A Bush Christmas Exhibition

Host: Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association

Save the date for the 2018 Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Federal Conference to be held in Canberra, August 1-2. This promises to be a great conference! Find all information at this link: https://www.icpaconferenceaust.com/  #ICPAconf18

It’s on again as we venture into the 22ndyear of this amazing exhibition of creatives principally from rural and remote Australia.

It all started as an idea at the local tennis courts in a tiny town in western Queensland and has ballooned into a 10 day exhibition of hand mades, gourmet delights and even some art, in Toowoomba Qld, and is aptly named ‘Bush Christmas’. Held when Christmas is looming it gives our city cousins a chance to see the creative talent and endeavours of rural artisans as well as an opportunity to purchase treasures unavailable in their local shops.

Supporting the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association has been a signature of Bush Christmas for a long time now. Artisans generously donate an item they have made to a number of raffles that are drawn daily. This gives patrons an opportunity to not only support this great rural organization, but to be in with a chance to win something lovingly handmade and of considerable worth.  Raising the profile of the ICPA is a constant conversation at the raffle table where volunteers speak passionately of their outback experiences educating children in the bush.

At the moment I can imagine  many artisans beavering away in outback sheds and makeshift studios crafting all sorts of creations from wood, steel, fabric, paper, leather, polymer, resin …the list is endless, as are the ideas. I love to visit these artisans and hear their stories. Tales of grandmother’s recipes emerging again to be loved as a new ‘taste sensation’, piles of old rusty fencing wire being twisted and turned to fashion a garden sculpture, fabric being sewn into fashionable children’s clothes, home grown lavender, jojoba or olives becoming sought after skin care essentials. But it is not all about old becoming new again. These rural artisans love fashion and style in their wardrobes as well as their homes with décor and accessories being imaginatively and skilfully made to suit any occasion.

Country cooks have always been held in high esteem being able to turn a chunk of meat into a beautiful tasting dish to feed an unexpected crowd, fruit from the garden fruit trees into jars of fabulous jams and preserves, vegetable garden produce into nourishing fodder for the family, or an excess of eggs into the best pavlovas on the planet, while not wasting the yolks as they become lemon butter to die for!

These amazing cooks like to share their treats at Bush Christmas and so we see an array of delicious condiments, sauces, mustards, jams and not forgetting Christmas celebrations with traditional Christmas cakes and puddings, biscuits, rocky road and nougat and more…I can just smell the aromas from the country kitchens now and it’s only June!

So, as always I’m waiting with great expectation to see what these talented bush artisans have in store for us this year at the annual Bush Christmas Exhibition while anticipating another great fund raising opportunity for the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association.

Allan Edmonstone, Garden Art.

Annette Piper, Handcrafted Jewellery.

Bruce Henzell, Woodwork.

Happy ICPA ticket sellers.

Jodie & Cameron, Barenuts Macadamias.

Phil Hoare, Silversmith.

Vanessa Radford, Lighten Up Handmade Art.