The Nillumbik Artists Open Studio’s program has graciously evolved over the past 29 years from what was once loosely seen as an occasion for a small number of local artists to get together collectively and share their creative spaces to what is now a unique and privileged opportunity for people to step into the heart and soul of over 30 artistic studios twice a year. The programs trajectory and success is the result of the dedicated group of volunteer artists whom have taken a great deal of pride in fostering a sense of community and connectedness with artists alike and harnessed the motivation to share their sites of inspiration and artistic vision with the broader public.
The Nillumbik Shire is steeped in artistic culture and hosts a prolific history of some of Australia’s most legendary artists. This sense of history and place is evident in the artistic culture of the region. In some way native floral, fauna, the seasons and raw elements all seem to resonate and be represented in some form or frame.
The region has always attracted and nurtured those with an artistic vision. From the likes of Clifton Pugh, Arthur Boyd, Piers Bateman, Hillary Jackman, Clara Southern, George Baldessin, the Jorgesen family, Albert Tucker, Alistair Knox, all of which have dedicated part of their creative lives to live, work and find inspiration in the unique Australian landscape of the Nillumbik Shire.
An Open Studio invitation provides visitors with the rare glimpse at dirty paint brushes, burning kilns, blank canvases, sculpting tools, reels of film, pieces of recycled timber and steel, piles of tiles, grey lead shavings and those artworks that didn’t quite make the cut.
It is like stepping into a laboratory where the artists have full rein for experimentation and play. You find yourself surrounded by artifacts, history and landscapes that provide the stimuli for what may ultimately be observed by many only in a gallery space. Pulling back the layers to unique personal narratives allows visitors to discover the artwork in a more personal intimate way, and that is the true beauty of our Nillumbik Artists Open Studios Program.