19 February 2024

Rossville brings art and spirit back after Jasper devastation

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Anne Leon and NPA workshop participant

Anne Leon (left), who facilitated a workshop in the NPA last year, is coming to Rossville next month. Photo: Kerrie Hall/Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.

The Rossville community is slowly healing after the devastation left by Tropical Cyclone Jasper and will bring art and community spirit back into the lives of residents through an eco-dyeing workshop in March.

Rossville and District Citizens Association will host a three-day workshop taught by well-known textile artist Anne Leon, with the aim of educating participants on environmentally sustainable dyeing practices.

Project manager Alanah O’Brien said art and community have always been integral elements of Rossville.

“Rossville community has a rich history and culture of social and artistic activity, with several active artists and groups of creative people providing a range of ongoing activities to engage community and build skills,” she said.

“This workshop is aligned with that key community interest.”

Following the impacts of the December 2023 natural disaster, Ms O’Brien said Rossville had gradually moved to return to community events and new opportunities to engage, create and celebrate its spirit.

“Continuing art and creative activities are essential to all communities’ wellbeing and emotional strength,” Ms O’Brien said.

“The opportunity for connection, self-expression, fun, and learning new skills support mindfulness and a positive future focus for recovery and building resilience.”

Eco-dye artwork

Workshop participants will get the opportunity to develop their skills in dyeing techniques such as shibori. Photo: Kerrie Hall/Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.

The workshops, supported by a Regional Arts Development Fund grant obtained last year, will focus on Japanese indigo tie dye (shibori), and plant dyeing techniques utilising natural substances to create fabric, paper and other items.

“The information and techniques provided can be further developed at home by giving participants the knowledge to obtain, manufacture and create dyes and colours from nature,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Additionally, this will reduce the load of packaging and disposal of chemicals used with commercial dyes.

“This workshop will leave a lasting legacy for community in supporting sustainable art, inspiring other eco-art initiatives, and ultimately building awareness around safe environmental practices.”

Facilitating artist Anne Leon has an extensive career in textiles and fine art, having been commissioned by several architects and designers within Australia and internationally.

“She teaches textile design, has managed artist studios and has received numerous awards for her strong focus on natural techniques using local resources to create unique artworks,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Her previous introductory dyeing workshop in Rossville drew great interest and requests to develop further skills in this area.”

She said workshop participants would also be encouraged to contribute eco-dyed squares of fabric to the 2024 International Women’s Day quilt, created by the women of Rossville annually for the last 25 years.

The workshops will be held on 1-3 March, 2024, with participants having the option to attend some or all of the days.

For registration and further information, email [email protected].

Natural ink artwork

The workshop will empower participants by teaching them how to create their own environmentally friendly inks using natural elements. Photo: Kerrie Hall/Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.

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