MonthApril 2020

ANCA Gallery puts Tree Conversations exhibition on line

Until Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Following a successful season at Wagga Regional Art Gallery, where it was scheduled to show until 3 May 2020, Conversations with Trees has moved to ANCA Gallery in a digital format during the closures of Covid-19.

Barbie speaks with Anne McMahon, Public Programs Officer at Belconnen Arts Centre
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Fitness centre offers free online classes

Online at

The BlueFit Group has begun offering free live and on-demand fitness and sport training classes for people of all ages.

Among the sports for which skills training is on offer are soccer, basketball, golf, swimming and gymnastics.

BlueFit, which has facilities in all Australian mainland states, says that ‘staying active is vital during this time in order to prevent unhealthy weight gain, maintain a clear mind and to keep our immune systems strong.’ The website also aims to encourage communities to stay connected.

Schools Program Manager for BlueFit Kids, Ali Karouche, talks about Be Fit at Home

Katherine Kovacic – The Shifting Landscape

Echo Publishing, Australia, 2020

In this, the third in the Alex Clayton art mystery series, Katherine Kovacic brings us a tale of dispossession, a weighty national theme that underpins and is mirrored in the crime story of this book.

It is a story of power and greed. It is this gravitas of the story of connection to land on a macro scale that makes the book particularly wonderful, elevating it to much, much more than a contemporary rural crime novel. The theme is then powerfully repeated in its underlayers.

Barbie speaks with Katherine Kovacic about The Shifting Landscape
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Canberra musician strums to a worldwide audience

Multi-instrumentalist Garry Owen was involved with several music groups before the COVID-19 emergency.

He’s now leading ukulele groups in Canberra and further afield via live YouTube streaming, and they’re open to everyone.

He recently contacted ukulele groups in New York City and presented a 90-minute ‘strumalong’ session with words, chords and music.

In this interview, Garry Owen describes how he set up virtual ukulele sessions, and offers advice for others wishing to present material online.

The Ukes aLive Facebook page is at, and it has links to the YouTube channel

Jig’s up for COVID-19 as mad kelpies chase online audience

While the world’s reeling from coronavirus, there’ll be reels and other Celtic music a-plenty at the online Gunning Arts Festival on 17 and 18 April 2020.

Queanbeyan five-piece group Mad Kelpie Playdate has put together two YouTube playlists especially for the festival.

The Mad Kelpie’s Sean Hodgman talks about the group’s origins and name, and gives us a taste of what’s in store for the weekend

Colleen Southwell – The Shadow of Wings

Online at suki & hugh Gallery, Bungendore

Not only can you see the catalogue of Colleen Southwell’s exquisite work online at this website, you can also view a beautiful video of her speaking about her work – what motivates her, why it matters. There are also soul-lifting shots of the beautiful green Orange countryside and her delightful bounding (or snoozing) dogs.

Barbie discusses the exhibition with Colleen Southwell

All the work is for sale, as indicated in the catalogue and you can contact the gallery for more information:

Image: Colleen Southwell Unfound #8 2020 – Arches cotton paper, pigment, watercolour, archival adhesive, coated copper wire, entomology pins, framed in raw Australian Oak with non-reflective UV glass, 30 cm x 23 cm x 6 cm.

Online wearable art for Gunning Arts Festival

17 to 19 April 2020

With the inaugural Gunning Arts Festival moving online due to COVID-19, it is pleasing to note that the Wearable Art exhibition and fashion parade items will both be available via

Organiser Helen Vooren tells us that there will be a great variety of wearable art on digital display and that items made for the fashion parade will be held over until the festival can occur live in 2021. Information about and by the creators will also be posted.

Helen Vooren talks about online wearable art

Mick Elliott – Squidge Dibley Destroys Everything

A Lothian book published by Hachette, Australia and NZ, 2020

This is a graphic novel for children which speaks with a loud clear voice about the importance of embracing, nay revelling in, difference.  It also celebrates the capacity of children to problem solve and to work co-operatively and creatively to do so.

Such a work could be po-faced, but this glorious fantastical story will delight children and adults with its clever humour and zany evil-fighting plot.

Mick Elliott talks about Squidge Dibley Destroys Everything
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Wayfaring – Craft ACT

Online to 9 May 2020

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Craft ACT’s new online exhibition Wayfaring features work by four artists who have created carefully crafted jewellery and objects about walked journeys, memory and place. 

Meaning ‘to travel by foot’, Wayfaring is a creative collaboration touring three Australian cities and featuring work by artists with close associations to Tasmania: Bella Dower, Sara Lindsay, Sarah Stubbs and Zoë Veness.  

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Dianna Nixon – Millicent

Online as part of the Gunning Arts Festival

Another resourceful artist in the Gunning Arts Festival, Dianna Nixon founder and director of Wild Voices Music Theatre, will bring a preview of her production of Millicent to online audiences.

Filmed on the verandah of Pye Cottage in Gunning, Dianna Nixon introduces Gunning district playwright, farmer and soldier settler, Millicent Armstrong, and her plays.

Dianna has produced five minutes of her performance to Vimeo on a smartphone. It is available for free viewing, but not for downloading, at

She will hold a Q and A session via Zoom on Saturday 18 April at 1.30pm. Registration is by Facebook at

Dianna Nixon talks to Barbie about Millicent
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M16 Artspace extends application deadline

Apply by 30 April to exhibit in 2021

Although many artists have had a lot to manage over the last few weeks and that COVID-19 has deeply affected the arts community,  M16 Artspace is urging artists to apply for a 2021 exhibition in one of their galleries.

M16 Artspace presents high-quality exhibitions from both emerging and established artists and curators from Canberra, interstate and overseas. 
The deadline for applications has been extended to 30 April 2020.

Application forms and guidelines are available at: