Eltham Library Community Gallery

Photo of the interior of the Eltham Library Community Gallery. The walls are brown brick and there are several small sculptures on plinths

Opened in 1994, the Eltham Library Community Gallery is a much-loved community gallery space that sits within the Eltham Library complex on Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country. It was designed by multi award-winning Melbourne architect, Gregory Burgess.

The Eltham Library Community Gallery is an important platform for emerging artists that provides entry into professional practice. The gallery space offers a varied exhibition program that showcases both traditional forms of art-making and new methods of art production, along with themes and ideas that are relevant to our times.

Applications open for 2025 exhibitions

Artists and curators are invited to submit ideas for solo, two-person and curated exhibitions for both our 2025 Exhibition Program and our 2025 Rainbow Exhibition.

Rainbow Exhibition

Applications are open to LGBTIQA+ artists & curators. Successful project will be put forward for Midsumma Festival and receive a $5000 project fee.

Applications close July 7.

Find out more and apply.

2025 Exhibition Program

It’s free to exhibit. Exhibitors receive a $550 exhibition fee plus catering fee. Information sessions will be held on Thursday 6 June and Wednesday 26 June, 6pm to 7.30pm - registrations essential.

Applications close July 7.

Find out more and apply.

View upcoming and past exhibitions

Current exhibition

Nina Kelabora, The Unknowing 2, 2022 Dimensions 248mm x 175mm Medium Liquid water colour & paint pen on paper

Nina Kelabora: Flight

Opening celebration: 6.30pm Friday 31 May

Exhibition dates: Friday 31 May to Sunday 7 July

'Flight' is the first exhibition of Eltham artist, Nina Kelabora. Mythical, solitary almost-creatures, celestial forms and oceanic-air landscapes are haunted by echoes of her grandmother’s song and father’s homeland in Indonesia. A difficult and tumultuous energy fills her mixed-media works, as well as moments of peace linked to tidal rhythms.

Image (detail): Nina Kelabora, The Unknowing 2, 2022 liquid water colour & paint pen on paper, 248mm x 175mm

Upcoming exhibitions

Past exhibitions

Layers of Cardboard and shellac create an image of a landscape

Joanne McFadyen | Cardboard Drought

Friday 19 April 2024 - Sunday 26 May 2024.

Opening celebration 6.30pm, Friday 19 April.

In 'Cardboard Drought' Joanne McFadyen transfers the technique of French polishing onto cardboard packaging. McFadyen tells a narrative of climate change by using upcycled materials to highlight the local and regional impacts of drought. In cardboard she offers a glimpse of both landscape and El Nino weather patterns, with inspired imagery from Strathewen.

Workshop with Joanne McFadyen

Learn an ingenious method of French polishing and upcycling in this free workshop with Joanne McFadyen, Saturday 11 May 10am to 1pm. Free. Limited spaces, book your tickets via Eventbrite.

Image: Joanne McFadyen Cardboard Drought 2023. Shellac on cardboard 109 x 112cm.

 

This is a painting with thick large strokes. A young woman is holding an umbrella and the yellow sun is shining on it although all around it is raining in blues and purples

Creative Minds | VCE Art and Design 2023

Friday 8 March - Sunday 14 April 2024.

Showcasing artworks by Nillumbik's VCE Art and Design students of 2023, this annual exhibition engages our newest generation of artists. Participating schools include Catholic Ladies College, Eltham College, Eltham High School, Plenty Valley Christian College and St Helena Secondary College.

Image (detail): Maddie Azzopardi, Untitled 30/08 2023 oil pastel on paper on wood.

 

Ayman_Kaake_detail_thumb.jpg

Ayman Kaake: In their Names | 2024 Midsumma Exhibition

Thursday 25 January - Sunday 3 March.

Ayman Kaake In Conversation, 6.30pm Wednesday 7 February.

In this intimate installation, an inner-landscape unfolds about the experience of artist Ayman Kaake, his community and the criminalisation of homosexuality. Ayman’s friends are his models and they hail from a multiple of ethnic backgrounds, identifying as queer, gay and trans. In their Names marks out tenderly the repercussions of the criminalisation of sexuality internationally for the lives of individuals affected.

