Jul 30 2013

YASSarts Arts Trail 2013

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The 2013 YASSarts Arts Trail once again provided an opportunity for locals & visitors to experience the arts & culture of the Yass Valley Shire. Below is a sample of some of the events especially created for this years Arts Trail. Some, like ‘‘Sculpture in the Paddock’’, may become fixtures of the Arts Trail calendar in years to come.


Click on the image below to view a video of ‘Sculpture in the Paddock’ featuring a report done by ABC Television which went national on ABC 2






Art Expo

This year YASSarts have organised to stage a special Arts Expo in the Yass Memorial Hall. This will feature exhibitions and artisans at work. There will be body-painting, printing press displays, glass blowing, music and performances. It will also feature audio visual displays of the arts & culture of the Yass Valley Shire and will be the central Arts Trail office for obtaining information about the Arts Trail & CLASSIC YASS weekend



The National Trust property ‘Cooma Cottage’ near Yass, NSW, will play host to an arts event inspired bySculpture_thumb Sydney’s ‘Sculpture by the Sea’. ‘Sculpture in the Paddock’ will run from 24th October through to the YASSarts Arts Trail weekend on the 2nd– 3rd November, 2013.

YASSarts creator, artist Kim Nelson is no stranger to this historic property – in fact he lived there for eleven years and was its inaugural manager/curator. This year Al Phemister and fellow sculptor, Duncan Waugh, envisioned creating a rural version of ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ and discussed the matter with Nelson. He said he had a place in mind that would suit – ‘Cooma Cottage’.

“With its rolling hills and visual curtilage, the National Trust property was tailor-made for such an event” says the artist. “It will also be a good promotional activity for the National Trust and for the region”.

The Yass Valley Shire is certainly not lacking in well known sculptors either. Veteran sculptor Rosemary Madigan whose work features in State gallery collections; Michael le Grand who has been integral with the running of ‘Sculpture by the Sea’; Wendy Teakel, head of Sculpture at ANU; her partner David Jenz, whose work can be found in public spaces throughout Canberra and Lee Tunks who runs ‘Man of Steel’ a company that specializes in contemporary architectural and sculptural metalwork .

This will be the inaugural year for what we hope will become an ongoing event and an important part of the cultural tourism calender.

When: Thursday throught to Sundays from 24th October until 3rd November.
Where: National Trust ‘Cooma Cottage’ 756 Yass Valley Way, Yass
Admission: Free (though a gold coin donation is appreciated).
Enquiries: Al Phemister 0419 439 710

Cooma Cottage will also feature:
– The Art of Ruth Dodd exhibition at the Cooma Cottage homestead 2nd -3rd November
– Limestone Tanka Poets performance in the grounds of Cooma Cottage, 2.00pm Saturday, 2nd November




Romantic meets 21st Century! Fluffy purple violins are all part of the course for Leanne Bear. She is a creator of mixed-media performances of contemporary classical violin music, effects, improvisation, film and image, artist’s books and installation. Her goal in life is to provide warmth and whimsy in this often dark and painful world.

Yass Valley based composer & violinist extraordinaire Leanne Bear joins forces with the award winning Childers Street Quartet for NEON ROMANTIC, to present a programme of world premier pieces and visual art projections created especially for the 2013 YASSarts ‘Art Trail’ weekend.

When: Sunday 3rd November @ 4.00pm.
Where: Liberty Theatre, Cnr: Comur and Lead Street Yass
Admission: $20.00 (Children free)
Enquiries: Ann Holmes 6226 1130




One of the highlights of this year’s YASSarts ‘Arts Trail’ will be a talk given by Margo Bass, wife of the late Tom Bass, that iconic Australian sculptor whose major works adorn many of this country’s significant public places. What many Yass Valley residence don’t realize is that we have four significant Tom Bass sculptures in the town of Yass.

If you were to wander the forecourt of the Canberra Theatre in front of the ACT Legislative Assembly you would notice one of Tom Bass’s most defining works. The image of the ‘Ethos’ sculpture is synonymous with the name of Canberra itself. Or perhaps you have approached the entrance of the National Library and have wondered at that massive sculptural frieze that adorns the facade above the doorways to this national institution.

St Augustine’s Church in Yass is blessed to have not just one but four significant sculptures by Tom Bass which have now been listed amongst the Yass Valley Shire’s public arts assets. They are: the great crucifix on the front of the building, the Reredos crucifix on the wall behind the altar, the statue of St Paul near the baptistery, and the bas relief of St Augustine on the outside wall of the church near the front entrance.

Commenting on the experience of working on the project Tom Bass was quoted as saying:
“. . . the whole wonderful experience we did for the Church of St Augustine at Yass has an air of legend and fable about it unlike anything I have ever known before”.

The crucifixes and the statue of St Paul were commissioned as part of the creation of the new St Augustine’s Church in 1954. The bas relief sculpture of St Augustine was commissioned by the Darmody family in 2004 (with the generous assistance of the sculptor) and dedicated to the memory of Mick and Joan Darmody and Archbishop Young.

The artist’s widow, Margo Bass, (a sculptor herself) is Director of the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School in Sydney and was invited by YASSarts to give a presentation about Bass’s life, particularly in relation to his work on St Augustine’s.

“This is the inaugural year of Sculpture in the Paddock’ at Cooma Cottage” comments YASSarts creator, artist Kim Nelson “So it seemed appropriate to honor Tom’s work in this year and to draw attention to the artistic treasures we have in our own backyard. Many locals just don’t know how significant they are, whilst visitor’s travel from all over Australia just to see them.”

Margo Bass will give her presentation at St Augustine’s Church on Sunday 3rd November at 11.00am and all are welcome. There is no admission charge but of course donations are always welcome.




The artistic talents of Yass Valley Youth is at an all time high and Thyme to Taste Cafe has decided to run a special music and arts evening in their back lane to showcase this talent.

Really old people are welcome as well i.e: those over 21

Saturday 2nd November 6.30pm – 9.30pm.
Where: Thyme to Taste Deli & Café, 60 Comur Street, Yass
Admission: Free
Enquiries: Andrew Dodd 0403 999 899




Renowned poets Lizz Murphy, Robyn Sykes, Victoria McGrath and Jane Baker will stage a special event in the sublime surroundings of the newly restored St Augustine’s Chapel. Featuring also song by Cecilia Pavlovic and storytelling by Pam Bell. This event will kick off at 2pm on Sunday 3rd November

For biographical details click here
To see poster click here




Can five line poems using only nineteen to thirty-one syllables say all that can be said, capture landscape in its beauty or bleakness and transport readers into their inner landscape? Tanka, an ancient genre that originated in Japan 1300 years ago from which haiku grew, has the potential to do just that.

Kathy Kituai and the Limestone Tanka Poets will be reading from the latest anthology, ‘Ragged Edges’, at Cooma Cottage as part of the Yass Arts Trail, Saturday 2nd November @ 2.00pm.

Why not join them in the beautiful environs of the historic National Trust property ‘Cooma Cottage, listen to the poets read or perhaps write in this genre yourself on the day and find out if the afore mentioned claim is so!