Arts & Culture
The Southern Midlands Council recognises and acknowledges the important role that the arts have in creating a vibrant and diverse Community. Council articulates through its Arts Advisory Committee a strong commitment to nurturing and developing creative endeavour in the Southern Midlands at both a Council, as well as a Community level. The term creative endeavour encapsulates the arts in its widest scope.
History reminds us that the Southern Midlands Council local government area was created through the merging of the Municipalities of Oatlands and Green Ponds along with the Northern Wards of the Municipalities of Brighton and Richmond. On reflection is can be seen where the former municipalities were also involved in the Creative Arts with various projects.
- In the former Oatlands municipal area people remember the topiaries in the 1960s through the area known as St Peter’s Pass on the Midland Highway, they are still maintained today as a form of public art and are a sense of pride and connection for the Community and the Council.
- In the former northern ward of the Brighton municipality Chauncy Vale is a notable public sanctuary where the writings of the renowned author the late Nan Chauncy were created in memorable books such as “They Found a Cave”. Chauncy Vale was her home and the inspiration for her series of very popular children’s books.
- In the former northern ward of Richmond is the Village of Campania, where in Flour Mill Park there is a stunning bronze sculpture by the acclaimed artist the late Stephen Walker AM, a resident of Campania. This was a bi centenary contribution to the Community and it engenders a sense of pride in the residents of Campania, the district and the Council.
- In the former Green Ponds (Kempton) municipal area, the Council building known as “The Blue Place”, a former church was given over to the custodianship of the Green Progress Association Inc. for use by the Greater Green Ponds Branch of Tas Regional Arts for arts and related activities.
This array of examples above demonstrates an historic and valuable connection between the arts & this Community of the Southern Midlands. The present day extension of those stories is that of the “silhouettes” public art, also known as the Shadows of the Past, along the length of the Heritage Highway (Midland Highway) from Tunbridge to Kempton, created by Folko Kooper and Maureen Craig. It puts a contemporary perspective on the eighteenth century art form of the silhouette, creating poignant reminders of early colonial life on the Heritage Highway. This project came into being through joint funding by Council and the State Government, coupled with the creative inspiration of Folko & Maureen.
Council seeks to provide a strong impetus to continue and indeed strengthen that sense of engagement and active participation in the arts by our diverse Community.