeping the art of handmade alive and well.”

This year’s theme Galaxies: a textile journey to infinity and beyond asked scarf makers to take inspiration from the galaxy and let the cosmos be the guide to finding inspiration amongst the stars. The winning design is made of merino wool, silk and tinsel and was inspired by Trappist-1, an ultra-cool dwarf star and its seven orbiting planets.

“Imagine you are Trappist-1 with fiery solar flares, radiating cool blue and pink tones. Around you are your seven planets pulled in closely by your gravity to keep your solar system warm and alive,” said Ms Irvine.

Two entries from the Geelong region were awarded in their nominated categories. Pa Neh Htoo from Geelong won the Woven category with her Karen scarf. In the 100 per cent wool category, Jo Bagge from Portarlington was highly commended for her Moonwalk scarf. Other local region winners came from Torquay, Jan Juc, Bellbrae and Anglesea.

Three judges picked the winners including TV personality Catriona Rowntree, along with Executive Director Craft Victoria, Richard Ferguson, and Scienceworks Melbourne Planetarium Manager and Senior Curator - Astronomy, Dr Tanya Hill. 

“This must-see textile exhibition is an eclectic showcase of original handcrafted scarves entered by anyone - from school kids to beginner crafters to accomplished artisans from Australia and internationally,” said Mr Fisher.

The scarves including the winning entries are now on display at the National Wool Museum until 27 August 2017.

A full list of the winning entries is available at

World Cider Day

World Cider Day

Some grubby publicist sent us a message around World Cider Day entitled, 'She'll Be Apples'. It was cute, but really, she had us at World Cider Day. If it speaks to you as it speaks to us, read on, because it's coming to Geelong.

World Cider Day on Saturday, June 3 will see Wallington’s Flying Brick Cider House come alive with a fizz-tastic array of food, cider, wine, beer, kid’s fun as well as a tribute show for the ages.

Flying Brick Cider Co is the first in Australia to join forces with the organisers of World Cider Day, a concept which originated last year in Europe and is gaining momentum across the globe due to the phenomenal international love and growth in cider consumption over the past few years.

Since the whole day revolves around a ‘tribute’ to the humble apple, it would seem only appropriate (and fun!) to keep the whole tribute theme happening when it comes to entertainment. Kicking off at 11am, five of the most popular tribute bands in Australia will be performing throughout the day until 9pm. Be entertained in under cover warmth all day as you revel in some of the most iconic music the world has ever known. 

First cab off the rank is Athol Guy & the Seekers Story. Celebrate Australian music royalty in this incredible journey through the life, times and songs one of Australia’s most treasured musical icons. This is a show that has enjoyed a trail of sell out performances around the nation - wonderful for all ages and virtually impossible not to be swept away in a magical wave of nostalgia.

The timeless musical brilliance of Fleetwood Mac will then be showcased as the celebrated TUSK takes to the stage.

A delightfully intimate musical journey through all the Cat Stevens classics is next. Not only does Ron Vincent bare an uncanny resemblance to Cat Stevens, his hauntingly beautiful vocals and performance style have been described as one of the most authentic, entertaining and exciting shows honouring this artist the world has ever seen.

Follow that up with Ramble Tamble – the Australian Creedence Clearwater Revival Show, renowned and loved for their vibrant performances which encapsulate the body and soul of the Creedence legend.

World Cider Day revellers will also get to bop along to top local cover band, Test Pilot Molly. And that’s just the entertainment. . .

Guests will be invited to come behind the scenes on a rare adventure to explore, taste and learn about crafting boutique ciders from fresh fruit.  Get amongst it at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. 

New release ciders will be on tasting and on the pour throughout the day as will a couple of cheeky cocktails the Flying Brick team have been busily devising! Ever had a hot mulled cider? Possibly one of life’s great delights – grab one and warm your soul.    

On the nourishment side of things, there will be food – and lots of it – for anyone and everyone. On offer for World Cider Day will be a huge selection of delectable edibles from a range of food stations – paella, local lamb sliders, cuttlefish, pork rotisseries, BBQ chorizo, fish & chips, signature Flying Brick platters, apple pancakes and of course, apple fairy floss.

Kids will be happy too - not only do children under 12 get in free, the Kid’s ‘CORE’ner will feature a fab ROCK UP climbing wall, face painting and balloon artists set to get a smile on everyone’s dial.  

Perhaps the warmest news of all is that World Cider Day Celebration tickets are only $20 (or else $25 per person on the day) with kids under 12 FREE (accompanied by an adult).   Book online via

The World Cider Day Celebration will be held at Flying Brick Cider House, 1251 Bellarine Highway, Wallington on Saturday, June 3, 11am – 9pm.   

Dylan & Dracula

Dylan & Dracula
DYLANesque – The Bob Dylan Story

“Jeff Jenkins sounds uncannily like Bob Dylan; he’s a great interpreter and eerily similar. The show is fantastic.” - ABC Radio

Bob Dylan was just a young 19 year-old when he hitchhiked his way from Duluth, Minnesota to New York City with only his guitar and $10.

He went on to become one of the most successful writers of all time, was awarded the Noble Prize for literature in 2016, but it was his humble beginnings that shaped him and his music.

Jeff Jenkins, lead singer in DYLANesque, takes you through Bob Dylan’s story in a two-hour narrated rock show that goes through the relationships and the breakups, religious conversions, the dramatic scene when he ‘went electric’ at Newport Folk Festival in 1965, and how he went from playing solo to playing with The Band.

This tribute to Bob Dylan is a theatre piece is a musical and moving celebration of his life that will be performed at The Playhouse, GPAC, 50 Little Malop St, on the 17th June, 2017 at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available now at GPAC. Click here for ticket information



When Bram Stoker released his gothic horror novel in 1897, the power of his writing was undeniable, but the story, well, that caused a stir of a different kind. A review published in the Manchester Guardian upon the book’s release wrote:

‘A writer who attempts in the nineteenth century to rehabilitate the ancient legends of the were-wolf and the vampire has set himself a formidable task. Most of the delightful old superstitions of the past have an unhappy way of appearing limp and sickly in the glare of a later day.’ (Source: The Guardian, review originally published 15 June 1897)

An entire novel filled with horrors? The reviewer suggests the enlightened readers of the time would turn away at the sheer scale of the absurdity… except that they didn’t, and they have returned, generation after generation, for 120 years.

Dracula continues to fascinate, and is swooping across the country in a gripping, critically-acclaimed shake & stir theatre co. adaptation and production. Australian Stage describes the show as, “…a thrilling adventure that drags you in to its dark world and doesn't let go until the final bolt of lightning strikes.” 

Dracula is set to descend on GPAC’s Playhouse stage 18-20 May. For information and tickets, visit


Mural tells migrant story

Mural tells migrant story

There are some truly extraordinary street art murals appearing around the city, and a newly unveiled migrant's story on a street corner in North Geelong has us and the local community smiling.

The City of Greater Geelong, Harcourts North Geelong Real Estate, and North Geelong Secondary School have collaborated their efforts to bring Melbourne-based artist, Baby Guerilla, to Geelong. Baby Guerilla was commissioned for her unique interpretation of subject matter and her ability to tell the story that needs to be told.

The story in question is that of migrants coming to Geelong. The mural displays a mother playing with her child, as a celebration of the new life that they are beginning to lead, and aged moving boxes and suitcases as a representation of settling into their new lives in Geelong.

Rose Grgic from Harcourts said the area has a rich cultural history that they wanted to pay tribute to. 

“We wanted to do something that would resonate with the community, young and old. The artist has done that beautifully with the mother and child, and the nostalgic suitcases would be familiar to many of the older migrants living in this area.”

To discover the magnitude and skill of this artwork in person, which is highly recommended, you can find it on the corner of Separation and Tallinn Streets in North Geelong.



Climarte change?

As an independent charity, Climarte encourages an alliance of individuals in the arts sector to use art as a platform to inform engage and inspire action in others on climate change.

An important part in promoting their message is the ART + CLIMATE = CHANGE 2017 Festival. The Festival takes places in exhibition centres and galleries all around Australia, including in Geelong.

The Geelong Gallery will be home to Luminous Relic, a major collaboration by Mandy Martin and Alexander Boynes, with a score by Tristen Parr. The artwork is a moving image that, based on evaluation around industrial Geelong, examines the ongoing and cumulative effects of industry on landscapes, fragile ecosystems and human conditions.

If you are ever left wondering what your carbon footprint is doing to the earth then this is for you, and if you haven’t been thinking about it then it is also for you. Being aware of the impact each of us is making is the first step to understanding the need for us to change the way that we are living and working.

Visit the Geelong Gallery to witness what amazing things the artistic mind can achieve when there is a very worthy issue in focus.

Entry is FREE from Saturday 8th April until Sunday 9th July, 10am to 5pm each day at the Geelong Gallery, 55 Little Malop St, Geelong, VIC.

