Monday, March 31, 2014

Countdown to 2015 Festival begins now!

With just 322 days until the 2015 Festival of Glass, planning has started already!

At the heart of each year's Festival of Glass is the Glass Expo, featuring 50+ exhibitors from across the world of glass; demonstrations of glass-working techniques; the annual Drysdale Glass Art Awards; 'Glass on Film' (short films about glass); and a major raffle and hourly door prizes, with prizes donated by exhibitors.
The 2015 Glass Expo will happen on Sunday February 15 between 10.00am and 4.00pm at Christian College, Collins Road, Drysdale, Victoria. The Expo was held at this venue for the first time in 2014, when it attracted around 5,000 visitors, so the Festival committee is very pleased that the Expo will return there in 2015.

From browsing to creating
As part of the Festival, local exhibitors will teach various glass-working techniques at their studios and workshops. This feature was introduced at the 2014 Festival and proved very popular - each class was booked-out well in advance. The addition of these classes means that visitors to the Festival of Glass can now browse exhibitors' diverse glass creations; see demonstrations of some of the techniques used to create them; then learn how to use those techniques for themselves. Information about the classes will be available closer to the time from the Festival web site (

Getting involved in the 2015 Festival
People can become involved with the 2015 Festival in various ways, depending on their time and interests.
1. Exhibit.
The Festival of Glass is unique in Australia and is an outstanding vehicle to promote your work. Each year, thousands of visitors come to the Festival just to see glass - a captive audience if ever there was one! There is considerable coverage by the local media and a growing presence on regional and national tourism and recreational web sites. See the Festival web site for more information.
2. Enter the Awards.
The Drysdale Glass Art Awards are in three categories: Wearable Glass Art; Non-wearable Glass Art; and Glass-related Photography. Each category has two divisions: Junior (up to and including 18 years of age); and Open (nineteen years of age upwards). See the Festival web site for more information about entry conditions, etc..
3. Join the committee.
The 2015 Festival of Glass committee invites glass artists, craftspeople and manufacturers in the Geelong region to join it.  There is a broad range of jobs and responsibilities, so whatever your interests and time commitments, you can make your mark on the 2015 Festival!
4. Become a sponsor.
Now in its fifth year,  the Festival of Glass continues to develop significant reputation and regard among its exhibitors and visitors, and in the broader glass community. Sponsorship associates you with the Festival's growing reputation and regard. The Festival's success to date is due in no small part to our current sponsors the City of Greater Geelong and the Bendigo Bank. See the Festival web site for more information about sponsorship options.
5. Become a local business supporter.
The Festival committee works hard to ensure that local businesses benefit from having such a major event in their location. in the past, the Festival committee has agreed cross-promotion arrangements with several local businesses and we hope to expand this significantly in 2015.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Festival exposure boosts Award-winner's profile

Since Darryl Trezise won a Drysdale Glass Art Award at the 2014 Festival of Glass in Drysdale, Victoria, he has received invitations to exhibit at three galleries, plus exposure in the local press and online.

The 2014 Glass Art Award winners were announced during the Festival’s Glass Expo on Sunday February 16. Darryl’s piece ‘Two Brown Trout’ won the Award for ‘Non-wearable Glass Art’, to great acclaim.*
Darryl Trezise: 'Two Brown Trout'

Later that day, Darryl was invited to display his work at The Tea Tree Gallery in Portland, Victoria. "Belinda (the lady who owns the gallery) said to me, ‘Don’t pack your glass when you get home, just take it straight to The Tea Tree Gallery.'" said Darryl. Then, while he was setting-up his exhibition at The Tea Tree Gallery, Darryl received an invitation to exhibit at Portland’s Julia Street Gallery later this year; and just last week, Darryl received an invitation to exhibit at a third gallery – Local Images Gallery in Penola.

Unexpected press and online exposure
Two of Darryl’s local papers – the Portland Observer and the Casterton News – each ran an article and photo about his Award. The Portland Observer article was on the front page! His Facebook page ( has received a great many hits and very positive feedback – often from people he’s never heard of! Finally, the Portland tourism organization wants to promote Darryl’s gallery – Darryl’s Glass – through its website (

Darryl is convinced that the Festival of Glass helped to generate this sudden rush of exposure. “I believe all this good fortune is due to the exposure the Festival has given me, with great feedback from other glass people and the public”, he said. “It was a huge honour to win the Glass Art Award, because the Festival is a major venue for glass artists across the country. I learnt so much from the day and have even started making new pieces for next year's Festival of Glass!”

Darryl’s Glass is at 5924 Portland Casterton Road, Sandford, Victoria 3312. (0409 217386)
 The Darryl’s Glass web site is packed with a very diverse range of Darryl’s work, plus patterns, book and much more:

* The other winners of a Glass Art Award were Glenda MacNaughton, for her necklace ‘Ndebele Solo’ ('Wearable Glass Art'); Janet Jenkin, for her photo 'Isola di San Giacomo in Palude (detail)' ('Glass-related Photography'); and Isabelle Hall, for her ‘Beaded Necklace’ ('Junior').