Ayman Kaake was born in Tripoli, Lebanon and arrived in Australia as a telecommunications engineer graduate in 2011. Enamoured by the camera, he lied to his family to pursue his artistic journey – enrolling in secret in visual arts in Melbourne. Ayman’s initial works were made without an artist community. As a young queer man in a country where he did not speak the language, he used his camera, purchasing his first in 2015, to photograph mainly himself. Ayman knows the experience of what it is to feel oneself a foreigner and be conflicted in ones identification with home. His works evoke borders - those of governance, culture, sexuality and oneself - through water and sand, garments and objects of ritual, and through stones which are precariously balanced on the body. Moreover Ayman reminds us of punishment and danger – the dire consequences of being uncovered and revealed as queer around the world.

Ayman won the Midsumma Australia Post Award in 2022. A book of Ayman’s artworks, published by Tall Poppy Press, will be launched during Photo 2024, an international photography festival. The book includes images from this very exhibition.  In 2022, Ayman won the Brunswick Street Gallery Small Works Art Prize. Last year, Ayman was a finalist in the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art.

The presentation of this exhibition is an initiative of Nillumbik Shire Council and aligns with supporting an equitable and inclusive community where human rights are respected, participation is facilitated, barriers are addressed and diversity is celebrated. This is our inaugural Rainbow Exhibition, applications for 2025 open later this year.

Image: Ayman Kaake The Prayer Rug 2022. Print on fabric, 140xcm x 210cm (detail)

 

DiversARTy Opening 2023 Artworks including ceramics and paintings surrounded by a crowd of people

diversARTy 2023 | Living & Learning Nillumbik

Thursday 14 December 2023 - Sunday 21 January 2024.

Each year Living & Learning Nillumbik holds an exhibition at the Eltham Library Community Gallery. Showcasing the work of current participants and tutors in visual arts, ceramics, textile, glass, crafts and more.

This exhibition shares and celebrates the diversity of activities, abilities and people who come together to share, learn and connect at our Living & Learning Nillumbik centres in Diamond Creek, Eltham and Panton Hill.

Image: Opening of DiversARTy 2023. Photograph Stephen McKenzie.

 

Emily Viski, Emily in Paris, 2022, acrylic on canvas framed, 60 x 60cm

Dogs are like sunshine | Emily Viski

Friday 3 November - Sunday 10 December 2023.

‘Dogs are like sunshine’ is a playful exhibition by emerging artist, Emily Viski, her paintings explore colour, form and mark making. Viski’s joyful works aim to spread happiness and brighten people’s days. 

Image: Emily Viski, Emily in Paris, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60cm

 

Junko Azukawa, Nobody owns, 2021, Sumi ink on paper, 60cm x 85cm

The way of Japanese ink | Junko Azukawa

Friday 14 July - Sunday 20 August 2023.

Junko Azukawa’s exhibition showcases Japanese ink paintings, Sumi-e and a cinematic short film exploring her artistic process. Sumi-e is a philosophy, it’s a way of living and an art form. Sumi soot ink painting began in China around the 8th century and then evolved in Japan as a Zen discipline. Sumi-e is practiced by monks and Samurai as well as artists. For Azukawa, ink painting has become a powerful way to express the moment and explore ideas of inner self-growth.

Image: Junko Azukawa, Nobody Owns, 2021, Sumi ink on paper, 60 x 85cm, Courtesy of the artist

 

Jessica Roff, Stand Your Ground, 2022, Watercolour on canvas, Courtesy of the artist and Catholic Ladies College.jpg

Creative Minds

Friday 6 October - Sunday 29 October 2023.

‘Creative Minds’ showcases artworks created by Nillumbik’s VCE Art and Studio Arts students of 2022. An annual exhibition presented at the Eltham Library Community Gallery celebrating artwork by our youth.

Participating High Schools include: Catholic Ladies' College, Eltham College, Eltham High School and Plenty Valley Christian College.

Image: Jessica Roff, Stand Your Ground, 2022, Watercolour on canvas, Courtesy of the artist and Catholic Ladies' College 

 

Brian Stevens, Orbs - messages in the sky, 2018, Acrylic paint on canvas, Courtesy of the artist

Talking and listening to country - Brian Stevens, Julie Tipene-O’Toole and Tiaki Mitchell

Friday 25 August - Sunday 1 October 2023.

This exhibition is an invitation and reminder to all, to come sit and listen deeply to what the country has to tell us.

When we practice this, we begin to hear more clearly. Then and only then, will the country reveal its memories and messages that can help us heal the land and our people. The answers have always been there, we just need to ask and listen.

The works in this show are a response from artists Brian Stevens, Julie Tipene-O’Toole and Tiaki Mitchell to the practice of talking and listening to country.

Image: Brian Stevens, Orbs – messages in the sky, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, Courtesy of the artist

 

Randal Pound, Self Portrait, 2016, Ink and gouache on paper, 400 x 295 mm

Body of Landscape | Randal Pound

Friday 21 April - Sunday 28 May 2023.

Randal Pound is inspired by people and the patterns created by their actions, interactions, situations and the things they leave behind. In this exhibition, Pound uses intuitive and abstract marks within his work and explores concepts of the human figure in or as landscape. Much of the imagery within his body of work is inspired by the Plenty River Gorge in Nillumbik. 

Image: Randal Pound, Self Portrait, 2016, Ink and gouache on paper, 40 x 30cm, Courtesy of the artist

 

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Nostalgic | Xi Guo

Friday 10 March - Sunday 16 April 2023.

Slow down, cherish the past and take a break from fast paced modern life in Xi Guo’s exhibition of painting and mixed media works. Xi Guo cherishes the times when computers and smart phones only appeared in science fiction films. Guo hopes her artworks spark beautiful conversations between older and younger generations.

Image: Xi Guo, Drying Chrysanthemums, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 101cm, Courtesy of the artist

 

Roslyn Quin

From Strange Pages | Roslyn Quin

Friday 27 January – Sunday 5 March 2023.

Inspired by old folklore and archaic amusements, Roslyn Quin’s exhibition explores the deeply human hunger for sharing the delightful and uncanny. Quin uses discarded materials, found items, and a plethora of collage and mixed media techniques to slowly build a reflection of the world as she sees it. 

Visit Roslyn Quinn's website.

Image: Roslyn Quin, Civilisation fish, 2022, fabric and paper collage, 12.5 x 8cm, Courtesy of the artist

 

Visual description: Two ceramic creatures that appear to be white unicorns. The creature in the background is blurred in the photo, both creatures are seated and resting.

diversARTy | Living & Learning Nillumbik

Friday 9 December 2022 – Sunday 22 January 2023.

In December each year Living & Learning Nillumbik hold an exhibition at the Eltham Library Community Gallery which showcases the work of current participants and tutors including visual arts, ceramics, textile, glass, crafts and more. It celebrates the diversity of activities, abilities and people who come together to share, learn and connect at our centres.

Visit the Living & Learning Nillumbik website

Image: Julie Barrington, Magical Creatures, 2021, Stoneware, shino glaze, dimensions variable

 

Image description: An abstract painting divided into six equal sections. The artist uses line and block shapes and pinks, yellows, blue, red, white and brown.

Araluen Centre | Art and Agency

Friday 28 October - Sunday 4 December 2022.

Art and Agency is an exhibition that celebrates the art created by artists with a disability. Araluen is an organisation supporting adults with disabilities. It’s supported studios Art Connects, provides the artists the space and the assistance they need to create wonderful works of art. This exhibition will give a number of these artists an opportunity to plan and develop their own exhibition. It will give them choice and control and highlight a community of artists that have historically been overlooked.

Visit the Araluen website

Image: Melissa Kent, Spaces inbetween, 2020, mixed media, 84 x 89cm

 

Visual description: Six woven necklaces overlapping each other on a white background. The necklaces have blocks of brown, gold, white and black colours.

Catrine Berlatier & Chantal Stewart | Of Two Minds

Friday 16 September – Sunday 23 October 2022.

Of Two Minds is an exhibition of works by two friends of 40 years. Both originally from France, Berlatier and Stewart share similar artistic sensibilities. There is a common thread of lightness, purity of lines and elegance present in both their practices, be it Chantal’s graceful drawings and refined ceramics, or Catrine’s delicate jewellery and diaphanous textiles.

Image: Catrine Berlatier, Woven Necklaces, 2018-2021, Canson paper, dimensions variable

 

Visual description: A painting depicting a women’s face, her skin is coloured multiple colours. Two yellow flowers are depicted below her face. The word loss is depicted in red near the flowers.

Creative Minds: Nillumbik VCE Arts, Studio Arts & Fashion students of 2021

Friday 5 August – Sunday 11 September 2022.

