Friday, February 8, 2013

New year...New look

Welcome to the new look blog. We are incorporating some changes and adding the photos of the fabulous events we add to the Norfolk Island Calendar each year.

For more up to date messages and coverage of what is coming up, please Like us on facebook.
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The Community arts society of Norfolk Island is holding its AGM on Monday the 18th of January at 7pm. The venue is Christians cave off Queen Elizabeth Avenue. Please follow the Hillis/Cyclorama driveway to the end.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Island Dancing

About eight years ago Don Reynolds, then president of Community Arts,  organised the first visit of Heipua Lehartel to Norfolk Island.  The purpose of that visit was to run the first Tahitian Dance Workshop. 

Accompanied by musician Joel Marie the workshop was a resounding success with a magnificent public show performed at Rawson Hall at the conclusion.  The costuming Heipua taught was also magnificent.  Many of the ladies of that workshop still enjoy the dance and singing; most of the teens of that workshop are now working or studying away from Norfolk and many continue to dance.  And most of today’s teens are from Heipua’s first workshop for the be`bes (the very young). 

To sing and dance is such a joyous thing to do and to enjoy this with a group covering a wide age range is especially wonderful.   Over the years there have been a number of Tahitian dance workshops – most of them taught by Heipua, with Lavena and Marietta (with husband Atea) filling in during the times when Heipua’s children were born.

And now we come to the time where a group of today’s high school girls have now formed their own troupe.  Who knows, they may soon become Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti of the western Pacific!  Currently they have called themselves the “Baunti Byuti”  (the Bounty Beauties) and they have been invited to dance with a junior troupe in Tahiti next year.  Isn’t that a Norfolk girl’s dream come true.  I’m sure they will keep everyone up to date on what’s happening.  Community Arts would like to wish them well – and look forward to them being the dance instructors running their own dance school.

Thought you might like to see some of the participants of our recent Tahitian Dance Workshop.  The ladies were a bit shy.  Don’t know why – the younger ladies were natural dancers; beautiful to watch and gave us much enjoyment and fun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Busy few weeks for Community Arts

Phew...we've had a few very busy and fantastic weeks of art here on Norfolk Island. Read all about it...

On Saturday evening 28th August the Parish Centre was a hive of activity.  There were eight teams for the Quiz Night and right from the start Brent Hattersley – the Quiz Master – had everyone primed up for the evening.  There was great rivalry between the tables as the results of each round of questions was put up on the scoreboard.  Some of the questions were quite challenging and you could see lots of whispering and shaking and nodding of heads as the team captains wrote down the answers.  No-one was allowed to fall asleep as the rounds of Heads and Tails kept everyone jumping up and down!  Tony Wilkinson’s presentation of the questions and answers with the data projector was great.

Just your average table
Our MC Brent hard at work
 Wilson’s Wallies were the winners for the evening and team captain Errol Wilson came forward to receive the prize.  Trevor Menadue from the “Raining Champs” team accepted  2nd prize on behalf of his team and the Wooden Spoon  plus vouchers for Wikepedia went to Tony Janssen and the  Fighting Vikings. 

A total of $1100.00 was raised during the evening and will be added to the Festival fund. The next Pacific Arts Festival is to be held in Honiara the year after next. Community Arts thanks everyone who helped to make the night such a success. 
A few red hatters at a table
Flax Weaving Worshops
Another bustling scene of activity the next day Sunday 29th was Don and Maree’s studio at Bumboras as participants gathered together for the first of the flax weaving workshops with Ali Brown.  Ali, accompanied by her husband Bob, had arrived from Christchurch the previous day.  Ali had always had a passion for weaving which lead her to become fascinated with the prominence of flax in the lives of the Maori people.  Part of Ali’s workshop was explaining the protocol to be observed in New Zealand when gathering and working with flax.  This was a great introduction to the workshop.  Those of us who were absolute beginners found Ali’s instructions reasonably easy to follow and it was great to return home at the end of the day with something to “show”.  Sunday evening Ali and Bob were “welcomed” to Norfolk with a pot luck dinner.
Ali Brown - our visiting flax weaving teacher

During the week Ali spent time in the class room with Years 5 and 6, and with Years 7 and 8.  Ali found the students interested and enthusiastic – they loved the wristbands and rings they made.  Community Arts was pleased to sponsor Ali’s visit to the school. From all accounts the dyeing workshop was magical.  In just three minutes a freshly cut piece of flax was transformed into a vibrantly coloured piece of silky-looking leather.  No-one had tried dyeing fresh flax before and didn't realise how easy it was.  Lots of ideas for the forthcoming show perhaps!

