Late April we hosted our annual Four Day Food, Wine, and Art long weekend in the Snowy Valleys. Guests travelled from Japan, Western Australia, Sydney, Canberra and more to join in the weekend’s festivities.
Leading up to the Four Day event weekend on 26 April, we were pleased to showcase the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail and the region to Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, Shadow Minister for Science, Arts, Government Services and the Digital Economy. Mr Fletcher followed his visit with a letter “It was clear from the passion of the local community membersand artists I met on the day, of how important government funding was, following the 2019-20 bushfires and on the back of COVID-19 challenges and how that has translated to attracting visitors as well as engaging and intriguing locals.”
The four-day event started with a delicious lunch at Courabyra Wines. Guests enjoyed a guided tour of the sculptures located around the vineyard grounds before being seated for a 3-course meal. The lunch was an opportunity for locals to ‘Meet the Artists’ with opportunity to share conversations over a relaxed meal and a glass of (the award winning) Courabyra Wine, artists in attendance were Kaoru Matsumoto (Japan), Takeshi Tanabe (Japan) Jennifer Cochrane (WA), Jina Lee (WA/South Korea), Michael LeGrand (NSW) and James Tapscott (Vic).
A slower paced Sunday saw the events move to the southern end of the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail. Obsession Wines welcomed visitors, including ABC Riverina’s Sally Bryant to appreciate the stunning vistas from their vineyard throughout the day. A highlight was having Japanese artist Takeshi Tanabe in attendance and speak about his sculpture located at Obsession.
Brigham House in Tooma opened its doors for tours by the artists of its indoor collection, artists Michael Le Grand, Philip Spelman, Paul Bacon, and Takeshi Tanabe all shared their inspiration and work process. Wrapping up the four days of food, wine, and art in the Snowy Valleys was a painting exhibition by Japanese artist Motoko Tanabe, this was officially opened by David Handley.
Thank you to all involved in the events, for everyone that travelled, the locals that turned up to show their support. We anticipate this will become an annual event and look forward to sharing future plans with you soon!
Continuing the weekend’s unveiling Saturday day began with Uncle Kevin Stokes ‘Welcome to Country’ as we gathered in Adelong to see Kaoru Matsumoto’s (Japan) sculpture ‘Cycle-90° “Lingering Memory” VII’ officially unveiled by Dr Joe McGirr MP, Member for Wagga Wagga, surrounded by beautiful autumn leaves and accompanied by
The Riverina Light Horse Troop in the grounds of the Adelong
Services & Citizens Club.
The morning tea supplied by Adelong Services & Citizens Club was delicious, some of us were guilty of indulging, unable to stop at just one scone! With full bellies a large contingent walked across the Adelong bridge for a guided tour lead by David Handley and visiting artists. Accompanying the tour was the Riverina Light Horse Troop.
Before the day’s activities were over in Adelong, guests joined the Preview opening by David Handley of an exhibition of paintings by Marija Zrno at 64 Tumut Street, Adelong.
Nest hosted fifty guests; artists, farmers, locals, and visitors to the region joined together for a feast of local produce around the banquet tables.
Guests were welcomed on arrival by local wine growers Elvie & Richard with a glass of their cool climate wine accompanied by fresh roasted chestnuts from Tom & Judy’s orchard – the scene was set for the evening ahead.
Once seated the full room was quickly quieted; moved by John Riddell’s stirring video montage of the Snowy Valleys bushfire story; a compelling picture was painted of bushfire devastation, recovery, growth, and the pioneering people who have pushed through the tough times to grow premium produce.
The floor was then given to the inspirational farmers to share their story and showcase their produce featured on the menu. In reply, the visiting artists shared their story and impression the Snowy Valleys has had on them. It was an emotional evening, with no one in a hurry to leave once the formalities concluded.
Laura Fraumeni said it “hit home when Jina Lee, international artist told me how special the evening was, meeting these farmers, hearing their survival stories… and realising incredible connections have been made”.
The annual Batlow Ciderfest was on 20 May 2023. Local artists Elaine Camlin and Melissa Martin hosted a drop-in art workshop, children were able to meet the artists and get creative, adding to Melissa and Elaine’s Shop Art ‘Shifted Perspectives’ on Selwyn Street, Batlow. Thank you to the organisers for a well-supported event!
Welcome to our newest Snowy Valleys team member Courtnee Leigh, Courtnee will be opening the Batlow Shop Art Project for us. At the same time, we farewell and say thank you to one of our original team members Misha Sweeney, Misha is moving on to pursue a new role. We wish you all the best Misha!
We would also like to welcome Victor Goustavsky to the ‘Local Community Advisory Group,’ Vic joins the group as the representative for Talbingo.
The current installations in Batlow and Tumbarumba are by local artists that applied to be a part of the Shop Art Project, Jenny Blake (Tumbarumba) and Elaine Camlin and Melissa Martin (Batlow) were commissioned for the works currently on display. More info here.
Come and join us for Jenny Blake’s artist talk at 10am on Monday 19 June at
30a The Parade, Tumbarumba (located down the walkway between the butcher and the Tumbarumba Hotel) and then at 1pm on Tuesday 27 June for an artist talk with Melissa and Elaine at the Batlow Shop Art Project on Selwyn Street. All welcome.
Over the duration of the Snowy Valleys Long Weekend, visiting artists Jina Lee and Jennifer Cochrane visited schools in Talbingo and Tumbarumba. Local Talbingo Primary students attended the unveiling of April Pine’s ‘Tidal Body’ and then returned to their school where Jennifer Cochrane gave an informative talk about her installation in Tumbarumba and her artistic process before engaging in an immersive workshop where students created paper cubes that were then joined by wire to create hanging sculptures. Jina Lee hosted two sessions with students from Tumbarumba Primary where she demonstrated her process of stone carving and engaged in informal discussions with the students regarding her influences, and the associated challenges and benefits as an artist working with stone.
This June we are working with the Local Community Advisory Group to finalise the last of the sculptures to be purchased and installed with the BLER grant funding. Late spring will see the installation of major sculptures in Batlow and Tumbarumba, this will be followed by further sculpture installations across the Snowy Valleys.
Thank you once again for your support. If you have any questions, please contact:
Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail Project Coordinator
Email [email protected]