Have you ever wanted to get up close to the potter’s wheel, the painter’s brush or the woodworker’s chisel? Have you ever wondered how a basket is made or where a ceramicist gets her clay?
Well now is your chance, with the thriving underbelly of Newstead’s art and craft scene to reveal itself as part of the Castlemaine State Festival. Dubbed Newstead Open Studios, it is just that, with 11 unique and passionate artists across a range of mediums opening their doors to the public during back-to-back weekends in March.
Come and experience the mesmerising throw of ceramicist Sarah Koschak’s pottery wheel where she creates handcrafted porcelain pottery or the wonderland that is Roger McKindley’s art garden, a place that every child must visit (grown up kids included). Full of feeling and imagination are the mosaic and canvas works by Krissy Scherlies.
Lachlan Park grew up in Newstead and makes ‘ things ‘ from wood, while in Strangways you can see Trefor Prest’s brass and copper oddities – the intricacy of an engineer meshed with the heart of a sculptor.
At The Red Door Gallery in the centre of Newstead, Richard Sullivan’s prints and artist books express connection to place and memories. Alongside Richard’s work is that painter Prue McAdam who enjoys playing with acrylic paint, charcoal and ink. And to round out this special array of works are those of Julie Patey. A practicing artist and art teacher for thirty years, Julie’s work is related directly to nature and landscape.
If the local bush has a special place in your heart too, then Bronwyn Silver’s nature photos are a must see, taken over many years exploring the forest surrounding her historical home in the Old Walmer School. And nestled amongst the eucalypts in Green Gully, between Castlemaine and Newstead are the sculptural and functional ceramics of Chris Johnston with a special guest exhibition by sculptor Sally Roadknight who creates exquisite pieces from found pieces of nature.
Studios will be open from 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday the 18 & 19th and 25th & 26th of March. This really is a special opportunity to see these authentic local artists in their natural habitat and see or perhaps even purchase some of their latest creations. Some have longer opening hours. Check out the details about each studio at newsteadopenstudios.wordpress.com and get your guide/map from the website, from Dig Cafe or Red Door Gallery both in the heart of Newstead. Or find us on Facebook and Instagram.