Lorne Community Connect welcomes artist-in-residence Meaghan Shelton

A hub for creative and cultural endeavours, Lorne Community Connect, at 2 Otway Street, is a place for the community to connect, learn and create together.  The Centre is already home to a lively assortment of creative activities and groups – patchwork quilting, life drawing, knitting and drop-in art sessions.  It also offers an opportunity for emerging and other artists who wish to share their work in a community environment rather than a formal gallery to exhibit their work.

As part of the planned expansion of Lorne Community Connect as an arts and cultural space, the Centre is soon to gain a resident artist in Meaghan Shelton. This is thanks to a Creative Communities grant from the Surf Coast Shire.

The Council established the Creative Communities Fund in recognition of the impact of the pandemic on the arts and cultural sector. The aim of the fund is to rejuvenate and strengthen the sector by leveraging recovery activities to build and strengthen the creative sector, and at the same time, bolster community connection and wellbeing recovery through engagement in the arts and creative activity.

Artist Meaghan Shelton applied for the grant with the encouragement and support of the Lorne Community Connect team, including Lesley Goldsworthy, Wendy Hutchison, and Gary Allen.  Meaghan will become the first artist-in-residence in what is hoped will be an ongoing Lorne Community Artist-in-Residence (CAIR) program.  A professional artist, Meaghan, will have an onsite studio and devote part of her time to developing the CAIR program.

As part of the CAIR program Meaghan will engage with creative groups who share the space as well as other local artists and interested members of the community.  Opportunities to participate will include scheduled ‘open studio’ visits, artist talks, and creative workshops with Meaghan.  Meaghan hopes to share her ideas and techniques and to learn from others during her residency.  She anticipates that her time with the Lorne community and the abundant natural environment will inspire her work.

A fourth generation Irish-Scottish/Anglo Australian woman, Meaghan was born in the Victorian seaside town of Wonthaggi.  She has lived in London and Melbourne, completing both her Associate Diploma and Bachelor of Fine Art/ Visual Art at RMIT, majoring in painting.  Meaghan was awarded her Master of Fine Art at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, and is currently undertaking PhD by practice-led research with QUT.  Her disciplines include painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation, fashion, and writing.

Meaghan’s artistic practice spans a range of mediums and explores aspects of women’s experience through the lens of traditional craft, the idea of craft as a female occupation, its historic exclusion from the fine arts landscape, and broader ideas of exclusion and marginalisation.

Meaghan has won multiple awards including the highly competitive Arts Queensland Showcase grant award for her Melbourne solo exhibition, Woven, in 2018.  Her textile installation, Votive, won the Queensland Regional Arts Award for Textiles in 2017.

Most recently Meaghan was awarded the Du Rietz Sculpture Prize for her work Diving Helmet and Overlay (pictured).  She was also Artist in Residence (by invitation) for the Kia Sulc Artist Residency at Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre S.E. Queensland, undertaken during lockdown in Victoria in 2020.

It’s expected that Meaghan’s development of the Lorne CAIR will encourage wider community use of the space for creation and display of works in a wide range of media.  The CAIR will add a new dimension to Lorne’s vibrant art scene, which includes: the Easter Art Show, and the Sculpture Biennale that transforms the foreshore every two years.  We look forward to Lorne hosting these events again 2022.

It is hoped that Meaghan will be exhibiting her work at Community Connect in December so keep an eye out for further details to be announced.

You can follow Lorne Community Connect on Facebook and on Instagram.

You can learn more about Meaghan Shelton’s work on her Instagram page or at www.meaghanshelton.com

Lesley Thornton
On behalf of the LCC Committee