Early on the morning of their return home one of their sons texted Ali and Bob to alert them to the earthquake in Christchurch and to reassure them that their family members were safe and their homes in tact.  Community Arts has had further contact with Ali and two of their sons are now living with them as they are without power and water.  Ali said she was unable to return to work on Monday as the central business district was closed.
Raewyn completing her bag
All the bags in a row!
It was great to meet Ali and Bob – it would’ve been especially rewarding for Wayne, Raewyn and Lesley Jenkins to finally meet Ali as Ali’s book on flax weaving has become a well-thumbed reference. If you’d like a copy, Ali’s book is available at the Golden Orb.  Many thanks to Troy and the Inn Group for accommodating Ali and Bob at  “Viewrest”.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fantastic Workshops organised for Community Arts on Norfolk Island

Now is the time to be on Norfolk Island so you can take part in some amazing workshops on offer. But you'll really kick yourself if you miss out on our Quiz Night next Saturday 28 August - read on and make sure you get a table booked!

Quiz Night 28th August
It’s only one more week now to our Annual Quiz Night – make sure you don’t miss out as there are only a few tables available. There’ll be teams of maximum ten people per table, full bar facilities (NO b.y.o.grog please) and free tea & coffee. The cost is $10.00 per person and all monies need to be paid to the Gas Centre by Thursday 26th August. You are welcome to bring some nibbles and munchies and don’t forget to bring a good brain or an even better brains trust.  All proceeds to Norfolk Island’s attendance at the 2011 Festival of Pacific Art. This is a great night, always full of fun so don’t miss out.

What:          Annual QUIZ NIGHT
When:         28th August
Where:        Parish Centre
Time:        7.00 for 7.30pm start 
Booking:     by e-mailing or phone Celia on 54280.  

Flax Weaving Workshop
We are very fortunate that some of our Community Arts Society members who are accomplished weavers, keep themselves abreast of international festivals, workshops and innovations in the weaving world.  They were able to tell us of New Zealander Ali Brown who is an acclaimed and recognised weaver in flax – and equally well-known as a tutor in the art of flax weaving.  She has published a book “Weaving Flowers from New Zealand Flax” and her workshop here will centre on this.  Her website  will entice you more.  There are still a few spaces available in the workshop on Tuesday 31 August 6.30pm – 9.30pm and the Thursday  6.30pm2nd September 6.30pm – 9.30pm  (Total 6 hours over two sessions).

Weaving Workshops:

Where:        Tampali Studio (Don & Maree’s “Shed”), Bumboras Road. 
Cost:         $60 per person
Booking:     by e-mail to or phone or text Celia on 54280.

Equipment participants will need to bring to the weaving workshops:
Flax – to be supplied by Community Arts
strong scissors
packet of spring clothes pegs
non-serrated edge knife such as a butter knife to soften the flax
awl or blunt needle such as a bodkin to split flax
cushion to sit on
pencil and paper to take notes
tape measure or rule
strong dog comb for shredding flax  (Ali will have some of these with her)
nit or lice comb for making finer shreds.

In response to the interest expressed in dyeing of the flax Ali will conduct an extra 2 hour workshop on Wednesday evening 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Cost is $20 per person. Equipment for the dyeing workshop:  participants will need to bring scissors, blunt needle, blunt knife, tongs, rubber gloves (not essential). Please also bring a strong fork or strong dog comb to make shredded flax to dye. For bookings or further enquiries please phone Celia on 54280 or email

Please note that a Pot Luck Welcome Tea will be held following the workshop on Sunday 29th commencing at 5.30 p.m.  All Community Arts members are invited and those who are participating in the workshops.

Island Dancing weekly classes will recommence in September.  Tahitian instructor Heipua Lehartel will be here during the next School Holidays conducting junior, teens and adult classes.  All welcome to come along to get started on the basics or to revise (remember) - and be ready for some intense and fun dancing.

Life Drawing and Botanical Art Workshops
Dates are still to be finalised for a life drawing workshop, but most likely this will be in October. "Life drawing" is the process of drawing the human figure from observation of a live model.  More details will be provided as soon as possible.

