A VICTORIAN-ERA machine has taken over the Bendigo conservatory as part of Artlands Victoria.
Artlands Victoria is a biennial event that shines a national spotlight on Australia's regional arts.
This year, it returns to Victoria for the first time in 14 years with a five-day event from October 10 to 14 and features panels, discussions and workshops as well as cultural and local visual arts projects.
Cultural Pharmacy is an installation created by Castlemaine artists Eliza-Jane Gilchrist and Mike Penzak and Yandoit’s Darryl Cordell.
The interactive piece sees visitors creating cardboard flowers to be “distilled” into prescriptions that point people to other points of artistic interest in the city.
Ms Gilchrist said there were lots of creative chaotic conversations between the artists before the final idea was decided upon.
“We mashed it about until we came up with something that fulfilled what everyone wanted to get out of it and felt exciting to build,” she said.
“We were thinking of it in terms of distilling essences and it made me think of a distillery and perfume bottles, which inspired a lot of the work.
“The idea is people will come in and create flower that is taken by a distiller and put in the machine where it is processed into a ‘prescription’ .
“It's an experience of culture, connection and creating as well as the ‘prescription’ (encouraging people) to visit artistic things in city.”
Mr Penzak said he wanted to make people feel special.
“One of the ideas is that culture heals you and makes you feel better,” he said.
“So one of ideas is that people come and sit at table and make a flower from cardboard.
“It’s something fun and relaxing where people get a moment where they feel like their paid attention to.”
The Victorian-era steam punk machine was conceived and designed by Yandoit artist Darryl Cordell.
Read more: Five-day artlands launched in Rosalind Park
“Steam punk is a combination of futuristic stuff and the Victorian era,” he said. “I thought it married well with Eliza's stuff.
“In the past I have also done some steam punk with Circus Oz, so I was familiar with the aesthetic but wanted it to relate to (the city’s) Victorian architecture.”
Cultural Pharmacy is open from noon on October 10 to 14 at The Conservatory in Rosalind Park.
Artlands Victoria launches on Wednesday at 2pm in Rosalind Park.
Scarves are a unique gift for conference visitors
More than 700 scarves have been knitted and crocheted by people all over Victoria as a unique gift for Artlands Victoria’s conference bags.
Using yarn from the Bendigo Woollen Mills, the gifts fit in with the Artlands tagline of “shared knowledge,traded resources, exchanged gifts”.
“We wanted to do a conference bag that was hand-made and unique,” Artlands Victoria creative director Ros Abercrombie said.
Ms Abercrombie said the idea came while at she was at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show.
“We wanted something that represented regional Victoria that as many people as possible could be part of,” she said. “Seeing the yarn on display gave us the idea as did connecting it to Bendigo Woollen Mills. It made sense in an agricultural and a cultural context.”
“It was an extraordinary response. It was overwhelming and beyond our expectation for the quality, uniqueness and craftsmanship of the scarves.”
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