Eat, art, talkâ€¦what a combo. Local handmade functional ceramic tableware, two â€˜farm gate-to-plateâ€™ style dining experiences, and challenging the community to think outside the box re local healthy food production.
The concept behind the exhibition was the brainchild of terraluca artist Anna Kaineder with the support of Outback Arts. Together they applied for the Regional Arts Fund (RAF) which provides grants supporting arts and cultural activities in regional NSW that are sustainable and have long term cultural, economic and social benefits. The successful application saw Anna become Outback Artsâ€™ Artist in Residence for 2015 culminating in this community driven clay exhibition. As well as developing arts and cultural opportunities within the community, the exhibition also highlighted Annaâ€™s new body of work.
The exhibition kicked off in style on Saturday October 31, with the first Foragerâ€™s Harvest dining experience. Our guests enjoyed a delicious three course menu designed from locally donated fresh fruit, veg and meat as well as the amazing local preserves and condiments from the community. And of course all these goodies were served up on the unique handmade dinnerware. Another dining experience was held a fortnight later with both events selling out.
Guest speaker Anne Williams provided some food for thought on the night around her ideas and recent activities behind eating locally produced, clean food and the flow on effect of revitalising and bringing strength back to local communities. This got people talking and throwing ideas around about some projects that our local environment group have been working on including connecting backyard growers to create a growers exchange or local market. So watch this space.
We also received much media attention around this initiative, with even Home and Lifestyle publishing some photos as well as lots of feature articles in local press.
The exhibition also proved very popular with tourists and locals alike with a high number of sales taken for the month. We have received nothing but positive feedback with many travellers specifically visiting the gallery to see the impressive exhibition. Also with Christmas less than a month away it looks like lots of people will find a ceramic something in their stocking!
Anna of terralcua has been overwhelmed by the success and response of the community and public as a whole. â€œIt has been very successful for the Coonamble Ceramics Collective and I want to acknowledge the overwhelming support we received from the community and their enthusiasm and dedication for promoting healthy foods and local arts. It has also been a success for ceramics in Far Western New South Wales and a big step in the right direction for other local creative industries. Ceramics is an old craft but there has been a recent revival and Iâ€™m proud Coonamble is part of that.â€
And as the icing on a very successful cake, the Coonamble Ceramics Collective are featured in the latest edition of the Australia Ceramics Journal. Well done to all involved.