Who is behind ART-FULL WOMEN
ART-FULL WOMEN is facilitated by a core group of artists and volunteers.
CREATIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR – Brenda Logan is an actor/director/theatre-maker/ drama tutor and producer working across the spectrum of theatre and performing arts including community cultural development. She has worked with numerous organisations and companies both in Australia, Fiji and England.
Employed by Darwin Community Arts (DCA) in the Northern Territory for seven years until 2016, Brenda was the inaugural Creative Producer for My Sisters’’s Kitchen, a pioneering project designed for migrant women. Primarily formed to share culture and advance mutual understanding and support through exploring each other’s food and art, it eventually grew into a social enterprise run by participants. She was also the inaugural Creative Producer for CemeNTworx, an ongoing theatre program at DCA. Brenda both directed and initiated theatrical productions and drama skills workshops with community- based actors, writers and other theatre workers. Passionate about supporting diverse communities to make and share art, Brenda also initiated CemeNTstars, a troupe of young actors with disability which continues to perform to this day. Brenda was also the first Venue Manager of Chambers Crescent Theatre, a small multi-purpose arts space in Malak Shopping Centre, which became the most active and well used space in Darwin for community arts activities over many years.
Prior to Darwin Brenda lived on the Central Coast NSW and was involved in a number of productions as both actor and director. She was Festival Co-ordinator for Short+Sweet Central Coast 2008 and in that same year was engaged by Gosford City Council, in partnership with Regional Youth Support Services, to mentor and manage Throwing Stones, a project giving voice to victims of bullying.
From 2005-2008 Brenda mentored students and teachers at Brisbane Water Secondary College Senior Campus Entertainment Industry program, and during that time saw a number of students gaining entry to NIDA. She volunteered her support to the HSC program and was a key stakeholder in the formation of the Technical Entertainment Production Academy at the school.
Nominated for an Australia Day Award in 2008, Australia Day Community Awards in both 2007 & 2008 for her work with young people in theatre on the Woy Woy Peninsula, Brenda was also designated a Significant Woman of The Central Coast in 2007. She is a Life Member of Fiji Arts Club.
MULTI MEDIA WORKSHOP ARTIST Therese Gabriel Wilkins aka ‘Trees’ graduated from arts school in 2013. In the last seven years she has run workshops in printmaking, art, mask making, team building and movement. She has entered over 80 exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Therese has had solo exhibitions in the Central Coast, Baradine NSW, Cessnock, Newcastle with impending exhibitions in December in Northern NSW and one at King Island in 2021.
Collaborative exhibitions have been held in Pilliga, Central Coast, Sydney and Cessnock. Therese has received awards for Mixed media, watercolour, printmaking and sculpture. Her work is now held in private and public collections nationally and internationally. She has been accepted for residencies in Cradle Mountain and King Island which have resulted in a body of work that looks at the endangered, endemic and extinct birds of the Island intermingled with their maritime history. Therese is on an art road and as she journeys, she makes connections with the land its flora, fauna and people weaving narratives through her printmaking, painting and sculpture.
Pollyanna (BA Dip Ed, M Theol.) has a passion for all aspects of community theatre. A life-member of Wyong Drama Group, she has written, directed and performed in numerous productions with most community theatre groups on the Coast, including Gosford Musical Society, WMTC, Gosford Players, Fringe Theatre (90s), Katandra Players (2000s) and won several awards at Theatre Festivals. She has also appeared in short films.
Pollyanna worked in Timor Leste as a volunteer with PALMS Australia, training teachers to use drama and music in their primary school methodologies and wrote a practical text to assist in this area. She has been involved in Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed running workshops in Brazil and Sydney and has participated in Playback Theatre in London.
With two friends, Pollyanna founded XtrAct Drama Academy which they ran for several years before passing the reins to a local drama teacher and, using the funds, left to embark on a whirlwind seven week world tour attending fifty five different theatre productions! Most recently Polly directed GMS’ s South Pacific, performed for WDG in Glorious and is a presenter on community radio 93.3 FM (Radio 50plus).
Alyson Evans, Theatre Practitioner
Alyson is an experienced theatre-maker, director and producer, with a particular focus on cultural development and social change. Most recently she directed and produced ‘Our Home,’ a digital storytelling project about people who have made Albury Wodonga their home, together with an immersive theatre production entitled ‘Neighbour’ in which actors and audience sat around a dinner table sharing stories and food.
Alyson’s other productions include Bird’s Eye View: Prison Stories (Darwin Festival), Folk Song (Outback Theatre for Young People) and The Refugee Experience (Refugee Week).
Alyson’s artistic practice has encompassed working with remote Indigenous communities, young people, adults with disabilities and mental illness, prisoners and former refugees, across Australia, Cambodia, Nepal, New York and UK.
