Artxtra Workshops

Adult weekend art retreats on Berry Mountain and unique kids holiday programs in Berry, teaching art skills in a fun way allowing them to explore, discover and create amazing artworks.

Upcoming workshops:

  • 12, 13 and 14 March 2021 – John Wilson – Into the Light – Creative landscaping painting
  • 21, 22 and 23 March 2021 – Idris Murphy – Berry Mountain Late Reflections – Landscape Painting

Portraits in Isolation

After COVID-19 had taken hold in the community, Peter Izzard a professional photographer located on the NSW South Coast found his usual photography work suddenly dried up, and his ability to shoot in the usual ways was halted. After some thought, instead of sitting around waiting and worrying, He found a way of documenting this unique time in our history.

‘I came up with the idea of Portraits in Isolation, documenting via the medium of photography this unique period in our history. These images have become a collection that records unique snippets of family life in 2020.

To start with, I promoted the project on my social media, and was surprised at the positive response. Over the next few months of the lockdown I visited over 80 homes, from all over Sydney, the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. During these short shoots, from a safe distance I photographed people (including individuals & families) outside their homes.

Participants were free to present themselves however they liked, be themselves, get dressed up, or even show something interesting they’d been doing. They also brought out their pets, including dogs, cats, horses, goats, snakes and lizards. I photographed singles, couples and families from all walks of life, and all types of homes, including tents, buses and cabins.

The project captured a period of our history in an honest and real way. I asked the same three questions of each household, in order to add to the images story. Everyone, although in a similar situation, had their own unique responses. The feedback from the participants as well as viewers of my images via my Portrait in Isolation Facebook and Instagram pages has been incredible, with both them and myself having gained from the experience.

By being in this project, participants had something interesting to look forward to during what was for many, a time of loneliness and struggle, some said they had not even spoken to another “real” person in weeks. Portraits in Isolation provided in a small way, a positive sense of being a part of something meaningful within the community during a time of great worry and stress.

The Portraits in Isolation project also gave me something of real substance to focus my energies on, and as I live alone it allowed me to connect with others in a meaningful way. I saw the project as an important ingredient in maintaining my own mental wellbeing during this time, in a way that would stand me in good stead for when my work began to come back.

Some participants paid a small fee to help cover my costs, which provided some income in a period where I had lost all of my other work. Eventually I’d like to combine this collection of images and words into a beautiful book, and hope that it will form part of the historical record from this time. In the future I hope we all will look back and be proud of our efforts in helping to prevent COVID-19 take hold in our communities, and hopefully cherish one another and our planet a little more. Perhaps we will also have learned a few new useful things too.’ Pete Izzard

Poetry by the Sea

The South Coast Writers Centre has some events in partnership with Kiama Council that I was hoping we could include in the next Kiama Arts Newsletter. All the information is in the links below and attached. 

7 Feb:

Poetry By The Sea: Mic Check 1, 2, 3

The South Coast Writers Centre and Kiama Council present the first 2021 event in the SCWC Poetry by the Sea program. Mic Check 1, 2, 3: Performing What You Write is a workshop on spoken word with poet Isabella Luna, and will be followed by a free Open Reading featuring Isabella Luna and MC’d by Enough Said Poetry Slam host Adara Enthaler. Please register for the Open Reading to attend, and indicate in the booking process if you would like to do a reading of your work.

18 April:

Poetry By The Sea: Drawing Down the Muse

The South Coast Writers Centre and Kiama Council present Poetry by the Sea; a program of poetry workshops and readings in Kiama. Drawing Down the Muse: Encountering the Unconscious through Expressive Writing is a workshop with poet Ivy Ireland, and will be followed by a free Open Reading featuring Ivy Ireland. Please register for the Open Reading to attend, and indicate in the booking process if you would like to do a reading of your work.

Kiama Community Radio Survey

Over the five months since the Kiama Community Radio officially launched, they have published over 75 ‘radio’ shows, which have been downloaded nearly 4,000 times. It now publishes weekly ‘What’s on’, Local New, and Sports segments, as well as two longer form community interest segments.