A showcase of artworks created by Nillumbik’s VCE Art, Studio Arts & Fashion students. An annual exhibition presented at the Eltham Library Community Gallery. Showcasing works from the following schools: Catholic Ladies College, Eltham College, Eltham High School & Plenty Valley Christian College.

Image: Bianca Walker, Loss, 2021, Mixed media on paper, 42 x 59cm,Courtesy of the artist and Catholic Ladies College

 

Visual description: A monochromatic painting depicting the back of a man with a dog on a lead. The background is the woodgrain from the plywood.

Chloe Vallance | Sit. Walk. Wonder

Saturday 25 June – Sunday 31 July 2022.

Sit. Walk. Wonder explores studio-based drawings by local artist Chloe Vallance.  Chloe’s works are developed by observing everyday activities of people and animals.  Chloe is interested in moments of contemplation. Often the figures in her works are seen to be looking into the middle distance, pausing or walking, each on their own journey.

Image: Chloe Vallance, Music, 2021, colour pencil on plywood, 29.5 x 35cm

 

Visual description: A glass word with a girl depicted and a rabbit. With a teapot and cup between them and a key hanging above in a tree branch

The Artistry of Books | Thou Art Mum

Friday 20 May – Sunday 19 June 2022.

Books are portable magic. They can take us to faraway lands filled with emotive adventures, mysteries to solve and dragons to chase. Words and diagrams teach us about nature, our world and our past. Beautiful images of art, architecture and animals grace the pages and our imaginations.

See how books have inspired our group of TAM artists, from how they are physically constructed, to stories we’ve experienced and knowledge we’ve gleaned. We welcome you to our exhibition, The Artistry of Books, and join us on a journey without leaving the room.

Image: Deborah Bowen, Alice’s Adventures, 2020, kiln formed glass

 

Visual description: A ceramic plate with five red flowers with blue stems, and light green leaves. With a cream background with small blue dots.

Open Studios 2022 - Nillumbik Open Studio Artists

Friday 8 April - Sunday 15 May 2022.

The Nillumbik Artists Open Studio program involves over 28 studios working across various art forms, including painting, ceramics, metal work, sculpture, printmaking and glass work. Each of the artists involved in the program will have work in the exhibition.

Visit the Artists Open Studios website.

Image: M L Pittard, Red Flower, 2021

 

Visual description: A painting depicts blue, green, yellow, orange and red organic shapes on a grey background. A blue pool shape appears in the middle ground, with a black colour in the foreground.

Naughty See Monkey & Louise Jade | Dancing on Sunshine

Friday 4 March  Sunday 3 April 2022.

No matter what the day brings, I get unequivocal joy being in the studio improvising and being immersed in my creative process.

 - Naughty

Being in thrall of my creative process: the contemplation, the execution and process, is at once thrilling and gentling for my being.  Making Art is inevitable.
- Louise

Image: Naughty See Monkey, 98 pool of reflections, 2007, Oil and collage on paper, 60 x 42cm 

 

Solitude

Deb Garrett & Kate Belvedere | Solitude 

Friday 21 January  Sunday 27 February 2022.

Inspired by the landscape, Deb Garrett and Kate Belvedere’s practice explore feelings of solitude, isolation, quietness and emptiness through a variety of mediums - photography, drawing, print making and ceramics. Ironically, their shared interest in solitude has brought them together. Deb Garrett’s work centres around finding stillness and quiet in order to connect to a space. Also having lived in the area for many years, Deb’s interested in capturing the landscape during these quiet moments, particularly during dawn when there is a sense of calm and stillness that can sometimes also be unnervingly eerie. Kate Belvedere’s work centres around themes of decay and the indifference of nature as well as exploring the duality of the life giving and life taking aspects of the natural world. Her work particularly references native Australian bowerbirds, and their enchantment with decorating their nests with bright blue objects.

Image credits:
Left: Kate Belvedere, Into the Abyss, 2019, oil on board, 21 x 29 cm
Right: Deb Garrett, The pond in Summer 1, 2021, Giclee print photograph on cotton rag, 29 x 42 cm

 

Photo of ceramics on plinth and print in front of fireplace installed in the Eltham Library Community Gallery

Image credit: Install photo of 'Solitude' by Deb Garrett and Kate Belvedere, ELCG, 2022. Photography: Jamie Robertson