In 2015 she was awarded the Kirk Robson Award by the Australia Council for the Arts, which recognises outstanding leadership of artists working in community arts and cultural development.
ARTIST Aunty Lee Gavenlock. Yaama, I’m Aunty Lee, bred here on beautiful Darkinjung Land. I started weaving about 7 years ago at Bungee’s craft group. It was taught to me by Aunty Jenni McEwen. Through her I’ve taught hundreds of people, and hopefully they have taught many as well. It’s just a great feeling sitting and weaving and yarning together, and laughing of course. Very relaxing.
ARTIST Aunty Elaine Chapman. Elaine is an Arrente/Wiradjuri woman who has lived on the Central Coast since 1959. Elaine is a Mother, Grandmother & Great Grandmother who is active in her Community & Education arena.
ARTIST Lynelle Elliott. Lynelle Elliott, (nee Shipp), is a proud Wiradjuri woman living on Guringai Country on the Central Coast of NSW.
She holds a Diploma of Visual Arts from Newcastle Art School ,2019,was the recipient of the Hunter TAFE Foundations Indigenous Student Scholarship 2019, was a finalist in the Hunter Regions Indigenous Student of the Year 2019 , and the winner of the Glen Prize in the Mental Health Art Works Exhibition,2020.
Currently working as an Aboriginal Educator for the wholly Aboriginal owned and operated Speaking in Colour, Lynelle works with preschool, school, Community and Corporate groups teaching Aboriginal weaving and art practice.
She is currently studying her Diploma of Art Therapy to enhance her qualification and practice.
CERAMICS WORKSHOP ARTIST Kim Vredeveld – Kim is a Ceramic Artist/Potter/ Educator, initially studying Visual Arts through the Newcastle Art School, Ourimbah campus 2011-13, where on completion she began a Mentorship working with a local sculptor. It was during her mentorship Kim began feeling the therapeutic qualities of working in clay and began attending local classes.
In 2016 Kim enrolled in the Diploma of Ceramics, Hornsby Tafe and in the Summer of 2017 attended the Study Abroad Program in Contemporary Art, focusing on Ceramics at Central Saint Martins College, London.
Currently Kim teaches ceramics in her local community, volunteers (clay workshops in Aged Care & Mental Health) and regularly exhibits on the Central Coast and Sydney.
Kim enjoys experimenting in her ceramic studio, where she is attracted to form and texture, both sculptural and functional, and is constantly inspired by the natural beauty of the Central Coast which is reflected in her work.
WEAVING WORKSHOP ARTIST Lisa McArthur-Edwards – Lisa grew up in Athens, Rome and London. She completed her BA(hons) at Middlesex University, London. Lisa is currently a multi disciplinary artist working in the areas of sculpture, printmaking and mark making. Lisa has had several group exhibitions, solo exhibitions and exhibited in sculpture shows.
She has works in several private collections in Europe, Asia and Australia. She has been involved in Cultural Community Development projects for Central Coast Council, Wyong Neighbourhood Centre, Wyong Council, Gosford Council and RYSS. She has worked with local schools and festivals creating community weavings and ephemeral sculptures. She teaches art classes to adults and children, people with special needs and conducts basketry and fibre sculpture workshops. Lisa also ran art classes at Fairhaven working with people with disabilities for 2 years.
Her practice encompasses ephemeral pieces woven, stitched or constructed from natural materials, wire and ceramic sculptures, plastics, paper, fibre and found object works. Her prints often incorporate stitching and plant materials and are often found incorporated into her sculpture pieces. Her marking making works often come from brushes made with plant fibres and applied with fabrics and her hands, and she often stitches and draws into these works as part of her process, and builds up layers and layers of inks, paints, pigments, charcoal and pastels and are reminiscent of maps and journey lines.
Her works all come from her connection to energy of place, the environment and her sense of identity in relation to place.
LIFE DRAWING WORKSHOPS ARTIST Sunny Wood – I’m excited by architecture and contemporary ideas from life.
My teenage years introduced me formally to the art world through animatronics. I then formally studied at The National Art School for five years completing a degree with a major in painting and then began work in animation for companies like Yoram Gross and Walt Disney. I moved onto gallery work after that at the Art Gallery of NSW.
It was then I decided I couldn’t commit to one medium and that I had evolved into a multi media artist, this is the only way that allows me to open all communication lines that develop from my work. I love exploring life’s distortions and stories. I began as a formally trained artist but have become somewhat abstract and spacious and modern in my ideas and projects.
Contemporary visual artist Felicity Gordon.
Felicity Gordon is a contemporary visual artist with a passion for community engagement, collaboration and permaculture. Felicity’s current project considers systems of decay and renewal, our relationship with the natural world and sustainability. During lockdown Felicity produced a series of work about public spaces and loss.
