Art & Music & Film & Drama

Noll Brothers play exclusive Blues Bonding Session

By Dominic Geiger

Condobolin’s own Shannon Noll and The Noll Brothers recently played to an exclusive audience of Blues Origin players and officials at the Charing Cross Hotel in Sydney.
The ‘Blues Bonding Session’ performance featured 90 minutes of new and old tunes from the three Nolls, as well as an energetic rendition of Shannon’s song ‘Lift’.
Adam Noll said he’d really enjoyed the evening.
“It was a terrific night,” he said.
“We got on really well with all the players.
“By the end of the night everyone was covered in blue food dye.”
Adam said the team had shared some thoughts about the upcoming match with the brothers.
“The team’s pretty psyched for the game,” he said.
“They all reckon they’re going to pull this one off.
“Kurt Gidley was pretty happy to be back in the side.”
As for what’s on the horizon for the brothers, Adam said he, Damian and Shannon were in for a busy couple of months.
“We’ve got Shannon’s new album coming out in the next few weeks,” he said.
“We (The Noll Brothers) are going on tour in August and we’ll be playing at the Deniliquin Ute Muster.
“We’ve also just come back from doing a concert for 6000 Queensland flood volunteers at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.”

Album review

The Dusty Yellow Sunbeams latest album 'The Present Day Blues'By Dominic Geiger

Parkes band, ‘Dusty Yellow Sunbeams’, has released a brand spanking new album called ‘The Present Day Blues’.
Featuring relaxed acoustic guitars and smooth melancholy vocals, the band has managed to create an easy listening album perfect for any lazy Sunday afternoon.
With an incredibly clean, crisp sound, the album features a number of standout tracks including ‘Home is the falling leaves’, ‘Captain on the bottom of the ocean floor’ and a djembe laden final track, ‘Little Red Leaf’.
Relatively new to the Central West music scene, singer Tom Orr said he and his brother Chris formed the band after Chris took a twelve month break from university studies.
“Chris is a music student at Lismore University,” Tom said.
“He came back home [for a while] and we’ve just been jamming and writing.”
Tom said the entire album was recorded in the brothers’ makeshift home studio.
“We called a few people [in the lead up to making the album] including a friend who studied sound engineering in Lismore,” Tom said.
“Then we recorded everything, with me and Chris swapping instruments.
“We both write songs, play guitar and sing and Tom plays a bit of bass as well.”
Tom said he and Chris had been playing music together for a while but had only recently moved from covers to composing their own original music.
“We’re always jamming together,” he said.
“The album came out officially three weeks ago and we’re really happy with it.”
To check out the band’s album for free, log on to
To order an album copy, send an e-mail to

Wiradjuri art on display at study centre

Left to right: Isaac Burrell, Percy Knight, Jesse Burrell, Tasha Stewart and Terry Williams with artwork by Gloria Reid. The larger painting in the background tells the story of the connection between the old camp at the Murie and the settlement at Willow Bend in Condobolin.

By Dominic Geiger

Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) has recently held an exhibition titled “Art of the Wiradjuri” at the organisation’s newly constructed study centre.
The exhibition was held as a model to discover how artists felt their work could be displayed at future exhibitions in Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Bathurst.
Project manager for the exhibition, Terry Williams, said “Art of the Wiradjuri” included many different styles and designs including traditional, contemporary, photography and craft.
“We thought we’d try to exhibit across as many genres as possible,” he said.
“Today is about developing a display model; this exhibition is one of many more to come.
Terry said the exhibition had been established to build upon the artistic traditions of the Wiradjuri people.
“(Art) has long been recognised as an important aspect of Wiradjuri life and culture,” he said.
“The exhibition is a method which seeks to encourage and establish new emerging artists in both the maintaining and developing of important works.
“The ‘Art of the Wiradjuri’ is open for applications for the winter exhibition… it is not a competition but will be a stepping stone for local artists to unmask their work.”
Isaac Burrell, who travelled from Gilgandra to see the exhibition, said he was impressed with the work on display.
“I wanted to come and have a look because my aunty has done some of the (art) work and my uncle helped build the doors (of the study centre),” he said.
The exhibition will travel to other locations in the Wiradjuri nation around the end of June.

