River Studios Christmas Market and Exhibition

Once again, River Studios resident artists worked together to hold an outstanding exhibition and market in the lead-up to Christmas. For the first time, we had access to a large function area on the ground level. It is located just around the corner from the studios, and it proved a great venue.

A new space for Creative Spaces

This function area was formerly occupied by Gather and Tailor. Creative Spaces has now taken over management of this area for the City of Melbourne.

A huge thank you goes to Michael Carr, who is responsible for developing this space. Creative Spaces arranged for a special hanging system along the back wall to accommodate the art exhibition. Michael was there in the lead-up, as well as on the day, to provide support. The bump-in the evening before ran very smoothly.

Bumping in for the Christmas market and exhibition

Exhibition by River Studios artists

More than a dozen resident artists each exhibited a few of their works, including me. Many thanks to Karen Butler, who did an outstanding job curating the exhibition.

The works I exhibited included Water Under the Bridge (completed jointly with Julia Zoellner), Silver City at Midnight 1, Phases of the Moon, Reach for the Moon, and Lonsdale Mandala. Reach for the Moon has since been named as a semi-finalist in the international “We are the People” – The Social Art Award for 2019.

My works in the exhibition by River Studios resident artists

Then there was the market

Several resident artists ran stalls, selling a wide range of handmade goods. These included serving boards, calico bags, tea towels, hand-painted greeting cards, earrings, glass beads, lamps, pottery and books. Handmade Christmas decorations, created from wood and glitter, ceramics, and colourful yarn,  were also a big hit. Thanks to Pauline Delaney, who organised the market – a huge and very successful effort.

Several of my brooches and small wall sculptures were on display in the market. I was pleased so many people stopped by to talk, and some to buy as well. My brooches are a new undertaking, and they proved to be very popular.

Screen printed cutting boards and tea towels designed by Roze Elizabeth
Some of my small wall sculptures for sale at the Christmas market

A wide range of visitors

About half the visitors were friends of the artists, while half had heard about the market from social media or other publicity. I enjoyed chatting to the wide range of people who stopped by to take a look.

One amazing man named Roman dropped by. He proved to be a walking encyclopedia of all the bits and bobs of metal trash I’d found. He told me the names of all of it. Even better, he showed me on his phone what some of the  bits looked like before they got squished on the road.

Another visitor was Wei Jin, who has created a video about my work. By sheer chance, he was with me when a couple was looking at my small wall sculpture, City by the Bridge 1. Wei Jin featured this work in the opening scene of the video. He showed it to them on his phone when they decided to buy it.

Journalist Wei Jin dropped by to say hello

And to wrap it up

Finally, what added to the festive ambience was the wrapping paper printing workshop.  Nicole MacKenzie and Katie Starkey ran it for both adults and children. They displayed the bright and cheery results on the nearby walls.

The resident artists are already thinking about how to make the market even better for Christmas 2020. Hope to see you at River Studios again soon!

Making linocut wrapping paper at the River Studios Christmas market
Cutting a Christmas star to make a lino print design