Cats coming to Creswick

September 27th, 2023Cats coming to Creswick

Cat and art lovers alike will be heading to the Creswick Town Hall this long weekend.
Above, from left, artist Loris Button and Sandy Campbell with paintings by Creswick’s John Curtin Aged Care CEO Steve Bruechert

Cat and art lovers alike will be heading to the Creswick Town Hall this long weekend.
The Cats Come to Creswick Art Show is on from September 29 to October 1 and is the brainchild of Sandy Campbell, board member for the town’s John Curtin Aged Care Centre and event coordinator.
While musing on a good way to raise some money for the centre, Sandy realised that cats were perfect as a central theme for an art show for several reasons.
Firstly, they are ubiquitous creatures in our lives, she says, and secondly, artist Norman Lindsay, one of the town’s most famed historic figures, simply adored the feline species. Alongside human nudes, for which he is particularly known, he painted plenty of them, Sandy says.
“Creswick is very proud of Norman Lindsay and aside from painting nudes he also painted cats. He loved cats. There’s even a book dedicated to Norman Lindsay’s cats. To have them as the theme for an art show seemed like a logical thing to me.
“Wherever you travel in the world you will always find a cat. They are so ubiquitous.”
The art show will feature works by 51 artists, many of them professional, and many from throughout Central Victoria.
Well-known for her printmaking, Loris Button, who previously taught at the Ballarat Art School, says turning her hand to depicting the cat in art has been a bit of a different experience for her as well.
Portraiture, including self-portraiture, is usually more her thing, but Loris took this opportunity to create three prints honouring her own dearly departed, much- loved house moggie. “They depict our late cat sleeping. She was 23,” says Loris.
There’s also a couple of artists from interstate, and even some from very close to home including John Curtin Aged Care’s own CEO, Steve Bruechert, who usually paints entirely different subject matter.
However, Sandy was able to convince him to turn out some feline-themed works for the cause, which is to raise money for a new automatic minibus for the centre so staff can take residents on regular outings.
“We need to get a new bus to take the residents on outings and picnics and it needs to be equipped to take wheelchairs.”
Art will be for sale and is “first in, best dressed”, Sandy says.
“One of the works will be a compilation put together by a number of our residents with some help from a lifestyle team member.
“They’re being very secretive about it and it’s being unveiled at the preview event for artists, sponsors and board members on Thursday night.”
There will also be some attractive raffle prizes up for grabs as part of the show, and a cat-themed sales table including limited edition handmade toy cats and souvenir mugs.
The Ballarat Cat Lovers group, dedicated to finding good responsible homes for real cats, will be present during the show. Entry is $5 with children free.
Words & image: Eve Lamb

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