Find out more

Van Gogh and The Seasons

Van Gogh and The Seasons

Van Gogh and the Seasons is internationally exclusive to Melbourne for the Winter Masterpieces series and is an opportunity to view the life and experiences of one of the world’s greatest artists through his intimate and fascinating portrayal of his surrounding environments. You will witness an evolution of his techniques and be able to understand the emotion influences and life stages that he is at in each artwork.  

Let Van Gogh take you on a journey through the circle of life within nature and witness the birth, bloom, maturity and death of the seasons. The show brings together his works from all over the world and is put together based on extensive research of his letters and his deep interest of nature and literature.

The exhibition is curated by Sjraar van Heugten, former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and will be on display at the National Gallery of Victoria from the 28th of April, 2017 to the 9th of July, 2017, and will be well worth the trip to the big city to revel in this legendary artist's famed works.

Tickets are on sale now on the NGV website:

Paul Tobias, St Josephs College Geelong; & Andrew Downie, City of Greater Geelong

Paul Tobias, St Josephs College Geelong; & Andrew Downie, City of Greater Geelong

Jason Clarke, Minds@Work; Leanne Collins, The Gordon; & Carley Brennan, The Gordon

Jason Clarke, Minds@Work; Leanne Collins, The Gordon; & Carley Brennan, The Gordon

Upstart 2016 finalists Henry Glenister & Madeline Baker

Upstart 2016 finalists Henry Glenister & Madeline Baker

David Cooper, Certum Accountants; Fiona Lucas, IRepsect Online; Grace Chan, Davies Collison Cave; & Patrick O'Callaghan, Local Food Loop

David Cooper, Certum Accountants; Fiona Lucas, IRepsect Online; Grace Chan, Davies Collison Cave; & Patrick O'Callaghan, Local Food Loop

The Feels

The Feels

“everything you don’t see in the well-edited, hyper-saturated, expertly captioned Instagram weekend of two best friends. . . ”

Funny things happen when you combine 20-something women with wine, gin and anything else from behind the bar. After two years at New York Film Academy, local actor Gretel Sharp and Caitlin Duff have teamed up for The Feels, playing the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. 

The Feels is everything you don’t see in the well-edited, hyper-saturated, expertly captioned Instagram weekend of two best friends. Too often, the fast rush into lust and infatuation is shamed as we strive to out-chill each other in modern courtship, but the huge arc of beautiful emotions and mortifying future memories that comes with catching “the feels” should be celebrated.

If you’ve ever caught “the feels” for someone (or something…), this show is for you. If you’ve ever felt something touch your skin, this show is for you. If you’ve ever chugged Passion Pop, weeping over the bank balance on your phone screen, ruining the phone because RICE DOESN’T DRY TEARS, this show is for you.

The walking emotional rollercoasters and creators of the show, Gretel Sharp and Caitlin Duff, have taken to the Melbourne scene, where Duff has been slogging it out in the local stand-up comedy scene and Sharp has been working with various Theatre companies such as Make Believe Theatre, Dionysus Theatre, as well as working as a fairy.

With a successful debut at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016, the melodramatic girls hope to continue and extend the celebration of the overactive imagination and colourful thought patterns of a female in heat.

Where: Number Twelve - 12 Bourke Street Melbourne.

When: 11th-15th & 18th-22nd of April - 10.30pm

The Feels 1

The Feels 1

The Feels 2

The Feels 2

The Feels 3

The Feels 3


Otways (Outdoor) Film Fest

Otways (Outdoor) Film Fest

The Castle at a brewery, Avatar in the forest, Oddball on the coast…. how's the serenity! Just in time for the school holidays and perfect for film lovers near and far (of Geelong CBD) the Otways Film Fest launches in April with a spectacular twist on outdoor cinema.

1 April – The Castle - Otway Estate

The festival kicks off 1 April at Otway Estate, screening the Australian cult classic, The Castle. Pre-screening activities include a half-hour beer master class and a talk and taste walk through the brewery. Grab a wood-
fired pizza and popcorn to nibble on while taking part in the Castle Trivia competition. Don't forget to bring along your family's best Pool Room item! The best entry will receive an award at the end of the night.

7 April – Avatar - Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures are up next, with their screening of Avatar, on Friday night, 7 April. Zip in early for exclusive access to the world’s tallest Treetop Walk or book in advance for the late afternoon Ziplining Tour to really get the blood pumping! Settle in for the evening on the lush green lawn and enjoy your own picnic or goodies from the Otway Café.