In 2016 Felicity was selected to attend a Marathon Program in Drawing at The New York Studio School in America. In 2020-21 Felicity participated in the FLOAT Artist in Residency Program in East Gippsland. Felicity currently teaches drawing at the VCA.
HAPPINESS DOLL PROJECT ARTIST Rachel Bunney is a local artist/sculptor specialising in clay, she is an eco-artist and feminist with history of working with women and women’s issues through her prior career of 16 years as a trauma counsellor with the Central Coast Women’s Health Centre and other organisations.
Rachel is a full time professional artist with a focus on sharing her skills and is the resident figurative sculpture teacher at the Central Coast Potters Society as well as having private sessions through her studio.
The main focus of Rachel’s collections is to raise awareness around our relationship to self, to others and to the environment. Rachel is also practiced at fabric art including doll making, appliqué and soft sculptural works and ‘The Happiness Project’ is a community manifestation of this practice.
LOCAL POTTER Jody Stone – Jody Stone is a local Potter specifically practised in hand-building techniques. What she brings to her workshops is a peaceful, fun, and safe space in which to experience your creativity. Her adventures in artistic mediums cover wood-working, writing and sketching. This has allowed Jody to witness the gentle power of “creativity” and its effortless way of developing an enriching experience with your inner world.
“Ceramics has encouraged me to loosen my grip on the outcome and trust that the process will get me there. During the years of my recovery after a mental breakdown I have become more gently forgiving and loving of myself and of where I am at along the way.
By not rushing a ceramic sculpture to life, I create space and peace into the journey from A to B. I don’t always get the outcome I planned, but this too is something I’ve translated into my real world. My expectations in this space now have a gentle acceptance surrounding what life dishes up to me next. The outcome is just that, the outcome. When I’m enjoying the process the outcome becomes less significant.”
LOCAL ARTIST Judy Harris – Originally from Western Australia Judy settled on the Central Coast over 20 years ago.after living in Melbourne, Sydney and London. Judy studied fine arts at Seaforth TAFE ASDFA, Meadowbank TAFE DPFA and has a BA in fine arts from Newcastle University. The art of Judy Harris has been represented in major institutional and private collections. Her works have been awarded prizes and high commendations, with numerous successful exhibitions over the years.
Before retiring from full time work Judy was Co-ordinator at Ku-ring-gai Art Centre. In this role Judy developed arts programs for adults, teens and children as well as providing the community with monthly art exhibitions by local and international artists and also developing a regular programme of diverse and multicultural arts and cultural events.
Judy has the belief that Fine Art and the arts in all disciplines provide a pathway to the mind and soul which can lead one on a magical journey where new thought and ways of seeing the world and those that live in it can be glimpsed and ideas and ideals developed and pursued. Whether you are a viewer or a maker you will discover other worlds and possibilities when you discover and explore the wonderful world of art.
THEATRE PRACTITIONER Annie Bilton – Over four decades Annie has practiced, studied and taught theatre in different countries. From Singapore to Sydney in the 1980s where she co-founded Bare Boards Theatre, acted and directed with various theatres, worked on a 20-programme ABC-TV series, was Literary Manager at Sydney’s Griffin Theatre (operating The Stables), and ran playwriting competitions.
In Japan (1997-2001) she founded Loose Sock Theatre, staged various productions including her own Dark Tide, toured her Soul Salon to the Theatropolis Festival in Italy, and wrote RAMAT, focussed on the Aboriginal Ainu people of Japan. In the USA (2001-6) she concentrated on Classic plays with Michigan Classical Repertory Theater, with a sidestep into Detroit’s blues world, directing the musical We Are Not Good Girls. In 2005 she toured with the University of Michigan’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull to the International Chekhov Festival in Moscow.
Returning to Sydney she directed Nick Parsons’ Nasty Piece of Work for the New Theatre. From 2007 on the Central Coast Annie has acted for various companies, in major roles inThe Real Inspector Hound, Competitive Tenderness,When Dad Married Fury, The Children’s Hour; and directed Humble Boy and The Inspector Calls. Uniting Productions (Gosford) has produced two of her works: her adaptation of Antigone, which she directed, and her historical drama Elizabeth and Grace. For Newcastle Theatre Co she performed in Ibsen’s Ghosts and Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling and directed Ophelia Thinks Harder.
Annie has run and adjudicated festivals, won playwriting prizes plus several awards in Sydney’s Short+Sweet. She continues to act, direct and produce theatre, freelance as a festival adjudicator, play assessor/dramaturg for Sydney companies and playwriting competition judge. She’s won playwriting prizes, and her latest major work soon to have a funded production is a historical drama set in Colonial NSW: The Interesting Mrs Abell.