The Kiama Community Radio team are now conducting a survey aimed at finding out how they are going. They want to understand how they can extend their reach across the broader Kiama LGA, particularly to those people who may prefer to listen to the radio over AM/FM signal and those that may not be digitally well connected.

The Council for the Aging note that people over 65 are the least digitally connected, and that a little over 6 in 10 over the age of 65 are internet users. As the Kiama Community Radio is currently only available online via podcast, it is likely to be missing a cohort of vulnerable isolated people in Kiama.

If you’d like to support the Kiama Community Radio in this endeavour please complete the online survey, or alternatively complete the attached printable version.

If you have a friend or relative who may be interested but they are not online or don’t listen to podcasts, please feel free to pass it on or help them to complete it.

Printed surveys can be returned via post as detailed below, or email to arrange for a manual collection.

Kiama Community Radio Inc.
P.O. Box 753
Kiama, NSW 2533

The survey is entirely voluntary; individual results will not be identifiable and the survey will only take 5 minutes to complete.

If you need any help please email

Cultural Grants

Kiama Council’s annual Cultural Grants funding round is now open and will close on Sunday 5 September 2021.

The Grants make available a total of $20,000 each financial year for arts based projects to be undertaken in the Kiama local government area.

There will now be only one funding round per financial year, however applications can be submitted for:

  • Up to $2500
  • Up to $5000
  • Up to $10 000

Please ensure that you read the Guidelines in full and dicuss your project with Council’s Community and Cultural Development Officer at least 2 weeks before the closing date.

Kiama’s Cultural Grants support local artists and creatives, to explore and grow their arts practice, while also encouraging the broader community and visitors, to experience an exciting and diversified range of art forms and creative endeavours.

The objectives of the Kiama Cultural Grants are:

  • Explore innovative arts practices and interdisciplinary collaboration that advances Kiama’s arts profile in the wider community
  • Expand the understanding and utilise the power of the arts, cultural, social, educational, economic, and psychological benefits, for the overall health and wellbeing of the Kiama community and its visitors.
  • Advance the professional learning and educational outcomes for artists.
  • Improve the collaborative and mentoring opportunities for artists.
  • Push the boundaries for community engagement with the arts through interactive, immersive and cutting edge art experiences.
  • Demonstrate inclusive practices that actively engage our diverse community ie gender, sexual and cultural diversity, ability and age.

Kiama Council is proud of its creative community and the opportunity to support artists and creatives in their practice. Council also values the engagement of community members and visitors in artistic and creative experiences that enhance well-being, exploration, growth, healing, insight and connection.

‘Eggs And Tomatoes’ Freedom Ride Scholarship Exhibition

From pelted eggs and tomatoes to a First Nations Art Degree.

Who would have thought that a town like Moree, where Aboriginal persons were banned from the local swimming baths would transcend this discrimination and now live and work in relative harmony?

It goes to prove that, ‘ we can change the world because we have many times before’[1]

The aforementioned Art Degree to be earned by a First Nations person from Moree is being funded by ongoing donation and sale of original art prints created and donated to this cause.

This exhibition is to be held at The Tempest Gallery, Kiama, from 5-16 December and to be opened by the Member for Kiama Gareth Ward.

And the eggs and tomatoes? Yes for the inspiration for this project we go back 55 years to The Freedom Ride of February 1965 led by Charlie Perkins, famous footballer and first Aboriginal person to gain a degree. The aim was to expose and confront and change the horrific discrimination of Aboriginal persons in outback NSW.  This was at its worst in Moree, where First Nations persons were banned from the local baths. When confronted as to the reason for this, one of the councellors actually said, ‘ would you like your daughter to have a little black baby’,[2] as this, as well as catching venereal disease was considered a possibility in sharing the same swimming water.

As the case was everywhere else, a demonstration, was held outside the baths. It soon erupted into a nasty fight with the demonstrators being pelted with the above mentioned eggs, tomatoes, the ready arsenal that had been brought along in crates, as well as violent, terrifying verbal abuse. Run out of town, the Freedom Ride bus was forced off the raised road under dangerous conditions by the a cohort of inflamed locals.

The ban was subsequently removed.