22 April – Oddball - Cape Otway Lightstation

To round out the festival, the last event will be held Saturday 22 April. The Cape Otway Lightstation will be screening the family favourite, Oddball. Richard Keddie, the producer, will be in attendance with one of the amazing Maremma guardian dogs that starred in the movie. Richard will present to the audience prior to the viewing on the truth about working with children and animals and other funny stories from the set.

Tickets can be purchased via TryBooking PIAO or via the attractions websites, $15 per person or $40 for a family.

The Otways Film Fest is a Colac Otway Shire and Otway Country to Coast Tourism event, funded under a Film Victoria Regional Audience Engagement Grant and a Great Ocean Road Economic and Community Fund Grant from Regional Development Victoria and the Victorian Government.

Bangarra is Back, Baby

Bangarra is Back, Baby

Theatre-lovers rejoice, for Bangarra is back, baby, as GPAC prepares to open the 2017 Deakin University Theatre Season with a bang(arra)!

For anyone who hasn’t experienced - and it is an experience - the ethereal wonder of Bangarra Dance Theatre on stage, this is dance unlike anything you may have seen before. The rhythms, the movement, the play of light and sound, all seem to sink through your skin and draw you into the stories playing out on stage. It is a hair-raising, heart-thumping, visceral experience and one that will stay with you long after the lights go on and you walk back into your everyday world.

The 16-member Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander ensemble comes to Geelong to perform Terrain, the two-time Helpmann Award-winning production.

Terrain, choreographed in 2012 by Frances Rings, tells stories of the land and the people around Australia’s inland sea, Lake Eyre. Now, in its fourth remount, the production is touring regional Australia.

Bangarra’s Artistic Director, Stephen Page, says the regional tour is a crucial aspect of Bangarra’s evolution.

“Touring regionally is an invigorating time for us and we look forward to sharing this work with communities in regional Victoria and Hobart. Terrain reveals the transformative power of the landscape and is a beautiful example of Frances’ evocative dance vocabulary.”

Bangarra Dance Theatre’s regional tour of Terrain comes to Geelong on 2nd – 4th March.

Tickets are $69 or less. Nine and five-show theatre season packages are available offering significant savings on single ticket prices.

For details and bookings go to

Geelong After Dark Artist Callout

Geelong After Dark Artist Callout

Expressions of Interest are now being sought from individual artists, groups and artist collaborations to be involved in the major art event - Geelong After Dark 2017.

Geelong After Dark is now in its fourth year, with last year’s event attracting around 15,000 people and bringing the heart of the city to life with free pop-up performances, mini-exhibitions and installations.

The theme for 2017 Geelong After Dark, to be held on Friday 5 May 2017, is ‘The Sound of Light’.

Air by Eben Greaves. Photography by Ferne Millen

“This year the application categories have expanded, which is essential for emerging and established artists and to continue to grow this major cultural community event,” said Mr Brett Luxford, General Manager - Investment & Attraction, City of Greater Geelong.

The 2017 categories include:
Category 1: $200 - $500 (up to 25 projects will be selected)
Category 2: $1500 - $2000 (up to 5 projects will be selected)
Category 3: $3000 - $5000 (up to 3 projects will be selected)
Please email your proposal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30 January 2017.

“We are looking for performers and artists to get involved with this one-night-only event next year. Now is the time to express your interest and be a part of this night of discovery of arts,” said the City's General Manager of Investment & Attraction, Brett Luxford.

Photography by Ferne Millen

Geelong After Dark is a curated event, encouraging artists to submit proposals for a short performance, installation or concept to be located across the Geelong city centre. The event is a project of the City of Greater Geelong produced by the Arts & Culture Department in partnership with Diversitat as the Creative Producer.

For more information please contact Luisa La Fornara, Geelong After Dark Creative Producer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or download the expression of interest information at

What's On At Metropolis Gallery

What's On At Metropolis Gallery

The Metropolis Gallery has a season of treats and delights for the senses and soul in store, and a few special gift ideas as well.

Metropolis Christmas Show

Until 24 December

The Metropolis Christmas Show runs right up till Christmas Eve with stunning collections of paintings and etchings, exquisite art glass, unique jewellery and handcrafted timber jewellery boxes. Original works of art make lasting gifts and this Christmas Show is a must-see if you’re searching for a special gift idea.

