Welcome to the website of the Beaudesert Community Arts and Information Centre. The aim of our centre is firstly to provide a showcase for local art and craft. Amongst our talented contributors are painters, sculptors, textile artists, woodworkers, writers, musicians, paper artists and food providores. As most of our contributors also man the centre from time to time, you will meet them when you come to visit.
We also provide information for visitors to the area, and it is our staff members' personal extensive knowledge which helps people who come here from all parts of the world to enjoy our special region.
The centre is also a meeting place for community groups.
On the website you'll find out what's happening in the area, from our calendar and from our "What's on" page. There'll also be reports on recent events.
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Kim (Brolga) Williams
Kim Williams (Brolga) is a proud Kullilli-Wakka-Wakka woman who has just completed her Diploma of Contemporary Indigenous Art at Griffith University. She was awarded the Queensland College of Art's Talented Artist award and has been invited to exhibit her work in Perth next year. This course is unique, and only offered in Queensland.
Kim was one of eight students selected from hundreds from all over Australia to participate in the three-year course. The students' final exhibition was opened last Friday, 25 November, and it is stunning in the range and depth of the art works.
Kim's family history is central to her work. At the age of two and a half, she was stolen from her family and raised in institutions for most of her childhood. Reunited with her family at the age of 13, she was re-introduced to her culture. Her ancestors' country is Mitchell, St George and Cherbourg.
Her grandmother still suffers from guilt at not being able to keep her grand-daughter when the government officers came to take the children away from their families and their culture. Kim has however re-established a strong bond with her grandmother, who has taught her women's practices and passed on the stories of her people.
When Kim paints, whether on her body for ceremony or on bark or canvas, she is not just painting for fun or profit, she paints to demonstrate her continuing link with her country and the rights and responsibilities she has to it:
"I paint to show the world our stories; that we all own the land and the land owns us. I have the responsibility to hand the stories down to the next generations so they are not forgotten."
Kim's work seeks to make peace with the past. One central work at the exhibition is a vertical wooden piece with carved letters which show the history of her family going back to 1913. Her people were continually moved from place to place, never able to choose where they lived. They were finally sent to Cherbourg.
As part of her exhibition work, Kim travelled to every place where her family had lived, collecting earth from each place. This earth forms the floor of a display of aprons which reflects the fate of the young girls stolen from their families to become domestics.
The earth was also used to dye fabric used as a map to show the geography of the family movements.
Kim entered the Griffith University course as a painter, but changed to sculpture, when she began to weave piccabean baskets, an art form passed to her from her grandmother. This little-known weaving technique has been preserved for posterity through Kim's work, and she is passing on the tradition to her niece.
Kim's art work includes both traditional and contemporary indigenous painting, traditionally woven baskets, sculpture and lino prints. We have at present in the Lyrebird Gallery four of her paintings, traditional in form but using also vibrant blues, greens and lilacs.
Although removed from her people and culture at a young age, Kim has been restored to them, and her experience drives her art:
"My current work depicts the impact on our culture as a result of dispersal, stolen generations and black slavery in Australia. My passion is to restore and share the many stories that have been passed down to me." She adds that we are preparing for a shared future built upon understanding and respect.
Kim and her husband have lived in Beaudesert for the past 26 years, and they have six sons.
Come along to the Lyrebird Gallery to see some of Kim's unique work.
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A World Apart
Fine May weather attracted a record number of visitors to the World Apart tourism promotion in the south of the Scenic Rim region last weekend. Many people visited all five venues - Barney Creek Vineyard Cottages, Classi di Cucina Italiana, Mt Barney Lodge, Rathdowney Alpacas at "Triple Peaks" and Jeni Seale and Barry Marshall at Ridgeline Studios.
All hosts offered free tastings and the opportunity to discover what the Mt Barney area has to offer. Here are some photos of the event:
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Wild Mountains visit
Wild Mountains Environmental Education Centre is situated on Levers Plateau, and last week we were privileged to visit the Centre.
We were greeted by Susan and Richard Zoomers, who started the centre 30 years ago, and by Justin and Liz Hills, who have joined the Zoomers in recent years.
Richard explained that as a young man, he was involved in campaigns to save the Franklin River in Tasmania from being dammed, and the Daintree in far North Queensland from being developed. Such campaigns, while successful, polarised the communitites, so Richard and Susan decided that educating people to value and protect the environment would be their life's work.
Helped by Liz and Justin, they provide structured programs to primary, secondary and tertiary students, which entertain as well as educate. Many of these people have become committed to protection of the environment, and have continued to visit Wild Mountains as volunteers.
After morning tea we went for a walk through the forest, where Richard and Susan explained rainforest ecology. Much work has been done there in weed control, and a lot more planting. It was wonderful to see such healthy rainforest.
After lunch Justin gave us a tour through the straw bale house he and Liz are building with the help of family and volunteers. This house is based on sustainable practices, and will be water and energy efficient.
To top off this lovely day, we stopped on the way down the mountain to admire the view and to observe a koala in a roadside tree.
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Birdsong recital a big success
There was a full house for the Birdsong recital by Hartley Newnham and Nicholas Routley in Ipswich last Sunday. The owners of historic Rockton House kindly made their lovely home available for the concert, and supplied wine and nibblies afterwards.
The concert featured a thousand years of music and songs around the theme of birds, including some of Hartley's own compositions. Hartley was supported by Nicholas's brilliant piano playing, and the recital commemorated 40 years of this creative partnership.
Many Scenic Rim residents travelled to Ipswich to see the concert again, after having seen it performed at Hartley's home in Rathdowney late last year.
In the audience was opera singer Bradley Daley, who has recently sung Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Opera Queensland. He will sing Siegmund in Opera Australia's production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen later this year.
We look forward to more concerts by Hartley and Nicholas in the Scenic Rim.