Rock to country music

Country music royalty: Catherine Britt will perform at the Condobolin RSL. DG By Dominic Geiger

Golden Guitar winner for Female Artist of the Year in 2009 and 2010 CMA Global Artist of the Year, Catherine Britt, is gearing up to play a stellar show at the Condobolin RSL on June 18.
Currently touring nationally in support of her new self titled album, Catherine said Condobolin could expect a highly energetic performance.
“The show’s going to be awesome,” she said.
“(The band and I) have a really good time; I’ve never played Condobolin before so we’re going to give it 100%.”
Catherine said although the focus for the performance would be on her newest album, she would also be playing a range of older songs.
“I have four albums out now so we’ll just be having a lot of fun; I’m bringing the full band and they’re my best mates,” she said.
“It’ll be a four-piece including myself; there’s a bass, electric guitar and drums.
“We’ll also have (2011 two-time Golden Guitar winner) Luke Austen coming along to open the show.
“I played a recent show in Canberra with Luke that was really awesome so I can’t wait to perform with him again.”
As for preparing for her Condobolin performance, Catherine said she planned on approaching it in the same way to any show she might play in the city.
“I’ll probably just have dinner and a glass of wine to relax (before we go on stage),” she said.
“I try to get a good vibe with the band after sound check and have a good time so I can get up and make the most of it.”
Catherine Britt will play at the Condobolin RSL on Saturday June 18 and tickets are available through the venue.

Imperially groovy on a Sunday afternoon

Josh Gallagher and Kathrin Fuelscher at the Imperial Hotel last Sunday. DGBy Dominic Geiger

The rocking sounds of shredding acoustic guitars kept a small but attentive crowd entertained last Sunday afternoon at the monthly Imperial Hotel jam session in Condobolin.
A number of people, both die hard musicians and beginners, picked up a guitar and shared their musical talents with those around them.
Josh Gallagher, pictured, said the jam sessions offered people the chance to relax and to maybe pick up a few new tunes.
“I come along for the enjoyment (of playing music) and the laughs,” he said.
Owner of The Imperial Hotel, Madelon Goodworth, said the jam sessions are run in order to attract people from all ages and to expose musical talent in the town.
“There was no place to play music and really have an audience in town,” she said.
“So we started the jam sessions to encourage the younger ones to come along with a suitable guardian and mix with (other musicians).
“A lot of people are too scared to try singing or playing in front of an audience but if you encourage people to do it (the talent) really comes out.
“Playing in front of a crowd builds confidence so people can get to their peak because everyone’s got some sort of talent.
“It’s just a chilled out get together.”
Keep an eye out on the blackboard outside The Imperial Hotel on Bathurst Street for the date and times of the next jam session.
Madelon also asked for anyone interested in having a barbeque at the jam session to drop into The Imperial and let her know so numbers could be organised.

New cultural festival announced for Forbes

Festival Director Stefo Nantsou (left), with the Mayor of Forbes, Councillor Phyllis Miller, the Festival convener Merrill Findlay, and Councillor Chris Roylances, at a community consultation in Forbes. Photo courtesy Forbes Advocate.By Dominic Geiger

