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Fair to fund workshop teachers

WATERLOO: The inaugural Orchard Gallery Spring Fair was held at South Sydney Uniting Church (SSUC) on November 25. The event was a fundraiser for the Orchard Gallery, which hosts regular exhibitions, as well as art workshops on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

Aunty Norma Ingram offered an Acknowledgement of Country, encouraging community members toward deeper respect and care for Gadigal land.

The Spring Fair included a barbecue in the garden (thanks Regina, John, Ron, Naomi and Akosita), a clay workshop (thanks Catherine), then silent art auction (thanks Anna and Norrie), poetry book launch and musical performances by I Cantarini and Boy Torch.

The Wordplay poetry group meets in the church hall on the first Saturday of the month. Members read poems from the group’s 2023 anthology entitled Promptings (published by Finnegan Press).

Catherine Skipper, co-convenor of the arts working group at SSUC, shared a poem called “the pattern maker”: “folded selvage to selvage / the china white fabrics lie / expectant // she shakes out the shifty satin / the more compliant tulle / and spreads them on her bench // feels the thinness of the straps / on the girl’s bare shoulders / sees pin tucks across the bodice // hears the frou-frouing / of layered skirts as they eddy / around the floor // her big gold scissors flash / the pattern flowing as she dreams / the girl’s half-hidden smile // when she first sees the dress / hesitant to know herself / so beautiful.”

I Cantarini is a Sydney-based group of madrigal singers. Fairgoers were treated to 16th- and 17th-century compositions, gorgeous harmonies – voices and theorbo, a 14-stringed guitar plucked like a lute or harp.

Boy Torch – Joe Fenech (vocals) and Edmond Kairouz (guitar) – played a cracking selection of original country and bluegrass tunes.

Co-convenor Carolyne May Miller helped stock the arts and crafts stall. “The day was a big success,” she said. “I’m so grateful to all the artists who donated works for the auction – and auctioneer Anna Jahjah did a superb job!”

Ms Miller also paid tribute to fair organisers Jason Naylor and Emma Newton, Miriam Pepper, Louisa Dyce and John Abdul.

“Our art teachers are wonderful people,” she added. “The workshops are different every month – with lessons in watercolour, collage, ceramics and more. I’m thrilled we were able to raise $3,000 to cover the cost of workshops in 2024.”

For more information contact Carolyne: editor@ssh.com.au

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