VISUAL POEM: Land to Vale film part of an ambitiious arts program to feature in local halls.
VISUAL POEM: Land to Vale film part of an ambitiious arts program to feature in local halls. Kate Holmes

If These Halls Could Talk events continue

TRANSFORMED local halls have become the site of arts events for the Arts Northern Rivers' If These Halls Could Talk season.

Arts Northern Rivers chief executive officer Peter Wood said If These Halls Could Talk was an ambitious program that moved across performance, installations and film to inject new life into community venues.

"The artists have produced bold and captivating new works which will activate these historic spaces, giving new life and creating new memories for these halls," he said.

The program touches on theatre, music, opera, visual arts, film and circus and kicked off with a live art event by international artist Craig Walsh at The Channon Hall on September 17.

In mid October, Meerschaum Vale Hall in the Ballina Shire hosted Land to Vale, a film premiere by HW Collective, whose films were official selections for the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany and Tres Court International Film Festival in Paris.

Land to Vale traces Meerschaum Vale's history from its traditional indigenous landowners through to modern-day, fourth- generation farming families, weaving rich archival material with present-day footage into a hauntingly beautiful visual poem. Local Yaegl woman and visual artist Frances Belle Parker will transform Eatonsville Hall through a large-scale immersive installation titled Can You Hear the Whispering Walls, which maps the land, the hall and the people of Eatonsville.

NORPA's new work Dreamland will open on November 23 at Eureka Hall in the rolling hills of the Byron Bay hinterland, while west of the ranges in Bonalbo on December10, story Bonnywood Rising will be told.

The four-month program closes with Tumbulgum and the Countdown to Midnight at the First Supper Between Now and Forever - a heartwarming performance by Opera Queensland - on December 16 and 17.

Mr Wood said the events were of exceptional quality and truly not to be missed.

"The scale and calibre of the If These Halls Could Talk events is something rarely seen outside of metropolitan centres," he said.

"We are also pleased that many of the events are free of charge, so we encourage everyone to book their tickets early and take this opportunity to experience the diversity of stories and people of our region, told through the eyes of our community halls."

The full program can be found on the If These Halls Could Talk website: ifthesehallscouldtalk.com.au

The project is funded by Arts NSW Regional Partnership funding.


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