In 2015, 50 years later Sydney University organised a reenactment of this Freedom Ride, now taught in the NSW history syllabus, to celebrate this event and the positive changes it encouraged in its wake such as the inclusion of First Nations persons in the census, the result of the 1967 referendum

This time the welcome in Moree was movingly different. The road aproaching was lined with smiling healthy school children in the overlarge red SAFA( Student Activity for Aborigines) Tshirts. There were numerous celebratory events organised by the truly magnificent Mayor Katrina Humphries.  But what was most touching were the teary hugs with, ‘you changed our lives’, ‘you told us we matter’etc

Moved by this reception and the realisation that we still have a long way to go, Machteld Hali resolved to create a scholarship to send an Aboriginal student to Art School and return as Art Teacher. She herself, also a member of the Diaspora having migrated twice under compromised conditions has a passionate belief in education and the regenerative power of the Arts.

With the help and support of the members of the Moree Town Gallery BAMM, (Bank Art Museum Moree) , local council and creative partner Shane Gardner, two Printmaking Workshops were held in Moree and work exhibited and sold at an exhibition at BAMM.

Members of Machteld’s workshops in Kiama have also contributed much fine work to the charity.

What with the drought and the floods there is not a lot of spare cash in Moree but the people of the Illawarra are known to be compassionate and generous.

You can be the one  to play a part to ‘change the world’ and give a young person a future and Moree an inspired Art teacher. How can you resist?

For you Charlie!

‘The Tempest Gallery’: 21 Holden Avenue, Kiama

5 to 16 December, 10 am to 4pm.

To be opened by the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, Saturday 12 December, 11.00 am

All Welcome by booking. Covid Safe. Masks mandatory.

Contact Machteld Hali , 0422 542 943 or

Donations please to Freedom Ride Scholarship

  • Moree Cultural Art Foundation
  • BSB 082 731 A/N 841 799 056
  • Plus surname and ‘scholarship’.

[1] Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

[2] Rachel Perkins, Freedom Ride, Film

My Happy Place

“My Happy Place” online workshop launching soon!

I’m SO excited to be launching my online mixed media art course called “My Happy Place – Perfectly Imperfect Landscape Painting.” All going well it will launch next month, so not long now!

Many of you have been witness to the evolution of this workshop, as seen in a very colourful body of work which was showcased at the ‘My Happy Place’ solo exhibition at The Art Bar Kiama last year. Each and every piece in this exhibition was lovingly created as I tested and refined all 20 lessons of this workshop content. This was soon followed by the first ‘My Happy Place’ face-to-face workshop here at my home-based studio in Kiama in 2019, and now finally to an online offering a whole year later. It’s been quite the journey!

This course will show you step-by-step how to create a multi-layered paint-and-collage based artwork. But it’s so much more than that… My Happy Place is about helping you to find you own creative confidence – in art making and beyond. By teaching my signature “perfectly imperfect” approach, I’ll show you how to unlock your creativity and share your artistic voice with the world. 

Join the mailing list here for more information on the courses launch date in next month’s newsletter, and experience this online course jam-packed with tips, techniques and tools needed to create your very own “My Happy Place” on canvas. 

Creative Workshops

with Stacy Burgess | Artist, Designer, Maker, Teacher

Creative Workshops are focused on learning creative skills in a fun and supportive space. The process of making ART is a personal and expressive experience. Connecting with your creative brain is a great way to take time out and relax.

Workshops are designed to cater for beginners and those with previous experience. It’s a great way to meet new people and also a perfect opportunity to make memories with family and friends.

Workshop dates: 

Adults only age 18+
Friday 27 November
Handmade paper workshop
10.00am – 1.00pm

Saturday 28 November
Up-cycled Hand-bound notebooks/art journals
10.00am – 1.00pm

Children age 8+
Tuesday 1 December 2020
Art School taster workshop: Mono/Block Printing
3.30pm – 5.00pm

WEdnesday 2 December
Art School taster workshop:  Expressive Drawing & Painting
3.30pm – 5.00pm

For information, dates and all bookings

Facebook: @SBCreativeCollections   
Instagram: sb_creative_collections

Don’t POP Over to My Place: art in isolation

On show now at the Art Bar until 29 November 2020

Originally called “POP over to my place” a fun Pop-art extravaganza that invited the viewer into quirky still-life reflections on our respective homes and lives, it all had to change when ‘rona had other plans… Instead we got bowled over by a pandemic, and suddenly our homes BECAME our lives, as Australia went into lockdown.

