Phil Elson – Bringing form to life

As the finale of this year’s Rocket Science program, master ceramicist Phil Elson was invited to give a demonstration of his skills. It was a perfect opportunity to use the workshop room at the Arts Hub.

Phil is a renowned ceramic artist, with works on display in the collections of major institutions, including Bendigo Gallery. He began with a presentation of his work and influences, and then sat down at the wheel…

Seated at the wheel, ready to throw
Seated, ready to throw, Phil discusses centering oneself in readiness
After centering the clay, the form is begun
After centering the clay, the form is begun
Amazement as the bowl takes shape
Fascination as the bowl takes shape before our eyes
Phil works more or less exclusively in porcelain, a particularly difficult material to throw in. He makes it look so easy!
Refining the form
Meticulously shaping the basic form
Phil then produced a bowl he had thrown earlier and allowed to dry 'leather' hard. This was put 'on the hump' and turned to shave the footring and refine the final form
Phil then removed the bowl he’d just thrown, and produced one made earlier and allowed to dry ‘leather’ hard. This was put ‘on the chuck’ and turned to shave the footring and refine the final form
Phil spoke of the elegance of shape and the philosophy of the potter’s art
Ros and Prue in wonderment at the conclusion of the session

A call for artworks – Castlemaine Market Art Summer Exhibition


The organisers invite registrations for the summer exhibition, embracing a wide range of mediums and styles that showcase the rich and divers arts community of the Goldfields region.

This exhibition follows on from the successful Market Art winter exhibition which displayed works of more than 70 Artists and had a total sales of over $11.000, The Market Art exhibitions are a great opportunity for artists who participate to gain excellent exposure and opportunities to promote and sell artworks.

If you would like to be a part of the Market Art exhibition, please complete a registration form and return it to Castlemaine Market Building, 44 Mostyn Street Castlemaine 3450 by Monday 8 November 2015.

DATE                    Nov 27-Jan 10/2016

VENUE                 Castlemaine Market Building

DETAILS               Showcasing artists from the goldfields region

CONTACTS          Jenny Diver (p) 03 5471 1794 (e)


Opening of Alan ‘Curly’ Hartup exhibition

The inspiring exhibition of photographic works by local naturalist Alan ‘Curly’ Hartup has just concluded.

The exhibition opened a few weeks ago, on a fine Saturday afternoon. The platform was jam-packed – locals turned out, bolstered by what seemed to be a gathering of members of the Hartup family from as far afield as NSW and Melbourne.

Speakers described Curly’s passion and skill with his cameras in solving the challenges of nature photography in an era prior to digital technology.

What a special way of honoring the man and his dedication to wildlife photography.

Geoff Park the opening
Geoff Park the opening
Standing room only on the platform
Wonderful to see such a crowded platform
Reminiscences and stories told of a respected local and skilled photographer.

Can you help?

We are seeking some assistance with the next event at the Newstead Railway Arts Hub. The exhibition, showcasing the wonderful natural history photography of the late Alan ‘Curly’ Hartup, will be opened next Saturday the 10th October at 3pm.

If you would like to help out there are a number of ways to assist:

  • Helping with the ‘set-up’ for the opening – any time from 1pm on the 10th.
  • Volunteering for the roster during the exhibition open period – Sunday 11th October and the following two weekends (17/18th and 24th/25th October). The Hub will be open from 10am – 4pm those days with two-hour roster slots to be filled.

Please call Geoff Park on 0418 138 632 or email if you would like to assist – it’s a great way to meet new people and find out about future plans for the Arts Hub.


Calling all local artists!

After an encouragingly well-attended and successful opening event, the Newstead Arts Hub has now finished its inaugural exhibition, which put on display the high standard of work from our local artists. Those of us assisting with the exhibition frequently heard superlatives from visitors; a combination of delight at the restored building and being impressed with the quality of art on display. Over the three weekends, we averaged around 100 visitors per weekend, with many offering support by joining the Friends of the Newstead Arts Hub.

InauguralExhibit1We are now thinking ahead to a calendar of events for the coming year. And this is where you come in…

Are you a local artist who would like to exhibit your work? Or join together with other artists to stage a group show? Perhaps the railway building would be a suitable venue for your activity, ranging from workshops, to creative space or music rehearsal. The venue is a quiet, light-filled space that may equally be appropriate for small conferences, study, writing or sketching groups. Alternatively, you may have a suggestion for an activity you’d like to see happen.

We are open to creative ideas and expressions of interest. Get in touch with the committee either by
or speak to: Andrew/Sarah: 5476 2609 or Julie: 0408 528 536

Meanwhile, our next exhibition will display the natural history photography of Curly Hartup, opening Saturday 10th October at 3pm.


