Sense/Place - new works by Nicholas Mills - Tues 21st Apr

Monday, 30 March 2015 14:23


Canopy Art Centre – 124 Grafton St, Cairns - Opening: Tues 21st Apr - From 6.00pm

Kicked out of art school (Victoria College, Prahran) in the mid-80's, Nicholas Mills has continued to express himself through a 'painters lens': applying this framework to a broad diversity of solo and collaborative outputs.

Sense/Place explores a series of personal threads that form a continuum in the maker's life. Paired back from a larger body of work made over some 6 years, the video, sound works and paintings will present a very particular dichotomy: a sense of being embedded in the landscape, and yet distant.

Nicholas' sound/media practice spans the fields of sound art, live performance and digital video/media, drawing from a wide range or source material and influences from field and urban recordings, found sound and vision to samples and electronics.

A series of paintings will reveal aspects of self, and more: painted and scratched onto large found paper, carted around numerous properties in large rolls, and sustaining considerable 'environmental adjustments' along the way.

Sense/Place provides a focal point for Nicholas' very personal creative work, and critically provides a distinct, yet reflective, perspective on the deep north.

Nicholas Mills is well known as an independent creative producer, cultural facilitator, and media artist with a long history of cultural development in the Far North.

As a collaborator, he utilises a range of sound and media disciplines to engage with dancers, performers, musicians, installation artists, actors and more.

Sense/Place is the first solo exhibition of Nicholas Mills.

Read more: Sense/Place - new works by Nicholas Mills - Tues 21st Apr

Leydin's Discovery - Exhibition Opening - Fri 27th Feb

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:39


Leydin's Discovery Exhibition Opening

Friday 27th February - Canopy Artspace

Performance: Sound n Colour featuring Behiye Suren (Sydney/Istanbul), Zane Saunders & Tegan Koster

Guest Speakers: Gerry Turpin (Ethno-botanist, Australian Tropical Herbarium, JCU), Dr Mark Ziembicki (Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, JCU)


One of Australia's greatest graphic designers has left a lasting legacy, with a stunning collection of prints that has been donated to support the environment of Far North Queensland.

Arthur Leydin dominated Australia's graphic design landscape from the 1960s through to the 80s with bold, thoughtful and elegant solutions.

His legacy can be celebrated thanks to the donation by his partner, Birgit Bunting, of his collection of unique flora and fauna illustrations and prints from the late 1700's to the early 1900's, to the Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland. The many print works will be presented and on sale at the Leydin's Discovery exhibition.

The Exhibition Opening will feature stimulating guest speakers Gerry Turpin and Dr Mark Ziembicki, and special performances by some of the Far North's most unique artists.

Guest speaker Gerry Turpin is an Ethno-botanist based at the Australian Tropical Herbarium (JCU). Gerry is an Mbabaram Traditional Owner with familial links to Tableland Yidinjii, Ngadjon and Kuku Thaypan. Gerry is currently managing the Tropical Indigenous Ethnobotany Centre (TIEC), an Indigenous driven initiative, established to engage, support, and build capacity of Traditional Owner groups in north Queensland to record and utilise Indigenous ethno-biological and ethno-ecological knowledge for cultural use on country.

Dr Mark Ziembicki is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at JCU, who has been working on the decline of native mammals across northern Australia, drawing from early explorer/naturalist evidence and indigenous knowledge, and relates that to our contemporary understanding.

Performing on the night will be Sound n Colour, a meld of guitar, harp, unique songs and dynamic voices including Sydney/Istanbul artist Behiye Suren, and New Zealand harpist Natalia Mann. Behiye is working on a new album, a storytelling journey of her experiences in her two homes - Australia and Turkey. The group, led by Victor Steffenson, will be recording on her new album here in Cairns that weekend.

Indigenous contemporary performer Zane Saunders has a style that is both elegant and provocative, and he will perform a unique experimental performance work drawing inspiration from the Far North's 'exotic' flora and fauna.

Currently writing new material for a forthcoming EP release, Tegan Koster will grace the night with her set of evocative, other-world pop styling's. Far North fans have been waiting for the return of this dynamic sonic troubadour.

The exhibition includes a suite of interesting micro-collections, including prints from the 1833 Atlas of the Voyage of Astrolabe, botanical prints from the d'Entrecasteaux expedition of 1792, the Baudin expedition of 1800 to 1803, animal prints from an 1896 handbook of marsupials and monotremes and an extensive flora of Queensland published by the Government Printer between 1899 and 1901.

The Exhibition of prints will be for sale, with all proceeds to support the Environmental Defenders Office with its work in protecting and supporting community environmental outcomes.

The Leydin's Discovery exhibition opens on Friday 27th February, at Canopy Artspace, 124 Grafton Street Cairns, from 6pm. Gold coin entry and licensed bar.

The exhibition runs from February 24th March till March 13th, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00am-5.00pm.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014 21:12



One of Cairns' most dynamic arts collectives has been forced to close its doors.

Arthouse, a community run arts space that supports diverse cultural development, is having to vacate its premises of over 4 years, after the property was suddenly sold.

The property's sale followed a recent zoning issue with Council, when the Arthouse group were issued with a Show Cause Notice as to 'why an Enforcement Notice should not be issued to you pursuant to Section 590 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009'.

The group are now making plans to vacate the premises after the property owner sold the property suddenly without warning and gave the group very little notice to vacate.

It's has been a huge double-blow for the group.

Arthouse producer Nicholas Mills explains, "We really weren't aware that we were in breach of any laws. The property, formally the Croatian Club, has been a cultural space for over 20 years, and we were just following the tradition that they had set on this property."

Apparently, "following receipt of a complaint........(CRC) ascertained that the use of the land as Indoor & Outdoor Entertainment (Functions & Events) is not a lawful use on the site".

Arthouse was given a month to show cause, and immediately replied to explain their situation, and to ask for 'dispensation for a period to allow us to present these final activities, and meet our commitments with our partners.'

"At the time, Arthouse was presenting its On Edge festival, and the final shows we were then allowed to present were all partnerships: the RISE project, ironically part of the Tanks Art Centre's (Council) residency program, the Australian International Animation Festival (with End Credits Film Club), and The Blak Project, an fundraising event for the indigenous writing project Eros."

Arthouse could be thought of as an R&D factory for the arts. The venue allows artists and groups to develop new work and projects, rehearse, build props and sets, write scripts, shoot video's, hold workshops and meetings. They support many community driven activities with professional support, equipment and access to space.

Arthouse co-producer Daniel 'Wally' Wallwork, who shares the space, further explains their dilemna "As you can see, Arthouse supports an amazing cross-section of the cultural community. It's taken everybody by surprise, and many people have been affected by this decision."

With the property now sold, the group are looking towards the future, hoping to build on the success of this innovative 'community enterprise'.

Mills states, "Arthouse invests in human capital, and we believe that our region's cultural capital is a critical asset that the town has yet to realise and invest in strategically."