Home' The Great Southern Star : March 22nd 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - PAGE 39
The Good Life
Your LOCAL guide to Art and Entertainment
HEATHER Towns, or
Zulu, as she is known
to many, is opening
her studio/gallery to
the public in the Eas-
Her creations are a pure
celebration of her love of
colour. She works with flat
graphic images and uses
a beautiful French acrylic
paint that retains its mag-
nificent rich pigments.
Heather ’s style of paint-
ing comes from a love and
study of ‘Outsider Art’. She
paints her images in a form
of layers and chooses to
forget perspective, prefer-
ring to let the art stay free
spirited. Heather sees life
as patterns and rhythms
of colour and shape.
She has now moved into the
family beach house that was
designed and built by her
father in 1959. Heather has
undertaken a major renova-
tion to include her studio
and print workshop.
She is now working on
a portrait and has just com-
pleted a large piece that is at
the Victorian Artists Society
Contemporary Exhibition in
In the past three years
she has had exhibitions in
SOUTH Gippsland Rural Australians
for Refugees gathered for a Let Them
Stay rally in Wonthaggi recently.
Group president Felicia Di Stefano
said the rally advocated for the release of
asylum seekers being held in offshore de-
Advocates obtained 60 signatures
along with unsolicited donations to the
Asylum Seekers Resource Centre.
“People signed our petition asking the
government to be more compassionate
and humane with their asylum seeker and
refugee policies,” Ms Di Stefano said.
“These people come to Australia hav-
ing experienced trauma and warfare and
they have done everything they can to run
away from a bad situation.”
Rally members marched to Wonthag-
gi’s Plaza where they joined the Harmon-
isers in songs of freedom.
“Many people came up and showed
their support. We even had two police of-
ficers come along and they congratulated
us for our efforts,” Ms Di Stefano said.
“We want to be able to help refugees
who have come here for their own safety.
We can process them onshore and assess
them for refugee status on Australian land.”
South Gippsland Rural Australians for
Refugees is asking for the government to
reconsider sending 267 asylum seekers
back to offshore detention centres.
“If they are found to be refugees we
should accept them. They can enrich our
communities, offer economic benefits and
possess many skills we need in the re-
gion,” Ms Di Stefano said.
The community group is also taking
donations including canned goods, blan-
kets and clothes for donation to the Asy-
lum Seeker Resource Centre. Anybody
wishing to donate goods is welcome to
deposit them at the Wonthaggi Neigh-
bourhood House drop off site.
“We are petitioning for the closure of
all offshore detention centres. Not many
refugees flea to Australia compared to
countries in Europe. We should be ready
to help them,” Ms Di Stefano said.
To fi nd out how you can get involved,
send your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
MEENIYAN Art Gallery’s
extraordinary Water and
Earth exhibition will come
to a close this Thursday so art
admirers had best hurry in fast
to witness its glory.
The exhibition highlights to work
within a family of artists based in In-
Genevieve Manhal’s mixed me-
dia works are currently on display
with her parents’ Jen, and Robert’s
Robert’s glorious photography
is currently on show in the Access
Gallery with his series of metallic
natural flora prints hung upon the
“Robert is a woodwork teacher
and he handmade all of his frames,”
Meeniyan Art Gallery coordinator
Meg Viney said.
“He used old recycled timber
from beneath an old house. It really
adds character to the work and it
Robert’s wife Jen is currently
exhibiting a range of works in the
Water and Earth exhibit including
three dimensional statues and instal-
lations exploring the plight of Syrian
“Jen is very passionate about the
Syrian refugee crisis and has made a
number of works exploring its con-
cerns,” Ms Viney said.
Jen’s work includes plastic
blow up globes, figurines and hand
stitched ornaments to offer a social
commentary on the timely concern.
mixed media with her large piece
100 Lost Words incorporating 100
individual hand dyed panels, each
with a different piece of embroidery
and appliqué landscape.
Combined, the panels create
a wall with a spectrum of colour
and offer a peak into each of the
“worlds”, all of which are up for in-
Genevieve also has a number of
hand stitched pieces and linoleum
prints on display, showing off her
versatility and artistic skills she in-
herited from her parents.
