There is a lot on the calendar for the Naracoorte Art Gallery

ART: Munda will be exhibiting his artwork until April 21, so be sure to pop in. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMOPION
ART: Munda will be exhibiting his artwork until April 21, so be sure to pop in. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMOPION

The Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery's focus for April is creativity and competition, with a busy month planned.

Children's workshops planned for the April school holidays will result in a collaborative project to create artwork for the Gallery's new garden area.

Mosaic art works using plastic bottle tops will be created in four sessions over the 12 and 13 April.

Naracoorte community members have collected and donated eight very large boxes of bottle tops.

Art Gallery secretary Lesley Cook says the bottle tops "are all the colours of the rainbow and more."

The completed artworks will be in a new garden area on the Riverside Drive road frontage near the entrance to Wild Game Wine.

"It will connect that area with the Gallery and will be able to be seen at all hours," said Mrs Cook.

"The Gallery has been keen to run children's workshops after COVID-19 conditions prevented this outreach last year.

"We held a paper making workshop for children in January 2020 but nothing since," Mrs Cook said.

Members of the Art Gallery Board have supported the organisation of the mosaic workshops and some will be in attendance to assist.

Those wishing to register primary school age students can do so by phoning the Gallery on 8762 3390 or come in to the Gallery during opening hours. Each of the four sessions is limited to 10 participants and a payment of $5 is required to secure a place. Bookings are essential.

Entries are open for the annual Ibis Rising Art Competition with entries closing on April 15.

Encouraging the district's children in art is an integral part of this event.

There are four award categories - Two dimensional; Three dimensional which includes sculpture, mixed media, textiles, jewellery; Photography and Student. Entries in the Student category are free and will be judged in three age groups - Up to and including Year 4; Year 5-7 and High School.

For the 2020 Ibis Rising Awards, the judges' remarks were recorded and posted on the Gallery's Facebook page. This effort will continue this year and with Gallery crowds restricted there won't be an official opening. Instead artists and Gallery visitors will be able to view the exhibition and prize winners during normal Gallery opening hours.

If you need some inspiration, there is still some time to see the gallery's current exhibit Munda, a wonderful exhibit of contemporary indigenous art.

Munda is originally from the West Coast of SA and was raised by his grandmother.

"Being a hunter-gatherer and a wonderful storyteller, my grandmother always told me to stay connected to country and to respect the land and animals," he said.

"Today the land and animals are part of my identity as an aboriginal man and artist,"

Twenty years ago and inspired by his grandmother's dreamtime stories, he created his first painting and experimenting with double-dots, lines, figures, silhouettes and secondary colours, Munda began to portray animals in a different medium.

"I consider this style a new concept of Indigenous art," he said.

"The animals depicted in my paintings identify with and are inclusive to all Aboriginal groups as part of our dreaming and our storytelling.

"With the exception of the dolphin which has always been part of my childhood, the animals are not only symbolic to our dreaming and way of life but they also provide high sustenance in our diet as well as servicing medicinal purposes," Munda explained.