A partnership promoting eye health and vision care

Vision Initiative


03 APR

Residency runs 6th – 18th April
Workshop dates: 9th – 13th April
Exhibition runs 18th April – 25th May
Opening Event, Thursday 18th April, 2pm
drinks and nibbles provided

This program is proudly supported by the Vision Initiative, Bendigo Bank and Moira Shire.

Nathalia and surrounding communities are about to get yet another treat arranged by The G.R.A.I.N. Store in partnership with the Vision Initiative. Artists Liz Walker and Avis Gardner will be taking part in an artist in residence program at the gallery in April, encompassing a range of workshops, open studio sessions and an evolving exhibition. The artists will transform the Community Gallery into a working artist studio for the two-week period.

Marking the Nature of Thingsis designed to be an inclusive art experience for all members of the community. The artists will run workshops for a range of different ages and groups to create a collaborative community artwork using clay and foraged natural materials. The work will reflect the environmental beauty and fragility of Nathalia and surrounds in the form of a ‘three-dimensional map’. This ephemeral work will contribute to the evolving exhibition in the front gallery, which will then be photographed by the artists to create a high quality two-dimensional map that will be acquired by the G.R.A.I.N. Store. Participants will be able to keep their individual contributions after the exhibition finishes.

Two of the workshops will explore the theme Making the Invisible Visible and are supported by the Vision Initiative who are working across the Moira Shire helping people understand and become more aware of eye health and vision care. The G.R.A.I.N. Store is excited to be working with this organisation for the first time and believe the arts can play a major role in health awareness by encouraging communities to come together, talk and create in supportive and relaxed environments. These workshops will also provide the opportunity for participants to contribute their work to another exhibition in the Community Gallery running in May. Other artists are also encouraged to contribute work that deals with this theme to the exhibition in any medium, you can get in touch with The G.R.A.I.N. Store by email or via our website if you are interested in getting involved.

During the open studio sessions, anyone can drop by to see Liz and Avis while they work, ask questions and get a feel for an art making environment. This will be a particularly valuable opportunity for students, artists and any other interested people to gain an understanding of how these artists work through the process of developing an idea through to completion of physical artwork. The artists are looking forward to engaging with the community about the project and their own arts practices.

Throughout the residency, there will be an exhibition of some of Liz and Avis’ work, which will all be for sale and provide reference to other themes and ideas the artists have explored. This exhibition will evolve throughout the residency as the community work is developed and made through the workshops as well as the artist’s work in the studio. The finished work will eventually be combined with the initial exhibition and documentation of the processes. It will be officially opened on Thursday 18th of April, 2pm at the completion of the residency. We hope that all workshop participants, friends, family, other members of the community and beyond will come to celebrate with the artists and see the finished product and how the project has progressed.


A little about each of the artists:

“We are emotionally driven by the belief that we are inexorably linked and totally responsible for our environment and that collaborative Art Projects promote ‘connectedness’. They can bring together people who may otherwise never speak to each other. Through creative projects we can connect communities to the nature in their immediate environment, which increases their sense of belonging and their desire to protect it. We believe by combining learning projects with our passions they become integral with our arts practice and enhance it. Our aim is to inspire and build confidence and that art is vital for a healthy community, it is not just about being an artist, it is about activating the imagination. It is our hope that we leave behind something which is of future benefit both emotionally and physically.” Liz Walker and Avis Gardner

Liz Walkeruses resources gathered from her surroundings to construct sculpture, assemblage, installations and ephemeral site specific responses to people, time and place. She is fascinated by the aesthetics of decay and the visual language created by the passage of time. In recent years, community engagement through creative workshops and collaborative project delivery has become increasingly important to her practice and development as an artist. Liz has exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions, undertaken public artworks, received awards, grants and residencies and her work is held in public and private collections in Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Ireland.

Avis Gardnerhas worked extensively on Natural Science based projects and has observed that through this engagement with their immediate environment participant’s increase their awareness and wonder at the world around them, which in turn increases their desire to protect it. Avis has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Australia and Internationally and she has received grants, residencies and won awards for her ceramics and design work. “I find collaborative art projects are incredibly powerful in many ways, my aim is always to inspire, open minds and provoke curiosity, endeavouring to discover participants own inner passions… To my mind art is integral in our lives and vital for a healthy community. It is not just about being an artist; it is about activating the imagination.” Avis Gardner



Tuesday 9th April, 10am – 1pm
Secondary/upper primary ages workshop
$10 per child, $15 per family (up to 4 children)

Wednesday 10th April
Morning session: 10am – 1pm
Afternoon session: 2pm – 5pm
Making the Invisible Visible – exploring the natural environment while learning about eye health
Open to any age group
$20 per person

Thursday 11th April
Session 1: 10am – 11am
Session 2: 11.30am – 12.30pm
Kinder/Primary aged kids workshop
$5 per child, $10 per family (up to 4 children)

Friday 12th April, 10am – 1pm
Seniors $10 per person

Saturday 13th April, 10am – 4pm
Adult / older kids workshop
$60 per person

All bookings can be made online - https://thegrainstore.org/marking-the-nature-of-things/
or instore at The G.R.A.I.N. Store