Former Condobolin resident and author, Merrill Findlay, has announced a brand new cultural festival will be held in Forbes this September.
The Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival will incorporate visual arts, multiple styles of music, theatre and literature to offer something for “every age and interest group.”
Merrill, who is the festival’s convenor, said the legend of Kate Kelly, the sister of the infamous Ned Kelly, had helped provide the genesis for the festival.
“I wanted to create an opera about Kate Kelly, whose body was found in Forbes Lagoon, and I met Ross Carey, who was a piano teacher with the Mitchell Conservatorium,” she said.
“From that meeting we developed a really good collaboration for this song cycle about Kate Kelly… and that song cycle will now headline the festival.
“The Song Cycle consists of forty minutes of very accessible new classical music for soprano voice, violin, cello, clarinet, piano accordion, community choirs and clap stick.”
Merrill said although classical music would be featured in the festival, there would also be many other genres on show.
“There’ll be jazz, country, hip hop…we’ll have lots of buskers as well; any musicians in the region are able to perform,” she said.
“We even have a minister for busking, Robert Hofwell, who is President of the Forbes Country Music Club, and will be drawing on his experience when planning the busking venues and program for the festival.
Rather than a traditional organising committee, Merrill said a cabinet of twelve ‘ministers’ would be responsible for the running of the event.
“Each (minister) will be responsible for a portfolio of festival events and activities, ranging from stage performances, busking and lantern making, to exhibitions, markets and creative sports,” she said.
The cabinet will also include one of Condobolin’s very own, with Rural Mental Health Consultant, Di Gill taking on the role of Minister for Mental Health.
“Ms Gill will co-host a Beyond Blue Bowls Tournament with the Forbes Sports and Recreation Club on Sunday morning, 4 September, as part of the festival,” Merrill said.
The inaugural Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival will be held on September 3-4 in Forbes and will open the NSW State Landcare and Catchment Management Forum which will be held in Parkes the following week.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at

Ute sculpture set to promote Condobolin Chutes and Utes Festival

The ute sculpture intended to promote Condobolin’s own Chutes and Utes Festival prepared by Condobolin artists Karen Tooth and Jamie Coffill.By Dominic Geiger

A new ute sculpture is being prepared for the annual ‘Condo Chutes and Utes’ festival which is to be held from October 1-3.
The sculpture, which has been designed and painted by Condobolin’s very own ute artist extraordinaires, Karen Tooth and Jamie Coffill, will feature a model wire cowboy riding a slanted ute on the top of a pole.
The ute, which currently resides in a Condobolin backyard, will eventually be located on Pony Club and Campdraft Grounds on the southern side of the Lachlan River Bridge in Condobolin.
Promoter of the Chutes and Utes Festival, Blue Reardon, said the main purpose of the sculpture was to advertise so people using the grounds could see when the event was on.
“Hopefully this will create a bigger and better event,” he said.
“It will also help promote the Utes in the Paddock attraction.
“The sculpture will be able to provide information about the bull riding event for the whole year.”
Despite the design of the sculpture well under way, Blue said the project had taken longer than expected due to the various legal requirements that needed to be met.
“We’re hoping to complete the project in the near future,” he said.

Harvard educated piano teacher open for business in Condobolin

Former Harvard University tutor, Andrew Robbie.By Dominic Geiger

Former Harvard University tutor and Condobolin resident, Andrew Robbie, has announced he will begin offering private piano and music theory lessons at the Condobolin Community Centre to interested local students.
Andrew, who is currently completing his PhD in music theory with a specialisation in music video editing, said the music lessons had been organised as an “outpost” initiative for the Bathurst based Mitchell Conservatorium.
“Anyone interested can contact me to talk about taking music lessons or ask questions and then call the conservatorium to discuss costs and scheduling,” he said.
“I really encourage parents in particular to have a good chat before their child starts lessons; it helps me to tailor lessons to each family.”
Despite focussing on school age children, Andrew said he was more than happy to tutor mature aged students.
“I’m also comfortable teaching both serious students as well as kids who just want to have fun,” he said.
In addition to three years spent tutoring at the prestigious Harvard University in the USA, Andrew taught piano and theory at a music school in Western Sydney during his undergraduate years at the University of Sydney.
Andrew is also an experienced chamber musician and accompanist, holds three associate diplomas from the AMEB and a licentiate from Trinity College.
Andrew said he moved to Condobolin at the end of last year because his wife got a job as a teacher at a local school.
“My main job is looking after my two sons, who are one and two years old,” he said.
“After we moved here the Mitchell Conservatorium contacted me and as a result I’ve decided to start teaching lessons.”
People interested in piano or music theory lessons from Andrew can contact him via e-mail at, on 68953954 or can contact the Forbes branch of the Mitchell Conservatorium on (02) 6852 3766.

