Glenreagh Memorial Museum presents annual Cedar and Steam art show

Zettie Carten holding ‘The Big Flood, Glenreagh 1950: Stories of Heroism and Survival’ by Honi Reifler.

CEDAR and Steam, Glenreagh Memorial Museum’s annual art and photography exhibition, takes place at Glenreagh Hall on the weekend of Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June, 2023.

The highlight of the official opening on Friday 16 will be the launch of the book ‘The Big Flood, Glenreagh 1950: Stories of Heroism and Survival’ by local author and artist Honi Reifler.

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Special guest and survivor of Glenreagh’s big flood, 94-year-old Zettie Carten will be present to receive the book.

‘The Big Flood’ documents the harrowing tale of Zettie being rescued from the roof of her flooded home when she was 21-years-old with four family members and three local men.

“An Indigenous man, Jimmy Fisher, bravely launched a boat into the raging Orara River and battled his way through the turbulence and floating debris to the Darwin’s house,” Honi told News Of The Area.

“Jimmy’s brave actions allowed the three older women to be safely rowed to the railway line.

“He was too exhausted to continue the rescue, but others quickly followed suit until all were rescued, amongst them was young Zettie.”

A ballad has been written about this incident and the poet, Charles Dunn, will be present at the opening of the exhibition to recite it to Zettie.

A special section of the art show this year is dedicated to celebrating aprons.

“Over 30 colourful, creative aprons have been entered,” said Honi.

“Aprons made from recycled denim jeans and trimmed with lace doilies and bling, to elegantly painted gold roses on a black fabric will be on display.”

Many children have decorated their plain calico aprons with potato prints, and some have made their own aprons and embellished them with lace, ribbons and trims.

“There will also be a display of historic aprons collated by Glenreagh’s ‘living treasure’, 101-year-old Bessie Webb.

“All the five sections of photography, painting, drawing, fibre and sculpture have received a good number of entries, so Glenreagh Hall will be overflowing with an eclectic mix of creativity,” she said.

“Two young lads have entered interesting sculptures that will hang from the ceiling of the Hall, above the sculpture section.

“Mac has made a gigantic jellyfish and Lennox has made a school of fish from plastic water bottles.”

The Orara Valley Primary School students have capably and creatively entered their artistic expression on the theme of ‘My Best Friend‘.

“From buddies to budgies the children have painted, drawn and collaged an expression of their best friend.”

Cedar and Steam is open on Friday evening, June 16, from 6-8pm, “with a light supper of hearty country soups served at a cost of $5 per person or $20 per family”.

The official part will be at 7pm with the book launch and prizes awarded to the top entrants in each section.

The doors are open from 9am-3pm on Saturday 17 June.

“Come along to enjoy an arty experience, encourage the artists and support the Glenreagh Museum,” invited Honi.


A display of some of the entries in Cedar and Steam Art Competition 2023.

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