Metropolis Gallery is open weekdays 9am - 5pm and Saturday 10am – 4pm and will remain open till 6.30 Friday 23 December and until 4pm on Christmas Eve. The gallery will reopen on 4 January.


Metropolis Gallery Summer Salon

7 January to 28 February

Metropolis will kick off the New Year with a salon-style exhibition of gallery artists featuring Adrian Lockhart, Miriam Innes, Sisca Verwoert, Steve Salo, Stella Clark, Mark Cairns, Heather Stewart, Susan Sutton and more. Also on offer are some fine collectable works by Rick Amor, Charles Blackman, Sybil Craig, Graham Fransella, David Larwill, Michael Leunig, Lionel Lindsay, John Olsen, Marco Luccio, Lloyd Rees, and Eric Thake.

Metropolis Christmas Show

Metropolis Christmas Show

Sisca Verwoert Otway Garden4   92x97cm

Sisca Verwoert Otway Garden4 92x97cm

Bridget Farmer Black Throated Finch

Bridget Farmer Black Throated Finch

Leunig Affinity

Leunig Affinity

Amanda Louden Glass

Amanda Louden Glass

Adrian Lockhart Figure In The Sun 2014 Mixed Media On Paper 150x100cm

Adrian Lockhart Figure In The Sun 2014 Mixed Media On Paper 150x100cm

Steve Salo View To The North Oil And Beeswax On Canvas

Steve Salo View To The North Oil And Beeswax On Canvas

Miriam Innes Indestructible Daydreams Charcoal On Canvas 99 X 62.5cm

Miriam Innes Indestructible Daydreams Charcoal On Canvas 99 X 62.5cm

Geelong by Nature

Geelong by Nature

The National Wool Museum is again hosting the Geelong by Nature photography competition and is inviting photographers of all ages and abilities to put the focus on nature and show us life through your lens.

Photographers are welcome to submit an original photograph showcasing our local wildlife, with all entries on show at the NWM from 14 January to 14 May 2017.

Winners and a highly commended will be chosen in two categories: Open and Young Photographer (17 years-old and under).

Judging this year are:

Michael Brand (Educator - Gordon Graphic Design and Visual Arts departments of the Gordon TAFE)  

Diane Luscombe (Senior Waterways and Wetlands Officer at the City of Greater Geelong, She has been a keen amateur photographer 35 + years)

Dr Anne Wilson (Lecturer, Art and Performance, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University)

Dr Sean Loughrey (PhD at Victorian College of the Arts & Music, University of Melbourne and has been involved in exhibitions and collaborative projects for artist-run spaces and publicly funded galleries since 1988)

R Misquitta (Barwon River Duck)

How to enter

Upload your entry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your entry must include:

Your full name, email address, postal address and contact number [age if entering Young Photographer].

One high quality digital image, between 1-2MB, as a JPEG or TIFF file.

Entries Close: 1 January 2017

Winner Announced: 14 January 2017 – at the launch of Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition

Exhibition dates: 14 January 2017 – 14 May 2017

Australian Stories & Stars Set For GPAC 2017

Australian Stories & Stars Set For GPAC 2017

GPAC’s 2017 Deakin University Theatre Season was launched last night as actor/comedian Colin Lane - who recently starred in the Hannie Rayson play Extinction at GPAC - returned to host Geelong’s highly anticipated theatre season launch.

The season will begin with iconic Australian company Bangarra Dance Theatre’s spectacular work Terrain, transporting us to Lake Eyre and exploring what it means to connect to country.

New Australian work continues with Coranderrk from Ilbijerri/Belvoir an important story from our neglected Indigenous history, starring Trevor Jamieson.

Melbourne Theatre Company will return with two absolute must-see works - Minnie & Liraz by Lally Katz, featuring a fabulous cast including theatre veteran Nancy Hayes AM - and What Rhymes with Cars and Girls by Aidan Fennessy with the music of Tim Rogers.

The groundbreaking Malthouse/Melbourne Festival production Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday by Roslyn Oades will also be a highlight.

The State Theatre Company of SA will return to Geelong with the Australian classic The Popular Mechanicals, and Queensland’s shake and stir theatre co will present its latest take on another classic, the blood-curdling Dracula.

Tasmanian Theatre Company will visit for the first time with a new work from the USA - Bakersfield Mist with John Wood and Julie Nihill.

And GPAC is thrilled to welcome back from New York Nilaja Sun with her new production Pike St.

GPAC also announced that Opera Australia will be performing The Marriage of Figaro in 2017, featuring the Geelong Youth Choir.

