Artist in focus

Melanie Tongmar 

Melanie Tongmar is a local abstract painter who uses her gift of astral travel to create artworks of a different time and place. ‘I am joking,’ she says, ‘but I have a strong imagination and like to paint the colours and shapes evoked when I pull an historical story from deep within our collective consciousness. My mind is very well travelled indeed.’ Mel’s artworks are somewhat cinematic with birds-eye views, a blend of abstract landscape and an intangible sense of place. ‘I don’t like things to be recognisable. I like the discomfort of having something where I and the viewer have to rely completely on emotion, or on intuitive understanding. Although I do have recognisable objects, they could be anything really, depending on your own story.’

Into The Deep is Mel’s first exhibition; expect to see stormy seas, distant shores, hidden treasures… all in abstract of course!

All welcome for drinks and nibbles on opening night, Friday 20 April 5.30–8pm. Into The Deep will run until 3 May at LAC (Lennox Arts Collective) Gallery in Lennox Head. See Mel’s work on the back page.

Instagram: meltongmar

It’s never too late

Well into retirement, with years of success in his hobby of sculpting in stone and clay, this 83-year-old decided it was time to paint, so he did. Pop into Clem’s Marketplace in Brunswick Heads to see the David Shaw Gallery. His fresh approach to painting in abstract offers many choices for lovers of contemporary art. You buy direct from the artist. Pop in before the exhibition pops out at end of April. Your opinion is important to him; be sure to comment in the visitor book, even if you don’t buy.

David Shaw Gallery, Clem’s Market Place, Cr Tweed Street/Slessor Lane, Brunswick Heads | 6685 1213.

BSA Weekend Workshops

Byron School of Art has an exciting and inspirational selection of weekend workshops beginning the last weekend of April. Students can expand their skills with cyanotypes, mokulito wood lithography, en plein air watercolour painting, monoprinting and transfers, experimental drawing and abstraction, or basketry. These popular workshops fill quickly. Visit the BSA website for more information and to join their mailing list.

Public sculpture in Mullum

Resurgent Creative Mullum, keepers of the Mullumbimby Sculpture Walk, are generating new projects.

Coming soon to transform the derelict barbecue on Brunswick Terrace, Mullum, is REVIVE sculpture.

SPIRIT OF CHINCOGAN, a new opportunity for sculptors to create a work for the sculpture walk, funded by Mullum Chamber of Commerce to the tune of $30,000.

INGENUITY is a community sculpture fest to be held in November while the town pulses with the Mullum Music Fest.

And a Public Art course in July at Byron Community College Mullum – for aspiring public artists.

Check for more info.

Join the Conversation…

Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) is growing and we are seeking feedback on the future direction of the NRCG.

Your feedback will assist the NRCG and Ballina Shire Council to shape the future of arts and culture within the shire.

The NRCG is about to expand Gallery facilities to include Ignite Studios @ NRCG. This exciting new facility will provide a dynamic shared art space supporting the development and participation of artistic pursuits. Facilities include artist studios, a visiting artist-in-residence (AiR) studio and two access spaces for workshops, creative events, pop-up exhibitions, meetings and special projects.

Join the conversation on the future of arts and culture in our community by completing a short five-minute survey via the Gallery website

AN ARTISTS AFFAIR – Burlesque and Bare

Most artists long for the time and the space to immerse themselves in the pleasures of their art.

Follow Your Art presents AN ARTISTS AFFAIR, a unique opportunity to indulge in the pleasures of painting or drawing.

AN ARTISTS AFFAIR is essentially a weekend about life drawing. To draw the human figure, with its perfect imperfections, is a beautiful and wondrous experience for any practising artist.

Male and female models will be wearing burlesque-inspired costume intertwined with the more traditional life drawing, to evoke interest, texture, colour, and inspiration!


Numbers are limited. Bookings essential.

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