Thursday, December 30, 2010

Smith clan celebrates

The extended Smith clan planned a gathering for December to say goodbye to their family connection to Munni, but following the the NSW government's abandonment of the Tillegra Dam plans, it became a celebration.

Photo shows the Smith clan on Munni's highest point, on what will now stay as Manns Hill rather than becoming an island in Tillegra Dam.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tillegra Dam plans scrapped

The media is reporting today that the New South Wales Government has scrapped its plans for the Tillegra Dam!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Planning meeting with Maitland Regional Gallery

Planning for the next stage of the WRVAP began with a fruitful meeting yesterday with Maitland Regional Art Gallery Director Joe Eisenberg and curator Kim Blunt.

Above L to R: Joe Eisenberg, Kim Blunt, Neil Berecry-Brown, Juliet Fowler Smith and Margaret Roberts at Maitland Regional Gallery, 26 November 2010

Maitland Regional Gallery plan:

images of galleries 1-3 (Mauve yellow green)
smaller images of galleries 1-3 (Mauve yellow green)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Planning for the Tillegra Dam

Snow (Grafton) has installed a plaque on the top of Mann's Hill to commemorate his family's stewardship of the area, in preparation for the flooding of the valley that will transform this hill into an island.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cry Me a River

Sue Blackburn's photos of Cry Me a River

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cry me a River

Cry Me a River was opened last night by John Kaye, NSW MLC Greens,

who was presented with a chocolate frog on a silver tray by David & Juliet as a gesture of thanks.

(Above photos by Toni Warburton.)

click for Six to Eight's video of opening

John Clutterbuck's photos of the opening:

and some of the artworks:

Juliet Fowler Smith Williams River runaround

David Watson

Toni Warburton

Suzanne Bartos

Noelene Lucas The Last Healthy River in the Hunter

Bridget Nicholson Touch this earth lightly

David Watson Waste (wall image)
Bonita Ely DelugeDrown (scroll)
Neil Berecry-Brown Things fall apart (warning tape)

Margaret Roberts (& Horst Kiechle) Straight-Line Residency Proposal for Manns Hill Hut

Friday, September 24, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010


Get your copy of The Stuttering Frog - come to Cry me a River at the Tin Sheds Gallery or download a pdf version.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Press Release:

Cry Me a River: Williams River Valley Artists' Project
Artists challenge the Tillegra Dam

Exhibition launch:
6pm, Thursday 30th September
To be opened by John Kaye MLC Greens

Suzanne Bartos, Neil Berecry Brown, Bonita Ely, Juliet Fowler Smith, Noelene Lucas, Bridget Nicholson, Margaret Roberts, Toni Warburton and David Watson

Up near Barrington Tops (200km north of Sydney) lies the glorious Williams River valley – 22 kilometres of pristine winding river flanked by rich dairy pasture, primeval forest and national park. The precious ecosystems of one of the few remaining healthy rivers in the Hunter will be destroyed if Hunter Water's proposed $480 million Tillegra Dam proceeds.

A dam the size of Sydney Harbour would flood the valley; Hunter residents would pay for it in their water bills; and people in Australia would lose another precious water way. Initiated by artist Juliet Fowler Smith – whose family has farmed the valley for generations – the Williams River Valley Artists’ Project brings together a group of Australian contemporary artists dismayed by this proposal. Their responses are elegiac, contemplative and strident - their works created during a series of local residencies, research trips and exhibitions that began in 2009. The first opened at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre in October 2009 followed by Tocal Agricultural College, Paterson in May 2010.

Cry Me a River at Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney brings this project to Sydney at a critical time when the fate of the valley remains caught in the political process and the environment and the community continue to suffer the consequences. At a time when the community is focusing on questions of water management the project questions the folly of such environmental destruction.

Works developed for the exhibition cross media and ideas – from consideration of the social and emotional impact of unwanted change in rural communities to environmental concerns which have global significance. Key concepts of the project are thus memory and loss, the respect and honour for the landscape that holds those memories, as well as consideration of the local and worldwide implications of lost habitats and ecosystems.

For more information
contact Juliet Fowler Smith

Tin Sheds Gallery, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, 148 City Road, The University of Sydney.

Exhibition dates:
1 - 23 October 2010

Artists' Forum
Currents and Reflections
Saturday 16 Oct. 2 - 4 pm

A round table panel discussion to keep alive questions encountered in the process of the Williams River Valley Artists' Project.

Gallery Hours:
11am - 5pm
Tuesday to Saturday

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Munni visit

Toni Warburton, with Juliet and Snow Fowler Smith, beside an 1830s corn shed, during a recent visit to the Munni homestead.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rally for wiser ways

Some images from the 23rd of April, Martin Place Sydney. Members of the Williams River Valley Artists' Project join a coalition of opponents of the Tillegra Dam proposal to take their message to the city.

Dairy cows and one of Brown's Cows unite for the cause -

with a message "For thee"

Monday, May 3, 2010

WRVAP at Tocal, May 2010

Above: Bridget Nicholson touch this earth lightly, 2010,
photographer Juliet Fowler Smith

Above: Suzanne Bartos Surfboard 2010

Photographer Noelene lucas

Above: Juliet Fowler Smith Manns Hill Preserves 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tocal Field Days

WRVAP is pleased to be offered the opportunity to show work at Tocal Homestead during the Tocal Agricultural College annual Field Days event from April 30 - May 2, 2010. Tocal is 15 minutes from Maitland on Tocal Road, Paterson, and the Field Days have over 600 exhibitors and a number of events of interest to both the rural and wider community.

For the duration of these Field Day events, WRVAP artworks will be on show in the Tocal barn:

These will include an installation of shoes made by local artist Bridget Nicholson, who, as part of the Williams River project, is making individual shoes for people by wrapping their feet in clay. The collection will form an installation titled ‘touch this earth lightly’. Bridget will be available at Tocal Homestead during the 3 field days to do people’s feet. The process takes approximately 20 minutes per person and Bridget will also be talking to people and recording their views on their own relationship to their feet and to the environment. Examples of shoes made to date are shown below: