About the Book
Included in this book are personal anecdotes from a gathering held at the Cheshunt Hall in rural northeast Victoria, facilitated by artist and photographer Linda Lees. Participants made small vessels from clay whilst sharing stories and memories of times spent in the hall. People are more relaxed, and conversation flows more readily when their hands are busy. These narratives are accompanied by Lees’ series of photographs of the interior of many of the region’s halls. Depicting no people, yet their presence is tangible.
Using a collaborative method, Collective Vessels demonstrates the importance of the halls to small-town communities. They are a place where residents can meet, socialise, learn, be entertained, celebrate, commemorate, and mourn. They are a vital asset in times of emergency and a venue that allows the community to connect.
I am a multi-disciplinary artist with a career spanning more than thirty years. The rural area of northeast Victoria, Australia, where I live, inspires much of my work. My book, Collective Vessels, is the result of research performed as part of a mature age Honours Degree completed during 2021. I used participatory action research to not just be inspired by the region, but to speak to other residents and hear about their connections to the people and places in the small towns surrounding Wangaratta. I have exhibited my work in group exhibitions and also held several solo exhibitions including Wangaratta Art Gallery, Murray Art Museum Albury, and Horsham Regional Gallery. Membership in an artist co-operative, Arthaus, Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance, Broken River Potters, and the Association of Sculptors Victoria have also provided exposure for my art.