Wide vistas on small boards

Helen Timbury, in her Drouin studio, is hosting a crafternoon to inspire 9 By 5 entrants. Picture: LAUREN MURPHY

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Viewing the 9 By 5 art exhibition is like “Instagram in real life”, says artist Helen Timbury.

“It was the most vibrant exhibition with many people, many pieces of art,” she said of the mass of nine-inch by five-inch artworks annually clad on the Walker Street Gallery and Art Centre walls.

“One step and you’re on to the next tiny piece.”

Ms Timbury, of Drouin, is hosting a virtual ‘crafternoon’ session on 15 October to inspire would-be entrants.

She says the options are limitless going beyond the original 9 By 5 exhibition of paintings on cigar box lids held in Melbourne in 1889.

All sorts of works such as print, collage, painting or poetry can be entered.

A printmaker, illustrator and graphic designer, Ms Timbury has in the past created layers of prints on 1970’s wallpaper for a mosaic-like effect.

Then cut them to fit the nine-by-five boards.

In its 15th year, the exhibition is in some ways made for artists in Covid-19 lockdown – with the art board supplied and then mailed back to the organisers by envelope and stamp.

Since March, artists have foregone their traditional markets, exhibitions and open studios to showcase their works.

The silver lining for Ms Timbury is being forced to “pivot”, build a social-media profile, launch her own website with a shopping-cart and host live-online workshops.

“There’s been a lot of learnings.

“Artists have found (Covid lockdowns) quite positive in that we’ve had to learn about technology.”

The exhibition is calling for entries by post by Friday 20 November.

Art packs have also been mailed to local aged care facilities to encourage residents to explore creative pursuits and make their own entries.

For details on the crafternoon on Thursday 15 October and how to enter the 9 By 5 exhibition, visit greaterdandenong.com/9by5


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