The Arts

A metal totem at the entrance to Bend of Islands with COVID-related messages hanging from it.

The totem at the entrance to Bend of Islands is a beautiful landmark for the local community.
Photo of Ben Ramcharan

The Arts

Arts and culture, in all forms, are a vital part of our society. Supporting local creatives helps build a vibrant, proud and healthy community. It’s important for Council to have a plan that will support artistic and cultural practice in all forms.

Nillumbik is well-known for its strong artistic culture and communities. Montsalvat, which is Australia’s oldest post-settlement artist’s colony, Baldessin Press and Dunmoochin are three key important hubs for creatives in the Shire. All creatives in Nillumbik, including painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, poets, print makers and theatre makers, need to be supported by Council in a variety of ways.

Council must support local artists to practice and exhibit their craft in order to benefit the whole community.

As well as encouraging exploration, expression and communication of ideas, local art brings a huge number of benefits to the community. It can be used to beautify our neighbourhoods. It can also play a central part in the local events and festivals that bring tourism into Nillumbik, helping to boost our economy. It has also been shown to yield both social and mental health benefits.

Nillumbik has a range of art and sculpture trails. Council needs to work with local artists to help support, maintain and promote these trails to both the Nillumbik community and the rest of Melbourne so they can continue to enrich the lives of the wider community.

Open studios can bring enormous social and economic benefit to our area.

The work of First Nations artists represents cultures and heritage which are unique to Australia and it is particularly important that Nillumbik works with First Nations Peoples to promote more Indigenous artistic and cultural practices in our area with tangible outcomes to support reconciliation and Council’s commitment to truth telling.

It is vital that Council supports Indigenous artistic and cultural practices in Nillumbik.

I will consult with local art communities to identify the best use of Nillumbik’s Arts and Culture funding, including grants for local artists and more opportunities to nurture and support our emerging creatives.

Our community’s huge passion for art has historically been inspired by our stunning and unique local environment. In recent times, it has been clearly demonstrated; be it putting teddy bears out to entertain kids during lockdown, sharing poetry and putting supportive messages on footpaths, many locals have participated in artistic expression to help bring our community together during these hard times.

Recent calls for a mural on the wall by the shops in Research is a fantastic example of how art can be used to help revitalise and beautify our community spaces.