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2014 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS | Christmas at The Johnston Collection

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Thursday 6 November 2014 – Tuesday 24 February 2015

The rooms of Fairhall house-museum are sparkling with exquisite decorations created by over 55 artists and craftspeople from the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast area in the spectacular Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2014-2015 exhibition T’was The Night Before Christmas which opened on 6 November.

Christmas at The Johnston Collection is an ever-popular exhibition held from November to February each year, showcasing the work of country-based artists and craftspeople from around Victoria, with a particular region featured annually.

This year The Johnston Collection is honoured to have artists and craftspeople from the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast region creating pieces inspired by the Collection which will be displayed throughout the house-museum, against the backdrop of William Johnston’s extraordinary collection.

Working collaboratively as part of the Geelong Artisans Group, participants include members of Geelong & District Porcelain Painters, Geelong Handweavers & Spinners Guild Inc, Geelong Patchworkers & Quilters’ Guild Inc, Leopold Lacemakers, The Bead Society of Victoria (Geelong branch), The Embroiderers Guild of Victoria (Geelong branch), The Trolly Dolly Cloth Doll Club Inc, as well as individual artists.

The makers have been working on their pieces for over eighteen months with some individual pieces taking hundreds of hours to complete. Displayed in the house-museum’s Kitchen for example, is a finely hand-sewn teacosy made by lace-maker Wendy Rowe which took her more than 230 hours to complete, and a milk jug cover that she worked on, using 158 lace bobbins, for more than six months. The painstaking art of delicate beadwork is displayed in the Bead Society of Victoria’s (Geelong branch) many works throughout the exhibition. These include a draughts set in The Study, constructed entirely from tiny beads - 12,000 of them, in fact, were used in the making of this striking piece.

This is the second time that creatives from Geelong have presented works at Fairhall, their first Christmas Tour being held here from November 2009 - February 2010. Other regions who have participated in The Johnston Collection Christmas tour previously include Bendigo, Castlemaine, Ballarat, Wangaratta and north-east Victoria, Warrnambool and south-west Victoria, and the Mornington Peninsula.

Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2015 promotes the work of Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast artists and craftspeople to a large state-wide audience, bringing recognition and appreciation of the creative work from this region.

The Johnston Collection is a house-museum with an amazing collection of Regency, Georgian and Louis XV antiques arranged within a domestic setting, with three guided tours daily Monday to Friday. William Johnston (1911 – 1986) was a prominent 20th century antique dealer and collector who bequeathed his former residence, Fairhall, and collection to the people of Victoria.

For further information, images or interviews, please contact:
Felicity Cook or Fil Natarelli
T: 03 9416 2515 E:

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