“2020 happened and no one was ‘popping’ anywhere!” artist Jamie Cole said.

So aptly renamed “Don’t POP Over to My Place: art in isolation” this dual exhibition by the Art Bar’s very own JAMIE COLE and local art-star KIM IRWIN, is a spunky, fun and deeply personal entree into their inner worlds.

‘Art in Isolation’ is a reflection of Jamie and Kim’s decorative interiors, thoughts and moods during the Covid-19 lock-down; that will forever change the world. What results for the viewer, is an exhibition documenting small joys in a time when COVID-19 became the wallpaper colouring everything in our lives.

Using digital paintings, mixed media, painting and reclaimed objects, “Don’t POP” is a colourful palate of joy, sadness, love and laughter that will hopefully shed some light on these uncertain times.

About the artists

‘Isolation Still Life – du vin’ by Jamie Cole 2020
Media: Acrylic on arches paper in Perspex isolation box

Jamie Cole is a full-time artist and co-owner of the Art Bar Kiama. Jamie’s love affair with art began in the mid 80’s when he gazed upon the electric & vibrant pop world of Lichtenstein and Warhol, and the submerged, saturated depths of Rothko’s canvases.

This romance continues today, but it is the influences of the social, political, and abstract work of Basquiat and Juan Davila, and his idol & soul-mate Keith Haring, that leap from his work today.

Jamie has an instantly recognizable style of acrylic & mixed media work. His beautiful vibrant works all contain his signature touch of collage. ‘Don’t POP’ explores where Jamie has been, his emotions, his surrounds and his support throughout the lockdown period. Overcoming a 6-month creative block, this exhibition celebrates his triumph over his demons.

Kim Irwin

‘One Fine Day’ by Kim Irwin 2020
Media: Digital drawing on matt art paper

Kim is a Kiama-local counsellor, artist and singer. Since opening her first solo exhibition here at the Art Bar in early 2018, Kim has exhibited in multiple group shows and as a guest artist with Libby Bloxham in 2019.

Her work draws on her passion for art and music as fundamental tools for emotional wellbeing, and her deep love for and connection to the people around her, her home, and the dramatic landscape of the Illawarra.

Kim lives with a chronic pain condition that can often make it difficult for her to paint, but she has found a basic digital app that allows her to paint from the ease and comfort of her armchair. Without this the majority of her more recent works would not have been possible.

Insta: @art_by_kimnoelle

fb: Art by kim noelle

Petal Power and a 2nd Birthday

Petal Power

21 October – 1 November 2020
Open Thursdays to Mondays
10am -4pm

Solo exhibition by Gay Emmerson
Gay moved here from Canberra a couple of years ago, and she was struck by the extraordinary differences in the lifestyle. ‘First of all, I couldn’t stop painting the sea and the waves, And then I noticed the brightness and boldness of the flowers here -even in winter’, says Gay. Whereas Canberra has pastel blossoms and english bulbs, the south coast is a riot of bright reds, purples, oranges and yellows. On her early morning walks Gay photographs all the hibiscus, azaleas, salvias and geraniums, and against the blue sea and sky they look all the more vivid. This is why this exhibition is named ‘Petal Power’ No shrinking violets here -these flowers, for the most part, are bright and brave.

Fern Street Gallery has celebrated its 2nd birthday

Fern Street Gallery opened its doors on 15 October 2018 and are extremely proud of the beautiful gallery that has been created in. Exhibitions are booked out well into 2021 and they are now looking for 2 new Resident Artists to join the team.

Since opening the team have:

  • Worked with Parkside Retirement living in Wollongong, fitting out the whole building with art in all common areas.
  • Won to 2019 Regional Tourism Award for new Business
  • Travelled to Melbourne with a selection of artists in 2019 to launch the gallery into the art world at The Affordable Art Fair.
  • Opened a second Fern Street Gallery in 2020, collaborating with Mantra in Wollongong

LAUNCHED: Steel City Strings 2020 Digital Season

Digital Subscriptions Now On Sale.

Across October, November and December 2020, Steel City Strings will perform its inaugural Digital Season of performances.

3 incredible 40-minute concerts over 3 incredible months.

The 2020 Digital Season will see a combination of complete orchestra works as well as movements from trios, quartets and various solo performances from our principal artists.

You can view the full program here.

NO DESK SHARING: Socially-distanced Steel City Strings musicians recording under the baton of Luke Spicer at Berry School of Arts over the weekend.

This recording project has financially re-engaged the orchestra as a whole ensemble, in smaller chamber settings and in a soloist capacity.

Recordings took place at local venues; Berry School of Arts, Wollongong Conservatorium of Music and musician’s homes.

IMPORTANT: To recognise your ongoing support, access is complimentary for all 2020 paid 2-3 program subscribers. (Paid subscribers will be contacted)

All subscriptions are $30 per person/household and available now via Trybooking here.

For this one time payment subscription, you’ll receive access to 3 brand new recorded concerts from October to December, as well as exclusive access to our extensive archive of past performances until December 31, 2020.

By purchasing a digital subscription, you are directly supporting the musicians involved in this project who have been restricted with low to no performance work for most of 2020.

You can also make an extra tax-deductible donation either via checkout on when you book or via our website here. You will be sent a tax receipt from Steel City Strings office afterwards.


Watch the Official Teaser Trailer:

COVID-19 Update

With the lifting of some restrictions by the NSW Government allowing 50% of attendance to occur in concert halls from Monday, 28th September. Ticket holders will be contacted.

More information on our return to concerts will be provided soon.

Can I Still Donate to Steel City Strings?

100% tax-deductible donations can still be made to Steel City Strings to support this project and future projects as the orchestra survives the COVID-19 pandemic.


Shooting Beyond the Square

In a world inundated with instant images, one local artist is keeping photography real and old-school through film and darkroom processing. For over a decade, Jamberoo resident Dominique Pierre-Nina has been perfecting his craft using classic film cameras. His most prized possession is his 1958 Leica M3.

Growing up on the island of Mauritius and residing in London during his formative years, Dominique became enamoured of high art photography, especially fashion, when he worked for Selfridges as a menswear buyer.

These days he cuts a noticeable figure around Jamberoo. With chocolate skin offset by salt and pepper hair, Dom can be seen walking his tiger-striped hounds, Phoenix and Gypsy, always with a camera flung over his shoulder on the hunt for the next great shot. He has even installed a darkroom on his farm where he spends countless hours perfecting his printed images.

In 2020, Dom launched his first major exhibition “Beyond the Square” at The Creative Space in Sydney and he received a Highly Commended place in the prestigious Mono Awards for his stunning work “The Faraway Tree”. He will now bring this collection to Kiama’s Old Fire Station from 30 October to 4 November 2020.

The evocative, dreamy and nostalgic quality of his collection are reminiscent of photography giants like Ansel Adams and Herb Ritts. Dominique has chosen to present all the photographs in a square format, inspired by his love of the famous Hasselblad camera, which shoots 6×6 square film. Hence the title “Beyond the Square”, a format that focuses the eye intensely on the subject without peripheral distraction and inviting deep contemplation. Dom’s works include portraits, architecture, nudes, and landscapes from his travels around the world, from the glaciers of the Arctic to the peaks of Japan and Switzerland.

Dom will be onsite throughout this free exhibition to guide visitors through the space. His works will be for sale and as Dom is an animal-lover, 10% of proceeds will be donated to WIRES in aid of wildlife that have suffered from the recent devastating bushfires.


Black & White Photography Exhibition
By Dominique Pierre-Nina
Curated by Alana Smith

Friday, 30 October to Wednesday, 4 November 2020
10am – 5pm (closed Thursday)

Corner of Terralong & Shoalhaven Street, Kiama

Free Entry and Tour with the Artist. Cards, photobooks and prints for sale.
Go to to view a selection of works.

Contact Information:

Photographer: Dominique Pierre-Nina
Phone: 0410 471 375
Instagram: @pierreninaphotography

Kiama Old Fire Station Exhibitions | December

Exhibtions at the Old Fire Station run from Friday to Wednesdays and are generally open between 10am and 4pm each day (some times may vary).

