St Arnaud Street Museum

Nathan Grey

St Arnaud Street Museum 

An initiative led by Northern Grampians Shire Council and funded by Regional Arts Victoria is set to breathe new life into St Arnaud’s main street. The St Arnaud Street Museum is a first for Victoria and has been designed to increase tourism and boost local trade. As part of the project, shop owners in St Arnaud are being invited to open their doors to resident artists who will transform their windows into spectacular art displays.

The Street Museum, as part of the Artist-in-Residency Program, will not only potentially develop an interest in St Arnaud’s contemporary art events internationally but is set to bring in visitors and interest from a national audience, as well as across regional Victoria. We hope that you will be as enthusiastic about this program as we are and we look forward to having you involved.

The project is being developed by Northern Grampians Shire Council, in partnership with experienced curator Maudie Palmer AO, who has previously been the curator at the Ian Potter Museum- University of Melbourne, established the Herring Island Environmental Sculpture Park and was the inaugural director of Heide Museum of Modern Art and TarraWarra Museum of Art.

Fourth & Final Artist-in-Residence - Aaron Carter 'Hot Rocks'

Aaron Carter - returned home to the Wimmera after participating in the Sikas Summer Symposium, Sikas Art Center, Sweden early in 2015.  The stark contrast between Scandinavia and his home environment prompted Aaron to examine the geology of this region, to look at the largely abandoned mining industry and the vast cultivation of crops in an increasingly uncertain climate.  

He returned to a dry creek bed, whereas a child he had uncovered objects that, combined with the exotic trees on its bank, were evidence of earlier European settlement. This empty creek, these objects and the clays, ochres and pigments from this place form the conceptual basis for Hot Rocks.

Joanne Mott -  Flora Loci (Plants about this place) by Joanne Mott is a new body of drawings, collages and installations commissioned for the St Arnaud Street Museum and made in part with the assistance of the people of St Arnaud.  The project explores the local landscape, both bush and cultivated.

Jo Mott Cactus                                                        Jo Mott Orchids

Jo Mott - Cactus                                                                        Jo Mott - Orchids

Nathan Gray- Nathan Gray is an accomplished artist who has previously undertaken residencies in Indonesia, Brazil and Japan. He was the recipient of the 2014 Substation Contemporary Art Prize and the VCA Andrew Rogers Prize. His work was included in the 2012 TarraWarra Biennal and the 19th Biennale of Sydney.

"The Gesture Project" - The Gesture Project is a set video filmed in St Arnaud that repeats simple gestures and actions of participants in various locations. Repetition emphasises the differences. For visitors, it will provide a rapid tour of the town and its people, and for locals, it will be puzzling as they attempt to identify people and locations based only on the hands of the participants and the relevant backgrounds. Components of the Gesture Project are Fidget which documents gestures used for conducting music and conversation while Clapping and Points of Interest document the repeated gestures of clapping and pointing across more than 100 participants in quick succession. The Umpire Dance forms a choreography from the hand signals of local football, netball, hockey and cricket umpires. This last work has been developed as a performance with the choreography by Jennae Polkinghorne and Nathan and performed by Dance Capital of St Arnaud.

 Nathan's work is currently on display for the next three months in St Arnaud. 

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Nathan Gray - "The Gesture Project" Photographs by Jacqueline Mitelman

First Artist-in-Residence

James Geurts - James Geurts was the first artist to make residency in St Arnaud from September to December 2014. Geurts will develop a series of artworks that draw on the contemporary mythology created by the flooding of the old mine that weaves under the town, an elusive labyrinth, submerged below St Arnaud.  

UNSW Art & Design curator Julie Louise Bacon produced an essay about the project after a writing residency with the artist.

'UNSW Art & Design curator Julie Louise Bacon produced an essay about the project after a writing residency with the artist. You can download and read it here.'

WATERTABLE-St-Arnaud-James-Geurts-2015-Essay-by-Julie-Louise-Bacon.pdf(PDF, 1MB)

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James Geurts - "WATERTABLE" Photographs by Jacqueline Mitelman