Pictures from an (Inaugural) Exhibition

Trefor Prest's sculpture 'The Chosen One', with (L-R), works by Maritsa Gronda, Knowles Gray & Julie Patey.
Trefor Prest’s sculpture ‘The Chosen One’, with (L-R), works by Maritsa Gronda, Knowles Gray & Julie Patey.
'Tea Party', by students from Newstead Primary School.
‘Tea Party’, by students from Newstead Primary School.
Marcus Goddefroy's puppet house, with works by (L-R) Sarah Koschak, Mary Caspar & Karen Pierce
Marcus Goddefroy’s puppet house, with works by (L-R) Sarah Koschak, Mary Caspar & Karen Pierce
A quiet corner: sculptural work by Chris Johnston, with Richard Sullivan's art books and hanging works by (L-R) Maritsa Gronda & Gerard Menzel
A quiet corner: ceramic works by Chris Johnston, and Richard Sullivan’s art books, with Maritsa Gronda’s ‘Desert Lair’ and Gerard Menzel’s sumie ink paintings
Janet Barker's photographic quartet
Janet Barker’s photographic quartet: ‘Cortex Studies’
Sally Roadknight's piece 'Protection'
Sally Roadknight’s sculpture ‘Protection’
Monoprints by Richard Sullivan (L) and pencil drawing by Lee Shelden (R), with Georgina Duckett's installation 'Quintet'
Monoprints by Richard Sullivan (L) and pencil drawings by Lee Shelden (R), with Georgina Duckett’s installation ‘Quintet’
Prue McAdam's 'Tribute to T.T.', with the second group of Chris Johnston's ceramic works, and a small painting by Bob Clutterbuck.
Prue McAdam’s ‘Tribute to T.T.’, with the second group of Chris Johnston’s ceramic works, and a small painting by Bob Clutterbuck.
Hanging L-R; Belinda Prests's drawings 'Plough Tree', Jo Ralston's 'Hen House' linocut and Geoff Park's photograph 'Crested Bellbird'.
Hanging L-R; Belinda Prest’s drawings ‘Plough Tree’, Jo Ralston’s linocut ‘Henhouse’ and Geoff Park’s photograph ‘Crested Bellbird’.
Richard Sullivan's table of art books.
Richard Sullivan’s table of art books.

L-R, Tegwen Prest's 'Rhinoceros', Saide Gray's 'Textured Landscape I' and Julie Patey's 'Skyline'.
L-R, Tegwen Prest’s ‘Rhinoceros’, Saide Gray’s ‘Textured Landscape I’ and Julie Patey’s ‘Skyline’.


A Grand Opening

With much fanfare and celebration the Newstead Railway Arts Hub was officially opened on Saturday 29th August 2015.

The $430,000 restoration of the old station building was funded through VicTrack’s Community Use of Vacant Buildings Program. The project has been driven by Newstead 2021, in partnership with other local groups, the Friends of the Station and the Newstead Salon.

Special guests at the opening included Dja Dja Wurrung’s Ron Kerr Jnr, State Member Maree Edwards, Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Christine Henderson together with Councillors Michael Redden and Sharon Telford, VicTrack Director David Hunter, along with Karly Smith and Kate Tucker from the Maldon and District Community Bank.

Speakers included MC Geoff Park, Ron Kerr who gave the Welcome to Country, Maree Edwards, David Hunter, Christine Henderson, Friends of the Station representative Janet Barker, and local artists Horse and Julie Patey.

A huge crowd enjoyed the day
An enthusiastic crowd of locals turned up for the celebration
More than 200 people gathering for the official opening.
Ron Kerr Jnr performing the Welcome to Country.
Ron Kerr Jnr conducted the Welcome to Country.
OPening of the Newstead Arts Hub, a Victrack Community Vacant Use Program project - $430.000 spent to refurbish and restore the station ahead of community use and ownership
Speakers included Mayor Christine Henderson on behalf of Mount Alexander Shire…
...and local labor MP, Maree Edwards
…and local labor MP, Maree Edwards
OPening of the Newstead Arts Hub, a Victrack Community Vacant Use Program project - $430.000 spent to refurbish and restore the station ahead of community use and ownership
Marcus provided music at the opening
Marcus providing music as visitors viewed the exhibition
Maritsa and Sally
Maritsa and Sally signing up new Friends of the Arts Hub
An inspiring beginning to this new chapter in the cultural life of Newstead
An inspiring celebration of this new chapter in the cultural life of Newstead

Re-railing the railway station

In preparation for our inaugural exhibition, picture hanging rail has been acquired to fit out 3 additional rooms. Yesterday, Don, Prue, Julie, Sarah and Andrew went to work installing it all. Great hilarity ensued.

Just stay still, this won't hurt a bit...
“Just hold still, this won’t hurt a bit…”
The gravity-defying duo
“Are you sure we’ve cut this to the right length?”
If the spirit level says it level it must be level
“If the spirit level says it’s level, it must be level…”
A gavity-defying duo
“Why do you only notice you’ve left something on the floor when you get to the top of the ladder?”
rail wrangling teamwork
A little bit of rail wrangling teamwork

Official opening and inaugural exhibition

The Newstead Arts Hub has emerged from the newly transformed Newstead Railway Station and is gearing up for a community open day and celebration with both a group exhibition and solo exhibition planned for in the coming months. The last few months since building works were completed have seen a group of dedicated volunteers meet regularly to organise the upcoming official opening and inaugural exhibition on Saturday 29th August between 3.00 -5.00 pm.

Everyone is welcome to attend and walk through the restored buildings and enjoy a high tea amongst roving poets and musicians. In conjunction with this grand opening, there will be an exhibition showcasing the diverse artistic talents of the local community. The first of many to come! The exhibition will also be open on Sunday 30th August and the following two weekends between 11.00 am-4.00 pm for those who cannot make the opening or wish to return. After this initial unveiling, we hope to get started on the strategic process of exploring what this new community asset means to interested community members, and how to best achieve diverse visions in a functioning and fantastic community Arts Hub.

Click here for a PDF of the invitation.