Aussie kinship inspires the write stuff

Published on 28 February 2018

Ekphrasis logo

Art, inspired by friendship, is set to be the muse that rouses poets across the nation to put pen to paper.

The Baldessin & Friends commemorative folio, comprising works by seven eminent Australian artists, all of whom were friends of the late St Andrews’ printmaker and sculptor George Baldessin, is Nillumbik Shire Council’s most recent art acquisition. 

While each artwork showcases different mediums and styles, there is one common theme - friendship.

The folio includes works by newspaper satirist and cartoonist Michael Leunig, printer maker GW Bot,  photographer Jock Clutterbuck and painters Rick Amor, Jan Senbergs, Imants Tillers and John Wolseley.  It also includes a work by George Baldessin himself.

Poets are encouraged to view the commemorative folio at the Diamond Valley Library or online, and be inspired to write a 12-line poem which could end up being published or win them money.

Mayor Peter Clarke said he was delighted the shire had bought the commemorative folio, previously launched at the State Library in Melbourne, to be enjoyed by not only the local community, but nationally.

“The acquisition of this folio recognises leading Australian artists and their close connection to Nillumbik,” Cr Clarke said.

“It enhances the shire’s standing as the arts mecca of suburban Melbourne.”

Deputy Mayor and Arts Advisory Committee chair Karen Egan said The Arts and Cultural Plan 2018-2022 invested in creative industries and making the arts an accessible, every day experience.

“This blueprint will also not only increase tourism but have a positive economic spin-off for the shire,” Cr Egan said.

The folio will be on display at the library from March 1 to April 30 as the featured artwork for the 2018 Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award.

There is an open prize of $550, a local prize of $350 and a youth prize of $200. The winning poems will be published in the Literary Nillumbik Anthology of Writing 2018.

Gain insight into the creative process at a panel discussion, Passion for Print: Printmaking, poetry and creative inspiration, is at the Diamond Valley Library at 2pm on Saturday, 3 March, with Tess Edwards of Baldessin Press, Jock Clutterbuck and artist/poet Matt Blackwood.

For further details contact Clare Leporati, Arts & Cultural Programs Officer at or (03) 9433 3126