Nine and five-show theatre season packages are available offering significant savings on single ticket prices. For details and bookings go to

Hubcaps to Creative Hubs

Hubcaps to Creative Hubs

Deakin University and local collaborative organisation Creative Geelong Inc have partnered with a leading television documentary producer on a new research project that aims to tell the stories of Geelong’s industrial sites currently undergoing creative transformations.

The project is currently seeking crowd-funding via a Pozible campaign, and as of yesterday was 86 per cent funded with the all or nothing December 6 deadline looming.

Hubcaps to Creative Hubs would see Deakin University researchers, Dr Fiona Gray and Dr Cristina Garduño Freeman, work with Creative Geelong Inc and the local creative industries community to document the inspiration, stories and places of the people driving the reinvented maker culture of Geelong.

According to Dr Gray, Hubcaps to Creative Hubs is a living history research project that will paint a picture of what Geelong was, is and will be.

“The films will focus on three of Geelong’s former industrial sites that are currently undergoing a creative transformation: the Old Paper Mills in Fyansford, the Returned Soldiers and Sailors Woollen and Worsted Mills in Newtown; and the Federal Woollen Mills in North Geelong,” Dr Gray said.

Inside the old paper mills at Fyansford. Photo by Donna Squire

These films will be shot and produced by director and program developer, Nicholas Searle, who has recently worked on Australia’s biggest factual formats, including Grand Designs Australia, River Cottage Australia, and reality television series The Recruit. Once completed, the films will encourage further investment in the local creative industries sector and provide broadcast-quality marketing material for the region to help promote and strengthen the local economy.

According to Creative Geelong Inc President, Jennifer Cromarty, Geelong has an active and vibrant creative industries community and partnering with Deakin University for this project is one step in growing awareness of the burgeoning creative industries sector in the region.

“We are, and always will be makers. Geelong’s history is rich in inventiveness, innovation and making things. Creative industries include activities associated with software and interactive content, film, TV and radio, publishing, architecture, visual arts and design, advertising, public relations and marketing services, and music and the performing arts. The role of creative industries in our region is helping shape our future,” Ms Cromarty said.

To learn more about Hubcaps to Creative Geelong and make a tax deductible donation visit Follow the campaign via

Antiques Roadshow Comes To GPAC

Antiques Roadshow Comes To GPAC

Do you love oohing and aahing over the hidden family treasures, or wincing in sympathy when a treasure turns out to be anything but? Then you won't want to miss Tales From the Antiques Roadshow live on stage at GPAC in January.

Three of the show's most familiar faces - Hilary Kay, Paul Atterbury and Ronnie Archer-Morgan - tell their own personal stories and share some joyous behind the scenes tales as part of a tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of the beloved BBC show. Previously unseen footage will be screened and theatre audiences will share some of the excitement of the fabulous filming locations.

Tales from the Antiques Roadshow will take us on a unique journey behind the cameras to discover how the award-winning television series is created. See the most valuable and bizarre objects on screen as the experts remember the tears and laughter of the show’s extraordinary history. 

One show only - Sunday 15 January at The Playhouse

Single: $89.00
Children under 2 free on lap.   

Master Pianist @GPAC

Master Pianist @GPAC

Chopin by Candlelight

5 November

Geelong music lovers will be treated to a unique opportunity to hear from one of the world’s most talented pianists when Piers Lane performs Chopin By Candlelight in the intimate setting of the drama theatre at GPAC.

One of Australia’s most internationally acclaimed pianists, and artistic director of both the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Sydney International Piano Competition, Piers has performed in the world’s great concert halls, attracting remarkable reviews for his brilliant and sensitive performances.

Chopin By Candlelight will enthral audiences with a breathtaking selection of music from the popular Romantic composer, performed in the beautiful glow of candlelight.

The concert features a variety of works, including Fantasie in F minor Op. 49, Etude in E major Op 10. No. 3 (Tristesse), Bacarolle Op. 60, and Polonaise in F sharp minor. 

For bookings call GPAC on 5225 1200 or visit


Three Dimensional Wonders

Three Dimensional Wonders

Until 28 September

Don't miss the final week of Three Dimensional Wonders as art@wintergarden celebrates its fifth annual Sculpture Exhibition this month, introducing new exhibitors alongside some of the gallery’s favourite sculptors.

Works include substantial pieces in bronze, steel and limestone, unusual glass and construction works and some classics in clay and wood by artists including Leonie Amerena, Graeme Bentley, Jacinta Leitch, Robyn Mackay and Gregor Wallace.

