Tuesday 20 March 2018

Wall to Wall Street Art Festival at Benalla 2018 - job's done!

This is the fourth Wall to Wall Street Art Festival in Benalla, which is now the street art capital of Australia. The finished street art works are a delight to have around the town and a great asset to Benalla. Some of the old and much loved works were painted over this year but from that new favourites will come. It is a changing art form and Benalla is keeping with the tradition.

This year the majority of artists were women. Here are five of them!

The finished walls of the twenty-one guest artists are shown here in order of appearance on the Wall to Wall festival map. 

No. 1 Claire Foxton (Australia)

No. 2 Lolo YS (U.S.A)


No. 3 Julian Clavijo (born in Colombia)

No. 4 Anthony Lister (Australia)

No. 5 Kaff-eine & friends - Paint by numbers (Australia)

No. 6 Zenisis (Benalla, Australia)

No. 7 Justine McAllister (Australia)

No. 8 Tim Bowtell (Benalla, Australia)

No. 9 Shaun Lu (Australia)

No. 10 Kaff-eine (Australia)

No.11 Callum Preston (Australia) 

No. 12 Cristen Brunner (Benalla, Australia)

No. 13 Georgia Hill (Australia)

No. 14 George Rose (Australia) 

No. 15 Leonard Siaw (Malaysia)

No.16 Rosie Woods (England)

No. 17 Loretta Lizzio (Australia)

No. 18 Tom Gerrard (Australia)

No. 19 Elle (U.S.A)

No. 20 Lisa King (Australia)

No. 21 Chris Henderson (Australia)

As always, there were a couple of surprises.

At Goorambat, out of Benalla - DVate (Australia)

That is a wrap on my version of the 2018 Wall to Wall Street Art Festival in Benalla. Do come and visit to really appreciate these works of art.

Wall to Wall Street Art Festival in Benalla 2018 - artists at work

The Juddy Roller curated Wall to Wall Street Art Festival in Benalla is a fabulous week-end of talent on show ... for free! This year 21 new art works have graced the walls of Benalla. In addition there are two exhibitions on show in the Benalla Art Gallery.

The festival opened on the Friday night with the launch of Callum Preston's Milk Bar - a Monument to Nostalgia and Tom Gerrard's Dead Set Legends - an Anthology of Individuals.

Out and about in the streets there was music and food, but the street art was the reason for being. The following photos show some of the artists at work.

Shaun Lu


Justine McAllister

                                                                        Georgia Hill

                                                                   George Rose

Kaff-eine's Paint by Numbers & a junior artist

                                                                              Lolo YS

                                                                   Tim Bowtell

And into the night they kept painting...

                                                                         Shaun Lu

                                                                        Georgia Hill

                                                                 Anthony Lister

Next day it continued.

                                                                   Tom Gerrard

                                                                     Claire Foxton

                                                   Lolo YS

Out at Goorambat DVate was busy painting a silo.

Look at my next blog post for the finished works of all the artists.

Saturday 17 March 2018

Willandra National Park

Our Travellers group enjoyed nine days of immersion in the history of wool, from paddock to port. Reminders of Australia's bush poets and balladeers also added to a really enjoyable trip.

We started at Echuca where the paddle boats immediately draw your attention to the early days of transporting goods, especially wool. The shallow draught paddle boats with side paddles covered a large area following the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers. The museum gives an excellent overview and a visit to the port supports the stories of days past. No trip to Echuca is complete without a ride on a paddle boat.

From Echuca we travelled up the Cobb Highway, also known as The Long Paddock, to Hay. Along the way we stopped at the commemorative statue of the Peppin Merino.The Peppin is the purest form of the merino sheep and is highly respected in the merino breed.

Hay is the home of Shear Outback and the Shearers Hall of Fame. There is much to see in Hay and several hours could be spent at Shear Outback. All aspects of the life of the wool grower and the shearers are covered, including the shearers' cooks, male and female. 

The Murray Downs wool-shed has been painstakingly taken down, transported to the complex and re-built to create an excellent example of life in the shearing shed.

We experienced a fine demonstration of shearing with a full explanation on clothing and equipment needed by the hardy men who shear the sheep. 

The Shearers Hall of Fame recognises many of the greats of the shearing shed. Jackie Howe, of blue singlet fame, is the best known, but some amazing records were held by others in this extremely tough livelihood

A further one hundred and ninety kilometres north east from Hay is Willandra National Park. It is part of the original 436,000 acres merino stud property called Big Willandra Station. In 1972 when the 99 year lease ran out the government took back 19,000 hectares which included the homestead, shearing shed and other farm buildings. This was situated on the Willandra Creek and the area became a national park. 

Today we can experience the wonders of what life must have been like for those families who lived that isolated life at Big Willandra from the late 1860s. For a little of the experience it is possible to stay in the men's quarters and enjoy outside facilities, flies and heat and the clearest night skies possible. This was an amazing experience and I fully recommend it.

Willandra is part of the arid grasslands and is incredibly flat but there is lots to look at. As well as the grand homestead, there are various out buildings including the shearing complex and the ram shed where the prize rams lived luxuriously under a thatched roof. 
There are two interesting self guided walks that take you past former outstations, bridges and weirs and remnants of the past life of the property.

A self guided drive along the Merton Track gives ample opportunity to see red, eastern grey and western grey kangaroos and emus. The vegetation is sparce, occasional saltbush, with a few black box trees, but this allows you to study the varying soil types, look for aboriginal artifacts and animals tracks.

This was our third attempt to visit Willandra National Park and the soil is the key reason! It only takes 5 - 10 mms of rain to make the roads impassible so getting in and getting out is of prime importance.

Back to the bush ballads and poets.... the following references came to mind as we drove along the Hay Plains to Willandra and round about. Flash Jack from Gundagai shore at Big Willandra, the swagman sat under a coolibah tree, Banjo Paterson expressed his opinions on Hay, Hell and Booligal, Clancy had been shearing down the Lachlan and click go the shears boys, click, click, click!