Arts out west meets

Representatives from the arts and crafts communities of Lachlan, Parkes and Forbes shires met at Condobolin Community Centre for an Arts OutWest network meetingArts OutWest held a network meeting with various arts and crafts community representatives from Lachlan, Parkes and Forbes shires earlier this week at the Condobolin Community Centre.
The meeting, called ‘Crafting the Lachlan’, was held in order to facilitate new ideas to help promote community arts programs around the three shires.
The meeting had a particular emphasis on encouraging tourism based on the “interesting and special” artwork of the people who live in the Central West.
Tracey Callinan, Executive Officer of Arts OutWest, said the meeting aimed to bring together people with similar interests in arts and crafts and to share ideas.
“We’re trying to make plans about how to develop various community arts initiatives,” she said.
“At the moment we’re putting together a brochure which will include a map of the different places people can visit in the region.
“The project is important because discovering the different arts and crafts projects in a region can really help to show people what makes a place special.”
Tracey said her place in the discussion forum was to help facilitate the business side of arts projects.
“Some of the places have really great venues but the community needs help finding ways to promote them,” she said.
“The ideas at this meeting are coming from the people; we’re just helping to facilitate them.”
Anyone interested in taking part in Arts OutWest meetings can contact the organisation on the web at or contact Heather Blackley at Western Plains Regional Development on 6895 3301.

Condobolin Artist’s exhibit in Grenfell

Karen Tooth and Jamie Coffill are both exhibiting their work over the next few weeks at the Grenfell Art Exhibition.By Jessica Symonds

Two well known  and widely respected Condobolin based artists are to exhibit works in a showcase titled ‘Exposures’ April 19 to June 4 following an invitation from Grenfell Art Gallery.
The pair will use different mediums including oil on canvas, ceramics and ‘Assemblage’ art.
Oil on canvas will be used in Karen Tooth’s collection, which involves thirty different artworks, ranging from miniatures to larger paintings.
“Some of these works have a twist; they’re either very small or larger than life,” she said.
‘Growth’ is the theme Karen has used in her pieces, which will be displaying some surrealist, highly detailed pieces, and also works of realism. There are also pieces based on the Utes in the Paddock at Ootha where Karen has painted Dame Edna’s Looute.
In addition flowers have been formed out of ceramic works of primitive pots.
“The necks of the pots form a flower, stalk or a bloom, which means that they then do not have to have any flowers in them – they are the flower themselves,” she said.
Jamie Coffill will display ‘Assemblage art’ in his three sculptures, with the use of ‘found objects’. Living on a farm, Jamie shares his time between his artworks and farming, using items he finds around the property, such as bones and wire.
“Sometimes  I’ll have an idea in mind, but at other times something I find something which inspires a story. I am always picking up things to use,” he said.
“I create any number of objects in a year, depending mainly upon their size. Sometimes there will only be three, sometimes I can make up to twenty.”
In this exhibit, Karen Tooth would like to “create lots of interest, enjoyment and curiosity in the viewing public.”
“Many of the pieces are just ideal for home decorators or collectors and have a wicked sensuality about them. Other works have a story and much deeper meaning,” she said.
‘Exposure’ runs from the 19th of April to the 14th of June and will be open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm at the Grenfell Art Gallery.

Arts and crafts in Condo

The Crafting the Lachlan network is a free support and information network of arts and crafts groups from the wider Lachlan Valley area.
At the next meeting on Monday May 16 they’ll be talking about how everyone is going, look at some very trendy new directions in craft online and review designs for a local crafts trail brochure.
Anyone around the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan shire areas is welcome to join this network. Contact Arts Outwest or talk to Heather Blackley at Western Plains Regional Development: (02) 6895-3301.
Arts OutWest is also continuing to run workshops for young dancers, workshops in film making and hip hop, and workshops for visual artists.
The visual arts workshops are open to all Aboriginal visual artists in the region and will be a combination of art making alongside skills for selling your work on the professional market.
Dance and film making workshops will be held as part of the regional program. Aboriginal dance workshops will happen in Condobolin (May 10-11), Lake Cargelligo (May 12 and June 24) and Cowra (May 9 and June 16).