Disgraced To Close GPAC Season

Disgraced To Close GPAC Season


5 - 8 October

Race, religion and identity in America - these are some of the most contentious issues shaping debate in the United States today, but are they good choices for dinner party conversation? This is the premise of Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama and this compelling piece of modern theatre presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company is the finale of the 2016 Deakin Theatre Season at GPAC.

Amir, played by Hazem Shammas has everything everyone is supposed to want in America today. He is about to make partner at is New York law firm, he lives in a spacious Upper East Side apartment with is beautiful artist wife Emily, played by Kat Stewart. The couple have invited a colleague of Amir and her husband over for a dinner party. Jory's husband, Isaac, is an art dealer, and both couples have many common interests. But the thing about conflict in America is that it's everywhere, and when some of the conversation turns to some of the sources of those conflicts, what should have been an enjoyable evening quickly deteriorates.

Chekhov observed that lives can be destroyed during an event as mundane as a dinner party, and Ayad Akhtar brings this observation on to the stage in intense and absorbing style.

For tickets and show information visit

Always...Patsy Cline

Always...Patsy Cline

Friday 7th at 8.00pm and Saturday 8th October at 2pm & 8.00pm

Potato Shed, Drysdale

If you love country music you will love this new production currently touring Australia. Always...Patsy Cline by Ted Swindley is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer. The show is based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in l961, and continued a friendship with Cline until her death.

This musical combines humour, emotion and 27 Patsy Cline’s songs including many of her unforgettable hits such as I Fall to Pieces , Sweet Dreams, Crazy, Walkin' After Midnight and She's Got You. A treat for anyone who remembers Cline whilst providing a whole new generation of country music lovers an idea of what seeing her was like and what she meant to her original fans.

Directed by Denny Lawrence, the production stars award-winning country music sensation including a Top Ten ARIA, Courtney Conway as Patsy Cline (and popular stage actor Mandi Lodge (Just The Ticket, Menopause The Musical and Dumped! The Musical) as Louise Seger.

Tickets and information


An Otherworldly Art Prize Winner

An Otherworldly Art Prize Winner

Melbourne artist Kay Beynon is the winner of the 2016 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize, Geelong Gallery’s acquisitive award for contemporary painting.

Beynon’s narrative-rich, skilfully executed painting Graveyard scene/the beauty and sadness of bones 2014–15 is based on a scene from An-Li: a Chinese ghost tale and portrays the supernatural story of two young spirits who traverse opposing worlds: one aquatic, the other earthly.

The prize-winning work is the first by Beynon to be acquired by Geelong Gallery and reveals an interest in connections between mother and child, ancestral spirits, and the cycle of life and death.

Beynon, who emigrated to Australia from Hong Kong at the age of four, said personal references in the highly symbolic work include a bowl from her late maternal Chinese grandmother, with a phoenix as auspicious sign of transformation.

“The lion-dogs—protective guardian animals—relate to my Chinese zodiac year, while oranges as offerings reflect Buddhist ancestors.

“Although melancholy, there are signs of hope and healing. An-Li holds a heart sprouting like a vegetable, while a lotus flower unexpectedly blooms. Being able to germinate after a thousand years dormant, lotus seeds signify a connection to the earth and possible future beginnings.”

The 2016 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize received more than 550 entries from around Australia, with 33 works shortlisted for exhibition. The three judges were Victoria Lynn, Director, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Jason Smith, Director, Geelong Gallery, and Lisa Sullivan, Curator, Geelong Gallery.

“[The winning] work is highly refined in its pictorial organisation of interrelating forms and striking interactive colour, and quietly but exceptionally powerful in its poignant reflections on death, mourning, earthly life and the spiritual realm,” Jason Smith said on behalf of the panel.

“Kate’s touching interpretation of the Chinese ghost tale of An-Li has an emotional resonance with the images and stories of loss and grieving with which we are surrounded in a contemporary world: one in which conflict, terror and instability are counterpointed by the enduring beauty and resilience of nature and generosity of spirit.”

The Geelong Contemporary Art Prize is sponsored by the Dimmick Charitable Trust and assists with the development of the Gallery’s collection while supporting Australian artists and contemporary painting practice in general.

The winning work and other entries will be on display at Geelong Gallery until Sunday 13 November.

After hours at Geelong Gallery

View the Geelong Gallery’s collection in a different way during spring and summer with After Hours. Enjoy a guest DJ and pop-up wine and pizza bar at dusk on the first Friday of every month until the end of summer.

