New artist space at Bilpin opens

Bilpin's reputation as an artists’ haven will be boosted again after this weekend’s launch of the Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiatives — or BigCi as it is being called. 

Pronounced Big See, it is an artist-run, not-for-profit residency program on the property of residents Rae and Yuri Bolotin.

The BigCi will be launched this Sunday, August  17, where visitors can enjoy  both visual displays and presentations by the artists about their work. 

Local musicians will entertain and a video presentation will showcase memories of Bilpin events filmed over the past decade. 

‘‘It is also  the centenary of  the Bilpin Post Office and we will be  recognising the event with a display of items and presentation of historical information,’’ organiser Joyce Murray said.

BigCi will provide a ground for the professional development of artists, painters, sculptors, multimedia artists, performance artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers, who are invited to apply for a residency.

‘‘In addition to the artist residency program, BigCi is available for a variety of events, performances, workshops, installations and exhibitions — proposals are welcome,’’ Ms Bolotin said.

Bilpin resident Lionel Buckett said the isolation of growing up at Bilpin in an era without computer  games  or iPads, made everyone create their own entertainment, which included painting, music, singing, drama or craft  lessons after school.

He said as a result Bilpin has always had a range of resident-generated entertainment. 

‘‘In  the  1980s  I  attended  the  ‘Ocka Wog’ dinner dance cabaret nights, where we celebrated the cultural diversity in the area and raised funds to renovate our local hall, and cheered on participants at the two Nude Tractor Races held at Mountain Lagoon [in more recent years] and have come to appreciate the variety and colour in my community.’’

The BigCi is on Hanlons Road at Bilpin and will be open from 10am-4pm this Sunday.

■ For more go to bigci.org.

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