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A mural project for Drysdale

The Festival of Glass committee has initiated a Mural Project to create two ceramic and glass public art exhibits in Drysdale.
Uncle David Tournier  

The first will be a free-standing, ceramic and glass ‘Welcome to Drysdale’ sign located prominently in the town centre. Creating the 'Welcome' sign will give the mural team the knowledge and experience to create the other piece of public art – a major mural.

The second exhibit will be a major ceramic and glass mural with the theme, ‘Bridging Our Heritage: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’ located prominently on a wall in the town centre.
·      Yesterday’ How our past continues to influence the presence. It would refer to the continuing presence of the Wathaurong people – the original inhabitants of the land; and to the continuing effects of Europeans’ arrival.
·      ‘Today’ How we describe our Community today. This would include local institutions, schools, service clubs, sporting clubs, community groups, local businesses and emergency services.
·      ‘Tomorrow’ The hopes and dreams of the community and especially of its young people - our future.

Building community through glass
The Mural Project is an initiative of the Festival of Glass. The Festival aims to enhance community well being and quality of life by involving individuals, groups and organisations in creative projects. This makes the Bellarine Peninsula an attractive destination for glass artists, craftspeople and companies, as well as for visitors curious to see their work. Festival-related projects such as the mural support existing local glass-related businesses and encourage new ones to establish themselves here, promoting innovation in the local economy.

The Mural Project is a partnership between the Festival of Glass, which is providing overall leadership, and Bellarine Secondary College, whose students are creating parts of the mural; it is supported by the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op and the Bellarine Historical Society; and it is partly financed by local organisations.

So far, the ‘Welcome’ sign has been designed and Bellarine Secondary College students have been introduced to Wathaurong culture by Uncle David Tournier and to events around Europeans’ arrival in the area. This will assist them to design and create the ceramic tiles that are part of the ‘Welcome to Drysdale’ sign.

'Community Concepts' - Festival of Glass submission

The Festival of Glass committee has submitted a proposal to the City of Greater Geelong's 'Community Concepts' programme.

The City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) initiated the programme in December 2013, when it invited individuals, groups and organisations in the Greater Geelong area to submit proposals for capital works, to be considered for inclusion in the council's 2014 - 2015 budget. Submissions opened in December and closed on January 17 2014.

The Festival of Glass committee is a sub-committee of the Drysdale and Clifton Springs Community Association Inc., which initiated the Festival of Glass in 2011. Our submission is below.

Name of project: ‘Bridging Our Heritage: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’
Brief description of the project
This sixteen month mural project will create two glass-based public art exhibits in Drysdale. The project is a partnership between the Festival of Glass, the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (which launched the Festival in 2011) and Bellarine Secondary College, advised by Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op and Bellarine Historical Society; and it reinforces Drysdale’s growing national and international reputation for glass-related art, craft and industry. The first exhibit will be a free-standing, ceramic and glass ‘Welcome to Drysdale’ sign on the ‘Village Green’. This will give the mural team the knowledge and experience to create a major ceramic and glass mural with the theme, ‘Bridging Our Heritage: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’.

In practical terms, separate glass/ceramic strands (‘Yesterday’) will be braided together (‘Today’) and then unwound again (‘Tomorrow’). This shows that our ever-changing community includes not only its various groups, associations, schools and businesses but also the continuing presence of Wathaurong people and culture and the continuing effects of European arrival (including the significance of Anne Drysdale and of the mineral springs at Clifton Springs). The braid of ‘Today’ unwinds again into the disparate hopes and dreams of the community and especially of its diverse young people - our ‘Tomorrow’.

Objectives of the project
This project’s objectives support the council’s priorities as follows:
‘Community well being’.
·      To connect different sections of the local community (e.g. clubs, schools, community associations, volunteer groups) in a creative project that enhances the well being and quality of life of the whole community.
‘Growing our economy’.
·      To support existing local businesses by making Drysdale a more vibrant, attractive and distinctive destination for residents and visitors.
·      To promote innovation in the local economy by encouraging the establishment of new, glass-related businesses. This will complement the success that the Festival of Glass has had already in promoting such new businesses.
·      To promote Drysdale – and the Bellarine Peninsula more broadly – as a centre of glass-related art, craft and industry, making it more attractive to artists, craftspeople and companies. This complements the Festival’s forthcoming Glass Trail, which aims to encourage and promote new and existing glass-related businesses in the region.