The Condobolin Argus – 10 years old

With The Condobolin Argus’ 10th birthday nearly upon us, first week of May, it seemed appropriate for a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the issues and events that have been critical in making The Argus the influential and relevant community newspaper it is today.
With so many editions archived in the depths of the Argus library, the task of revisiting important stories and campaigns seemed daunting at first, though with much perseverance, the team at The Argus has managed to compile a fairly concise list of ten achievements it feels have been most relevant to the Lachlan Shire community.
They are (in no particular order):
Joining the battle to keep the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station up and running.
In March 2009, The Argus reported on the NSW Labor Government’s decision to close the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.
Helping prevent the closure of Target Country in Condobolin.
In January 2003, The Argus confirmed Condobolin Target Country would remain open despite pressure to close the store. The Argus supported the store during the resulting six month trial period through a ‘shop local’ campaign.
Helping to promote the Condobolin skate park project.
The Argus has been supporting the Condobolin skate park project for a number of years. The project is finally becoming a reality with the final draft becoming available for public comment following Lachlan Shire Council Meeting on 20th April.
Supporting the RTA’s ‘Three Shires’ initiative to help reduce the region’s road toll.
This project aims to increase road safety throughout the Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes shires. Part of this project has been the wheelie bin initiative, encouraging children to decorate wheelie bins in an effort to highlight road safety. The Argus played a large role in encouraging people to take part in this project, and now also has a very happy looking bin.
Providing full yet sensitive coverage of breaking news including human tragedies.
For example on the 2nd of December 2005, a ten-seater Piper Chieftain light plane crashed on Neil Baxter’s property ‘Craig End’. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the loss of several lives and resulted in an Australian Transport Safety Bureau inquiry. The Argus printed continuous coverage of the incident from the crash to release of the inquiry.
Coverage of natural disasters.
The Argus has been instrumental in keeping the community aware of various fires and floods which have affected the region over the past ten years. With the real time news delivery available with the internet, The Argus can now deliver information to readers as soon as natural disasters unfold. This was most recently demonstrated during the floods in Ungarie last month.
Promotion of local tourism initiatives, particularly ‘Utes in the Paddock’.
Owing to the Argus’ commitment to improving tourism in the Lachlan Shire (and perhaps due to the fact our editor is one of the artists) Utes in the Paddock has become a ‘must see’ on any visitor’s to do list. Beginning in 2007, The Utes in the Paddock Project now includes 15 ute artworks and has been nominated for a NSW Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and People’s Choice Tourist Experience Award.
Coverage of Aboriginal issues and events in the Lachlan Shire.
The Argus has strived to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous inequality though a focus on providing fair and unbiased reporting on events and issues important to the Wiradjuri community. The Argus has frequently reported positively on Aboriginal tourism, educational and employment initiatives.
Promotion of major events such as the Condo 750, Tattoo,  Condo B & S and our Australian Idol Shannon Noll.
The Argus has thrown its support behind various community oriented events over its ten year history. This promotion has been in the form of editorials, advertorials and extensive advertising features before, during and after events.
Support of local Charity Organisations
When major charity events and fundraisers happen in the Lachlan Shire, The Argus is always in the thick of the action, lending its promotional power to the event. Various charities and charitable organisations.

Support for Community much more than just words in a newspaper.
Born out of a large gathering of members from right across the community forming the view more could be done to promote our region, The Condobolin Argus actively pursues promotional opportunities in may different ways.
The paper looks to attract staff with high level skills and talents that offer its community additional benefits. One staff member worked tirelessly on submissions and promotion for the Professional Bull Riders event. That event attracting large crowds enhancing business for the local community. Yet another staff member successfully competed the local Show Girl promotion being awarded State Runner Up at the Royal Easter Show, thereby doing a magnificent job of promoting our region.
Focus for The Condobolin Argus is very firmly on assisting local community to promote itself, diligently managing advertisers funds to employ high level skills providing a holistic service. One portfolio sponsored by The Condobolin Argus in this way is that of ‘Community Promotions Officer’.
All of this has only been made possible by your strong support over the past ten years. Thank you for helping us to provide this service to our community.
To help your local community newspaper celebrate its 10th birthday and plan for many more, please drop on by the office at 93 Bathurst Street Condobolin during the first week of May -We’ll have some birthday cake.