Meeniyan Art Gallery is open
10am until 4pm on weekdays and
11am until 5pm on weekends, closed
on Tuesdays. Head in now for a last
chance to take in some spectacular
pieces of local work.
goals,” Ms Condron said.
Each session comprises
a welcome song, singing,
relaxation practice and play-
“The children get to
use a lot of percussion in-
struments and we use a lot
of different mediums to
explore and engage with
them. They also learn a lot
of things about taking turns
and patience,” Ms Condron
Students have started us-
ing percussion instruments
including xylophones and
drums which have proven
to be a success in the class-
“They are very honest.
They will tell me if they do
not like something. But ev-
ery session is different and
it is fantastic to see them
respond to music and find
spontaneous enjoyment in
it,” she said.
by Tayla Kershaw
BASS Coast Specialist School
has received a $3000 grant from
AusNet Services to buy instru-
ments for the new music therapy
“We are looking to expand our art, dra-
ma, dance and music program, so every stu-
dent has an opportunity to be involved and
explore their interests,” principal Edith Gray
Senior students also have the opportuni-
ty to explore new skills with the pre VCAL
The program allows students to receive
a certificate and explore employment path-
They will be able to learn the skills
needed to find employment including writ-
ing a resume and applications, occupational
health and safety, reading body language,
sitting for interviews and behaviour.
“Many of our students do not have part
time jobs, so this program is very impor-
tant,” Ms Gray said.
The Wonthaggi and Inverloch Lions and
Rotary clubs will continue their fantastic
work with Bass Coast Specialist School this
Last year, the clubs assembled shade
sails over the school’s playground and built
raised permaculture garden beds so students
of all abilities could access the vegetable
“Our playground had no undercover
area, so the shade sails have really helped
the students who couldn’t go outside, and
the children have loved talking about and
fixing the garden. We’ve really appreciated
their work,” Ms Gray said.
“We’ve haven’t had a chance to discuss
our next project yet, but it would be nice to
do some planting.”
Open house: Heather Towns will exhibit her artwork at her Cape Paterson
studio and gallery this Easter.
Sydney in the Botanic Gar-
dens Palm House right near
the Opera House.
In October this year,
Heather will hold a solo ex-
hibition in Melbourne and
will exhibit again in Sydney
After graduating from
art school with honours, she
worked as a graphic design-
er and a few years later she
set up her own studio.
Operating under the
business name of Value
Added Design, Heather
was able to provide for
herself and her two chil-
dren whilst continuing to
paint, print, travel, dance
and just love life through
art for more than 50 years.
Heather continues to study,
is a regular participant at
life drawing and a painter at
She is a member of The
Victorian Artists Society,
Bass Coast Artists and Art-
ists Society of Phillip Island.
Heather also performs
with tribal bellydance troupe
Womanjah and her textile
work can be seen on You-
Tube. Go to belly dance
costumes - Carma Cohuna.
Her studio/gallery is at 2
Nardoo Street, Cape Pater-
son. Phone 0418 263 264 or
com Website: www.heather-
Pretty aplenty: Meeniyan Art Gallery coordinator Meg Viney stands in front of Genevieve Manhal’s 100
Lost Worlds exhibit.
Local talent on show
Funding backs school
Sweet music: from left, Marcus, Letitia Condron
and Sam enjoyed making music at South Gippsland
Specialist School in Leongatha.
Music to students’ ears
Fun learning: from left, new education aid Stacey Whiteroad settles into the
morning activities with Ashley and Mitchell at the Bass Coast Specialist School.
Specialist School has
Condron as the new
music therapist on
Ms Condron has more
than 20 years experience in
music therapy and said she
looks forward to conducting
a new program at the Leon-
“I have worked at Bass
Coast Specialist School for
a little while and decided
I wanted to do more pro-
grams with children with
disabilities,” she said.
“Prior to that I was
working with children un-
der five and elderly people
in aged care so it has been a
new challenge for me.”
Ms Condron works with
students across all year lev-
els in half hour workshops
to help children with social
skills, emotional expres-
sion, cognitive memory and
“I take time to find out
what the students’ goals are
and we work to match those
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