Visual Arts 2007-15
Under the leadership of our founding Artistic Director, Belinda Webster OAM, the inaugural 2007 Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival presented an Australian first in which musicians and artists (painters and sculptors) collaborated to create new works. It was Belinda Webster’s vision to showcase the integration of the arts in the intimate splendour of Kangaroo Valley. The 2007 Festival and several thereafter included classical and contemporary music, sculpture, visual arts, poetry and architecture, working together in the same settings. The collaborating musicians and artists in 2007 were Brett Dean with expressionist painter Heather Betts, Alice Giles with stone and wood sculptor Rosemary Madigan, and one of Australia’s favourite cellists David Pereira with fellow-Canberra contemporary painter, photographer and installation artist Micky Allan who created a completely new work in which the artists improvised together. The 2007 Festival also included the first Visual Arts Show. The inaugural prize winners were Larraine Hahlos and Sheila Young in painting and Matthew Hill in photography. (images not available)
In 2009, the second Visual Arts Show was held again in conjunction with the biennial music and arts Festival. The winner of the visual arts prize was Kangaroo Valley artist Githa Pilbrow whose paintings, drawings and linocuts are inspired by the surrounding escarpments, river and hidden valleys.
In 2011, internationally exhibited contemporary painter Micky Allan again performed with renowned cellist David Pereira at a combined Hausmusik and visual arts concert at the magnificent Cedar Grove in Kangaroo Valley, a future site for Sculpture in the Valley.
Growing too large for any available venue during the busy May Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival weekend, the Visual Arts Show was reintroduced in 2013 by then president, John Wright, on a separate date at a separate venue. Open at that time only to Kangaroo Valley artists, local sculptor and visual artist Archie Zammit-Ross was the Peoples’ Choice winner in visual arts.
Themed Music & Art, visual arts featured prominently in the integrated music and arts 2015 Festival. An exhibition of artworks was created by local artists and displayed at the heritage Kangaroo Valley Hall during the concert of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition played by Simon Tedeschi. Acclaimed Southern Highlands artist Carlos Barrios, finalist in several art prizes like the Blake Prize, Sulman Prize, Fisher Ghost Art Prize and more, created an original art work for the Festival and highly recorded multi-instrumentalist and artist David Hudson played the didgeridoo and painted.