Condobolin community can commence creating come cultural competition at CCC in oCtober

By Dominic Geiger

The Condobolin Society of Arts and Crafts is calling on all creatively minded people to enter the upcoming Art and Cultural Prize Exhibition.
The competition, which is to be held on October 7-9, will feature a variety of different categories including fine art, photography, sculpture, china painting, quilting and needlework, among others.
Society President, Alice Dunn, said the exhibition wasn’t a new event, but had recently experienced a hiatus due to the drought and poor economic conditions.
“The situation’s improved a bit so we decided it was time to do it again,” she said.
“The competition is open to absolutely everyone and we’d like to get a few new members out of it.
“It also gives us a chance to show people what the Arts and Crafts Society actually does; we don’t just sit around (the Community Centre) drinking tea all day.”
Alice said the proceeds from the competition will go towards paying for a lift for the Community Centre.
The winning artwork will go up to the Lachlan Shire Chambers for display.
Anyone interested in submitting a piece of work to the competition can pick up an entry form from the Condobolin Community Centre or can call the Secretary of Arts and Crafts Condobolin, Vad Carey, on (02) 68952112 (answering machine).

Introducing the spectacular Dragonfly Circus

Former circus performer Irina Mathias instructs participants. O.M.By Olivia McInnes

Local children from Condobolin aged between 8 and 16 make up the thoroughly entertaining act who call themselves the Dragonfly Circus.
The Dragonfly Circus provided the entertainment at the recent markets in Condobolin. The idea for the circus as a means of entertainment and involvement for Condobolin Youth was founded by the Lachlan Arts Council, and is now funded by the Better Futures program. There are currently 20 children involved.
Project Officer Heather Blackley says the circus is a very valuable experience for the youth of Condobolin. She says “It’s confidence building. The kids are learning to perform in front of people and it builds their self esteem.”
Condobolin local and former circus performer Irina Mathias instructs the children and choreographs the act. Practice is held on Saturday mornings at the Condobolin Public School hall. New interest is always welcome.

Singing and drama classes on the way for Condobolin school students

Hannah Symonds, Heather Blackley and Samuel Bugg. D.G.By Dominic Geiger

Hannah Symonds has a plan to revolutionize the way Condobolin kids think about drama and singing.
In the few short months since she arrived in Condobolin, Hannah has managed to organise after school drama classes for Condobolin Public School students and in-school singing classes for Condobolin High school students.
The classes, which are set to begin this week on Wednesday, are part of the government’s  Better Futures Program which aims to provide support and services “for children and young people aged 9 to 18 years who are at risk of disengaging from community, school, family or friends.”
Hannah said drama and singing classes are the best way to encourage someone’s self confidence.
“It’s the best way for kids to express themselves,” she said.
“Getting up in front of an audience is one of the most difficult things in the world.
“It’s also about alleviating boredom for these kids; it gives them something to do and they get a lot of enjoyment from it along the way.
“I hope it’s something that enriches their lives.”
Hannah will be working in partnership with Heather Blackley, Project Officer at the WPRD on the two projects.
Parents are encouraged to contact the Condobolin Public School if they want to enrol their students in the after hours drama classes.