Annie Appleton

3 to 9 December 2020
This exhibition will feature original charcoal drawings by young Illawarra artist Annie Appleton. This is Annie second solo exhibition. The focus of this collection of work is on wild animals relationships. Family structures and behaviours.
Artist, Annie Appleton

Colour Your Life

10 to 16 December 2020
Original works of Art, cards and jewellery by local artists.
Artists, members of the Kiama Art Society

For the Love of Nature and the Natural World

17 to 23 December 2020
For the love of nature and the natural world, a celebration of nature through drawings. Paintings and direct botanical printing. Eco/botanical printing is a technique where plants, leaves and flowers leave their shapes, colour, and marks on fabric and papers. Plant material bundled inside of cloth/papers is steamed or boiled to release the dyes found naturally inside the plant, creating a contact print in the shape of the leaf or flower used. These contact prints are referred to as “eco-prints.” Wall hangings that are woven using wool, fibres and fabrics
Artist, Linda Brown

Visual Arts and Candles

24 to 30 December 2020
Original artworks including works in Acrylic, Oils, Resins and Textures. Hand poured soy wax candles utilising reusable containers and Australian made perfume grade fragrances
Artists, Kaye Flavell

Kiama Old Fire Station Exhibitions | November

Exhibtions at the Old Fire Station run from Friday to Wednesdays and are generally open between 10am and 4pm each day (some times may vary).

Beyond the Square

Black & White Photography
29 October to 4 November 2020
In a world inundated with instant images, this local artist is keeping photography real and old-school through film and darkroom processing. The evocative, elegant and nostalgic quality of this collection are reminiscent of photography giants like Ansel Adams and Herb Ritts. Dominique has chosen to present all the photographs in a square format, inspired by his love of the famous Hasselblad camera, which shoots 6×6 square film. Hence the title “Beyond the Square”, a format that focuses the eye intensely on the subject without peripheral distraction. Dom’s works include portraits, architecture, nudes, and landscapes from his travels around the world. elegantlele
Artist, Dominique Pierre-Nina

Kiama Arts Trail

5 to 11 November 2020
The Kiama Arts Trail is self-guided travel through some of the most picturesque countryside in Australia. This exhibition by our creative members includes painting, photography, jewellery and sculpture to give a taste of what you can see on the trail.
Artists, Bob Shaw, Liz Shaw, Phil Winterton and Robyn Sharp

Two Palettes

12 to 18 November 2020
Exhibition and Sale of original Artworks and Jewellery by two local artists
Artist, Robyn McMillan and Heather Netherclift

Fine Art and Photography

Shifting boundaries in the digital age

19-25 November
Jamberoo-based Nic van Oudtshoorn explores the boundaries between photography and fine art with an exhibition that ranges from classical black-and-white to multi-medium abstracts. An internationally published photo-journalist with more than 40 years’ experience, Nic’s work has earned him the distinction of Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. He now explores using digital technology to shift the boundaries between photography and fine art.
Artist, Nic van Oudsthoorn

Shellharbour Woodcarvers

26 November-2 December
We are a Group of people practicing the art of woodcarving. On display will be wood carvings and pyrography items, also for sale. We are a charity orientated group who over the years have donated large sums of money to Shellharbour Public Hospital, every year donating a carving for their Christmas Raffle.

Wood carving and pyrography will be demonstrated each day, with various members. The public is encouraged to discuss woodcarving or pyrography with members. We are situated at Albion Park Rail and have our own clubhouse. Admission is free.
Artists, Frank O’Connor, John Unwin, Ivan Boulton, John Hinks, Sandra Hamblen, Graham Tibbitts

2020 Challenge Art Competition

Do you have any clients who love to express themselves through art?

The 13th Annual Challenge Community Services Art Competition is open to people with disability of all ages, and young people in foster care throughout NSW.

The theme of 2020 is “Out of this World”.

Please pass on the flyer and entry form attached to your clients who may be interested.

For more information, or to enter online, please visit the Art Competition page on our website

Entries close Friday 13 November 2020.