Street address and suburb: ‘Village Green’ and Hancock Street, Drysdale.
Council ward: Cheetham 

Estimate of total project cost: $14,200 (Phase One: $2,100; Phase Two: $12,100)

Details of community group’s contribution (if any)
The Festival’s mural team will:
·      oversee the design and execution of each phase of the project, including co-ordinating practical, ‘hands on’ participation in each phase by local individuals, groups, societies, schools, etc.
·      seek appropriate permissions from landholders
·      obtain local funding to support council funding. (The team has local pledges of $1,200 already for Phase One.)

Previous project funding
This mural project has received no funding. However, the Festival of Glass has received council funding in each of its four years.

Ongoing maintenance requirements (if any).
The sign and the mural will each be built of resilient materials – glass, ceramics and steel – that will require minimal maintenance.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Glass on the Bellarine Peninsula - a 180 year link

2015 will mark the 180th anniversary of the arrival of glass in the Geelong area, especially the Bellarine Peninsula.
Signing 'Batman's Treaty' - artist's impression

Glass mirrors played a major role in John Batman’s efforts to ‘rent’ 600,000 acres of Kulin nation land, covering today’s Melbourne, Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula. On 6 June 1835, Batman signed a treaty with eight Kulin nation elders, in which Batman rented the Kulin nation’s land for an annual rent or tribute of ‘one hundred Pair of Blankets, One Hundred Knives, One Hundred Tomahawks, Fifty Suits of Clothing, Fifty looking Glasses, Fifty Pair scissors and Five Tons of flour’; plus an initial payment of ‘Twenty Pairs of Blankets, Thirty Tomahawks, One Hundred Knives Fifty Pair of Scissorrs (sic), Thirty looking Glasses Two Hundred Handkerchiefs and One Hundred Pounds of Flour and six shirts’.

(The Kulin nation - an alliance of five Aboriginal nations, Wurundjeri, Bunurong, Wathaurong, Taungurong and Dja Dja Wurrung – were traditional owners of lands around the Yarra River.)

Batman’s account of the signing mentioned only one document, but subsequently he produced two deeds. The Melbourne Deed (also known as the Dutigulla Treaty, Dutigulla Deed, Melbourne Deed or just ‘Batman’s Treaty’) concerned 500,000 acres, including what is now Melbourne, the western arm of Port Phillip Bay and what is now the city of Geelong. The Geelong deed concerned a further 100,000 acres, including parts of the south coast of Victoria and the Bellarine Peninsula.

Batman had arrived from Launceston at what is now Indented Head in early May 1835, intent on purchasing from local aborigines a large tract of today’s southern Victoria, on which to graze stock and establish a settlement. He represented the Port Philip Association, formed earlier that year by fifteen leading sheep graziers of Van Dieman’s Land (today’s Tasmania) to acquire new grazing lands.

Batman’s treaty declared invalid
On 26 August 1835, NSW Governor Bourke declared Batman’s treaty invalid. Not only had Batman negotiated directly with the Aboriginal people, despite the British authorities claiming Australia for the Crown and dismissing any Aboriginal claim to the land; but also, he had purchased the land for the Port Philip Association, and not for the Crown. Nonetheless, Batman maintained until his death in 1839 that the treaty was valid; and it remains historically significant because it was the first and only documented instance of Europeans negotiating their presence and occupation of Aboriginal lands.

Even if Batman’s Treaty hadn’t been declared illegal, it would have had a very dubious status in law. It is unlikely that the elders who allegedly signed the treaties on 6 June understood the treaty as a transfer of land or, if they had, would have agreed to it. Instead, they probably saw the signing as akin to their own Tanderrum ceremony, in which gifts were exchanged (the Kulin elders gave Batman two fur cloaks, some stone axes, woomeras boomerangs and baskets) and local foliage was presented to strangers, signifying their access to and usage (but not ownership) of the host's land as well as protection. The strangers were expected to reciprocate by sharing their resources which, it could be argued, was what Batman’s party had done at the signing ceremony, but also on two occasions before and after it.

Glass mirrors and beads had been among the items that Batman gave a group of Wadda Wurrung women and children as evidence of his good intentions when he met them on 31 May 1835 at what he called Gellibrand Bay, near today’s Point Wilson. (The other items were blankets, handkerchiefs, sugar, apples and a tomahawk.) A final act of gift giving happened on 23 and 25 June at Indented Head, when James Gumm and William Todd - two members of a small group that Batman had left there on his departure for Launceston on June 8 - gave clothing, food and other items to a group of Wada Wurrung they had encountered.

Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol. 1. 1966. Melbourne University Press.
Ian D. Clark (c1990) “Aboriginal Languages and Clans: an historical atlas of Western and Central Victoria 1800-1900.” Melbourne: Monash Publications in Geography and Environmental Science: No. 37.
Rex Harcourt, 'The Batman treaties'. Victorian Historical Journal, vol. 62, nos. 3 & 4, Dec. 1991 - Mar. 1992, pp.85-97.