Again through the talents and yearning for learning of another of our talented residents, we have been made aware of Australian artist Narelle Thomas.  Narelle is a contempary Botanical Artist and teacher.  After a career as a photographic artist and an exhibiting watercolourist, botanical illustration was the next step.  So combining her passions of art and nature with science.   What we need to do before finalizing her travel here to conduct workshops  is to establish if there is enough interest. You can let us know, again by e-mailing  or drop a note to Community Arts Society, PO Box 159, Norfolk Island.  And check out Narelle’s divine web site 


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quiz Night, Weaving with Flax Worshop and Wearable Art

QUIZ NIGHT – SATURDAY 28TH AUGUST:                                                                             
Get your diaries out and mark down this date: Saturday 28 August! We’re going to re-create all the fun of last year’s event, so make sure you don’t miss out and get your brains trusts organised now. A Community Arts Quiz Night is a great fun way to spend a cool winter’s evening.  Remember the rivalry last year as to whose table could build the highest paper tower? 

This year the venue is the Parish Centre. Book your table now – 8 to 10 people per table. Number of tables is limited so get your team together and ring or text 54280 or email   Entry fee: $10.00 per person.

Significant interest in Wearable Art for next January has been noticed since we announced the fabulous prizes that the top two entries will receive – a return airfare to Wellington, New Zealand and tickets to one of the WOW Montana Wearable Art Awards Show in September 2011. Two wonderful prizes that have been generously provided by Air New Zealand through Burnt Pine Travel.

The categories for 2011 have been decided and they are:

Recycled Material – outfits need to be made from at least 85% recycled materials
Bizzare Bra – as bizarre as you like for the bra, but the rest of the outfit is a plain black top and skirt/pants
Natural Fibres – made from at least 85% natural fibres
From the Ocean or the Sky – made from whatever you like, this section is inspired by the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea
Extravagant Open – you can do whatever you want here – no restrictions on materials or theme, the more extravagant the better!

So, there’s no time to loose, start creating!

Community Arts is very excited that Ali Brown – world renowned weaving instructor – is coming to Norfolk Island next month to conduct two weaving workshops.  Ali specialises in creating works of floral art from weaving natural fibres.

Flax weaving is a skill that is increasingly attracting attention. Ali’s monthly workshops are very popular, as is her informative, beautifully illustrated website, which includes historical information as well as instructions for cutting, preparing, weaving and dyeing flax. It has attracted interest from around the world, with one woman coming from Israel to attend a workshop. To learn more about Ali, visit her website at:
Ali says that flowers woven from flax have become very popular over the last couple of years. In New Zealand school teachers are beginning to show their students how to weave flax flowers and Ali has found from her own flax weaving workshops that people of all ages are keen to learn how to weave flowers — as wedding bouquets, gifts or decorations in their own home.

Woven flowers also make great projects for a beginner in flax weaving, and one of the advantages of flax flowers is that any variety of New Zealand flax can be used to weave them, including the coloured, variegated flaxes that are often grown as decorative garden plants throughout the world.
Ali will arrive on Norfolk Island on Saturday 28th August and will be here for one week.  Details of the workshops are as follows:

1st workshop:     Sunday 29th August:  9 a.m. to 12 noon; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Break for lunch 12 noon to 1 p.m. (Total 6 hrs)
2nd workshop:    Tuesday 31st August: 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. and Thursday 2nd Sept: 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.  (Total 6 hrs over 2 nights)
VENUE:    Don & Maree’s Studio – Bumboras
COST:    $60.00 per person (weaving materials will be supplied)
BOOKING:    Book early – numbers are limited to 12 students per workshop. Course fees must be paid at time of booking. Phone or text Celia on 54280 or email

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

WOW! What a prize

WOW - What a prize!!
If you’ve ever felt inspired to make an entry for Wearable Art – now is the time to do it. Community Arts is very excited to announce that for our 2011 event, the Overall Winner and Overall Runner-Up will both receive a return air fare to Wellington, New Zealand and tickets to the WOW Montana Wearable Art Awards Show held in September 2011. Our sincere thanks to Air New Zealand for generously sponsoring both return airfares. We also say an enormous “THANKYOU” to Bart at Burnt Pine Travel for taking our request to Air New Zealand. These are really wonderful prizes and Air New Zealand’s sponsorship will no doubt result in some amazing creations coming down the cat walk in January 2011.