Following the weather to warmer work

Graham Gardiner in his ‘office’. DGBy Dominic Geiger

How does following the sun around Australia for the rest of your working life sound?
For Graham and Chris Gardiner, owners and sole workers at Safari Signs and Graphics, this idyllic lifestyle has been a reality for the past fourteen years.
Having set up camp briefly in Condobolin last week, the Gardiners are now taking their brightly coloured van to the Murray River region before heading north to avoid the southern winter.
“We go where there’s work and we go where it’s warm,” Graham said.
“We try to stick to the outback because I can’t stand traffic and we generally find the people friendlier.
“We also stay away from cities because they often have well established sign designing businesses already there; we find there is low supply and high demand for our services in regional towns.”
Chris said the best part of the job was seeing the incredible contrasts of the country as she and Graham travelled from place to place.
“You have the desert moonscape of Coober Pedy, the rainforests of the tropics and the mulga country of the Central West,” she said.
“We’re not going to settle down until we’re too old to drive.”
Having found a moderate amount of work in Condobolin designing signs and menu boards for the Condobolin Hotel, Chris and Graham said they may come back through the town on their way north after visiting the Murray River.
“We love our lifestyle and we love to go back to the towns we’ve visited before,” Chris said.
“We make our travel decisions by looking at a map, looking at the population of the town and looking at the weather.
“We’ll never run from work; as long as there’s work in a town we’ll stick around.”

State Library calls for evidence of traditionally carved trees in Lachlan Valley

By Dominic Geiger

Residents of the Lachlan Valley are being urged to send any photographs of traditional Aboriginal tree carvings they might have to the State Library of NSW as part of a public display to begin on April 18.

Anyone who knows of a still standing carved tree is also encouraged to notify the State Library.
Ronald Briggs, exhibition curator and a Gamilaroi man from Moree said many of the photographs about to be put on display were of carvings from the Condobolin area, though he believed many more to exist.
“We’re calling on communities out west – where a lot of the carvings were photographed by amateur anthropologist Lindsay Black – to send us images of any existing carved trees in their area, and share any information about their history,” he said.
“It was a practise mostly restricted to the area now known as New South Wales; of course there were a few others here and there, but the majority of tree carvings have come from places inside New South Wales.”
Trees with carved patterns on them were generally used as grave markers in the areas Wiradjuri people inhabited, such as around the well known King’s Grave to the west of Condobolin.
Mr Briggs said the exact meaning of the symbols had mostly been lost over time, though people could still appreciate the intricate and carefully carved designs for the skill it would have taken to create them.
“They’re beautiful designs,” he said.
“The photographs we have are among the few surviving records of this forgotten art form.”
Anyone with images of carved trees or who wishes to alert the NSW State Library to the location of a still standing tree should contact the State Library directly or send an e-mail to

Penrith partnership set to bring arts to the bush

Stepping it out... representatives from Penrith check out the Condobolin Community Centre as a possible venue for the performance of 'The Maids". Back l-r: Ros Patton (LSC Manager Economic Development) and John Kirkman;  front: Katrina Douglass, Joanne Ryan (Penrith City Council) and Zona Wilkinson. Photo by Dominic Geiger.

By Dominic Geiger

The Penrith Performing & Visual Arts group was in Condobolin on the eighth of this month promoting their upcoming tour of Lachlan Shire.
The tour, which is part of the ongoing relationship with Penrith city and Lachlan Shire, will feature an all indigenous cast performance of Jean Genet’s famous production ‘The Maids’, as well as a showcasing of the artwork of internationally renowned Australian artist Brook Andrew.
The tour, to be held in August, will also include a series of workshops at local schools which will focus on delivering drama and visual arts education to school children.
Director of the program, Katrina Douglass, said the aim of the project was to encourage kids with an interest in the arts to pursue their dreams.
“We’ve tried to bring the play into an Australian setting,” she said.
“We really hope the kids learn something in the workshops from Jean Genet’s performance and the actors as well.
“It’s a really fascinating and funny play written by a very important writer; I’m sure the audience will enjoy it.”
John Kirkman, CEO of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts LTD, said he was particularly excited to be able to work with artist Brook Andrew on this project.
“His work has been displayed in galleries all around the world,” he said.
“He loves his country, and he loves bringing his art work to kids; he’s designing the show, so hopefully the kids will be inspired by that.”
John also said the aim of the production was to show kids that art comes from all places.
“It doesn’t just come from the cities,” he said.
“We’re encouraging everyone to get along to the performances;  there’ll also be a show in Lake Cargelligo and possibly one in Tottenham.”

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