Around The World In 80 Days

Around The World In 80 Days

14 – 17 September

In a joyfully frenetic whirlwind of a show, join Ian Stenlake, Pia Mirana and Grant Piro on this high speed, mad-cap, transcontinental race against the clock in the Jules Verne classic, Around The World In 80 Days.
Victorian invention takes centre stage, as the trio navigate sea storms, police chases and elephant rides on their way around the globe.

The story begins with a bank robbery by a mysterious figure. Then we are introduced to Phileas Fogg, honest-looking, well-turned out and with good teeth who proclaims before his fellow members of a London gentleman’s club that he can circumnavigate the globe in a mere 80 days. He goes forth on his adventure accompanied by his newly acquired valet, Mr Passepartout. Hot in their pursuit is Detective Fix of Scotland Yard, who thinks that Fogg is the man who robbed the bank.

With a style that incorporates classic farce, theatrical storytelling and silliness, combined with the great age of industrial invention, you will be crying with laughter at this joyful penultimate offering of GPAC’s 2016 Deakin Theatre Season.

Click here for show information and tickets:

Winyanboga Yurringa

Winyanboga Yurringa

GPAC's 2016 Deakin University Theatre Season - 17 – 20 August

The next instalment in the GPAC’s 2016 Deakin University Theatre Season is Winyahboga Yurringa.

Six Aboriginal Women. On Country. Their attempts to connect with land and each other; thwarted by arguments about identity, beauty, boyfriends and a cyber invasion by race hate bloggers. Guided by their Auntie/Sister/Cousin Neecy, the women eventually discover that this isn’t any old camping trip and that their connection to country and each other runs deeper than they could ever have imagined.

Written and directed by Yorta Yorta/Kurnai woman Andrea James, Winyanboga Yurringa is inspired by Hyllus Maris and Sonia Borg’s iconic Women of the Sun and the provocative imagery of Wathaurong artist Bindi Cole.

True, poetic, sometimes crude and often humorous; this enthralling piece of modern Australian theatre takes the intergenerational pulse of Aboriginal women today to expose the complexity and beauty of women’s business and our enduring connection to country.

Come sit with us.

Save the Date

If words are your thing, keep the weekend of 18-20 November free for Australia's largest festival to showcase non-fiction literature, writing and ideas.

This year's Word for Word Non-Fiction Festival, presented by Geelong Regional Libraries in partnership with Deakin University and the City of Greater Geelong, will be held at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre – a fitting celebration for the Centre’s first anniversary.

The full festival program will be released in October, but to keep up with all the festival news and program announcements, subscribe to the Word for Word Festival e-newsletter at

New Works on Show at Seaview

New Works on Show at Seaview

Queenscliff’s Seaview Gallery is showing for the first time works by award-winning figurative artist Trisha Lambi, known for her bold and sensuous, yet haunting, nudes. Trisha has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally and was named a Zone winner in the London Olympics 2012 Art Show and selected as one of the Best Picks for Painting in the 2013 Dubai International Emerging Artist Award.

Seaview is also showing “bright and bold”new works from the Bellarine Peninsula’s Sara Paxton and beautiful, whimsical pieces from The Tweed Valley’s Christine Robinson.

Seaview Red Velvet Trish Lambi
Seaview Blue Leaf Sara Paxton
Seaview Deluxe Fields Sara Paxton
Seaview And The Owl Wished Everything Was White Trish Lambi
Seaview Southern Coast Sara Paxton
Seaview I Am My Mothers Garden Trish Lambi
Seaview Tiffin Christine Robinson
Seaview Flower Fantasia Sara Paxton
Seaview Blue Lake Sara Paxton
Seaview Astral Navigation Christine Robinson
Seaview Snow White Trish Lambi

Who's Who Portrait Prize

Entries close Friday 26 August, 5pm

Australia’s renowned Archibald Prize for portraiture was established with a bequest from Jules Francois Archibald, co-founder and editor of the iconic Bulletin. Marking Archibald’s connection to Geelong (he was born in Geelong West in 1856), the Who’s who portrait prize aims to inspire young artists to celebrate local or regional identities, their personal histories and achievements through portraiture.
The prize attracts hundreds of entries from students across the region and features portraits of local heroes from sporting identities and community leaders to teachers and family members. Selected entries will be exhibited in the Geelong Gallery from 17 September – 9 October, with more published in the Geelong Advertiser during the exhibition.
To enter, click the link below:

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