The WOW Montana show was the original inspiration for Community Arts to run a Wearable Art Competition and Parade. Their event began in the town of Nelson, but quickly became so popular that it had to be moved to Wellington. Entries are received from across the world and the Awards Show of winners is presented ten times each September to an audience in excess of 35,000. They describe the shows as “Difficult to describe, hard to define and utterly impossible to forget. A montage of theatre, dance, colour, movement and art, simply put the Montana WOW Awards Shows are theatrical spectaculars”. Community Arts will also see if there is a group of locals who would like to travel to Wellington for the show and will be getting a package deal together. More information will be provided as it comes to hand. In the meantime you can find out more about WOW Montana and the Shows at

Our first event was five years ago and we’ve had so much fun over those years with amazing entries, brilliant local models and incredible audiences. The parade quickly became one of the most popular events on our Norfolk calendar – and now with the incentive of these fabulous prizes we’re sure it will show no signs of slowing. Confirmation of the categories for 2011 will be advertised in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Art in the Park 2010

Art in the Park 2010

In early June Art in the Park for 2010 was opened at Kingston. Nearly thirty art works were put into the ‘park’ between Slaughter Bay change sheds and Chimney Hill for a two week exhibition. The wife of the Administrator, Mrs Walsh formally opened the show with the following wonderful words:

“I am delighted to be opening this event and how magnificent to not only have it in the park but also by the sea. At last year’s opening I mentioned how wonderful it is that Art in the Park has continued to be a popular happening on the Norfolk Island calendar for so many years now, as it is a community event that invites all age groups and all levels of artistic flare to participate. No one is excluded. It is also an event that encourages families, friends and educational groups to spend time together sharing and creating. This is something very precious that many of us often complain, in our busy lives, that we do not have enough time to do.

Additionally, participating in an event like Art in the Park helps to remind us of what is really important in life, things that we shouldn’t take for granted: family, friends, community spirit, our own personal skills, intelligence and creativity and a beautiful, safe natural environment to live in. There are many in the world who do not experience these blessings. On Norfolk Island we experience all of them and particularly the latter. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that here on Norfolk Island we live in one of the most perfectly created natural environments in the world. I am sure that the many creative talents that we have in our small population is much due to the divine physical surrounds in which we all live. A huge thank you is owed to Community Arts for their ongoing support and encouragement of creative skill and talent in our people on Norfolk Island. I wish to congratulate all who made the time to explore and express their creative talent for this year’s Art in the Park, particularly the first time exhibitors and those who assisted with the children’s exhibits. I also wish to thank the Norfolk Island Community Arts Group and any other volunteers for providing us with the 2010 Art in the Park Exhibition. I now declare this exhibition open”.

The range of entries this year told us that there is plenty of creativity on this island. Congratulations to all the NICS students who completed class entries – they were really fantastic, from a marae and mandala, to ying and gang, to octopuses and pipe-cleaner surprises! The fun Banyan Park and Montesori Kinder House entries show us that the very little kids of Norfolk also know how to be creative. The Kelly kids never fail to make a great entry and this year was no exception with the all that is at the end of their rainbow. Congratulations to Mirabelle Creek for her beautiful fairy fun, playing in a cave under a Norfolk pine. The Jansenns family managed to make a colourful yet thoughtful art work out of plastic rubbish that has made its way from Headstone to Anson Bay to create “Headstone/Anson Bay Express”.

The adult entries were just as good. Georgie Douran’s Lady in Waiting looks out from under her veil beautifully placed in her gold dress against the golden rock of Chimney Hill. Rob Rowston’s Slice of Heaven was also wonderfully placed against the rocks, a fabulous sculptural arc. Jan Christian had fun with a frame and teddy bears, while Cristina McRitchie created two magical spaces under the pine trees. Also under the pine trees was “Life after Chains” made by Jill and Kevin Coulter out of old chainsaw parts, he was life size and really rather handsome! Kaye Woods had a turtle and plant picture, both beautifully designed and made with help from Mal Tarrant and Duncan Grey. Lisa Richards had fun with some sticks and Helen Batholmew made the most enticing nest for rent that any bird could hope for. Hilary Doughty was back again this year, much to everyone’s pleasure, with her dough men – boom or bust!

But the “People’s Choice” winner was Archie and James Bigg with “Improbabull” – a raging bull made from logs of woods, complete with a ring in his nose and contained in an electric fence. This is one wonderful bull, beautifully made and very much deserving of the People’s Choice award. Well done Archie and James – and also for adding the baby calf as the week went along.

We were chased all over the island getting this years Art in the Park together. However it did not fazed our artists or ruin the show. All these fabulous pieces were there for all to see – a walk doun a toun was well worth it. Art in the Park closed on Monday 14 June at the end of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.