Art in the Birch Forest

Workshop & Demonstration Times
Wood carving workshop with Hape Kiddle
Felting workshop with Jess Forster
Music writing workshop with Aduny Takele (AKIB)
Live interactive performing art (TBC)
Painting, sand sculptures and kids activites
Walking piano (TBC)
Cultural art and local aboriginal art displays
Hanging art installation in the birch forest

Hape Kiddle

Hape Kiddle works from his studio in Griffith, and has been creating since the age of six; crafting, building, constructing with anything he could hold in his grubby little fingers. Thinking back, he remembers finding pumice stone in the Rangitikei and Hautapu Rivers in the Manawatu Region of New Zealand sculpting them to shapes and forms of all kinds.

Before picking up a chisel or a file he draws the object line over line defining the shape to its exactness analysing the three-dimensional form as a two dimensional form before making any marks to his timber, bone or stone. He considers the shape, the shadow, the space and how the viewer will interact with each work.

Constantly referencing the natural environment his work draws on connections to the waterways and rivers that wriggle and wind their way through this land. Hape finds that sharing and experiencing the environment surrounded by friends and family significantly informs his approach to his practice.

Hape travels around the world sharing his craft and will join us in the Birch Forest to run a workshop on wood carving.

Jess Forster

Born and raised in Griffith, Jess Forster is a sustainable textile artist and educator. She creates unique handmade felt objects, artworks and sculptures from locally sourced wool.

Jess wholeheartedly believes in the notion of ‘paying it forward’. Her recent projects, exhibitions, artworks and experiences are centred on sustainability. Each felted object manifests a social, cultural and environmental consciousness. The underlying “from farm to studio” mantra is unmistakable. As well an affinity with the land, her creative ethos extends into the values of community and social impact.

Jess is a Visual Arts teacher, and teaches felting workshops around Regional NSW. Jess feels that using local wool has become a ‘connector’: a connector to her community, to the nomadic history of humans, traditional rural crafts and to how society values the ‘handmade’. Her current practice balances on the boundary between sculpture and functional object. Each piece is organically moulded, inspired by her natural surrounds of the Australian bush. Recurring motifs of organic shaped ‘nests’, moons, seed pods and mountains.

Jess’ current body of work reflects her inquiry into our relationship with the planet – are we as humans, symbiotic or parasitic to our home?