Around forty-five people came to the warming of Carol Archer’s new art studio. The event doubled as Carol’s first studio exhibition – a mini-retrospective was hung for the occasion. Kay Smith MCed the event with her characteristic warmth and humour, and the creativity of the local community was on display.

A drumming performance (by Les Tattersall, Jen Scanlon, Astrid Weidig, Felicity Baronet, Jane Carryer and Anna McKendry) kicked off the formal part of the event. This was followed by a welcome in which Carol acknowledged the hard work, creativity and craft of the main building team – Gina Ghioni, Garry Kealy, Phil Keaton and Michael Legge – and thanked the many others who contributed  to the process. Poems were read by Kit Kelen and Judy Johnson, music played by Michael and Nikki Legge, Penny and Garry Kealy, Astrid Weidig and Brett Hall, Duncan Kimball and local ukulele players (Kay Smith, Johanna Trainor, Wendy Hammond, Lou Young, Frieda Dean, Liz Ison, Carol Archer and Kathy Aquilina).

Here is the poem Kit Kelen wrote for the occasion:

soon we’ll be fishing from the veranda
studio warming piece

the longer the nest to make
the lovelier the egg

this is the moment
all perfect now
ready to begin

if there is a world
it stopped
well short of here

somewhere in the garden
we filtered out the dust

people say it’s revving up
but this is where the buck came to rest
till you squeezed it out some more
all of this to banish the frantic

stood in a paddock
commanded this rise

… delayed reaction

then everyone came
it was a party
how the walls went up!

it took a lot of coaxing
miracles take work
but see how the breeze is
because of veranda

everyone says you could live in it

the Taj Mahal has no such pond
Ben Hur may be big
but this box is yours
you built it
herded the cats in a frenzy

this is where to go wild

all the colours are from day
and the dark is sunlit still

the bush is guard to this
the valley opening to view

sun powers it
breezes aboard
and from deck
watch the pond

in ducks
and eels and water dragon
all lotus fronded, flowered
rose fingered for a first thing
pinking sunset too

red bellied black
removes old frog from pond
you witness this

and something you can never see
better than anything else
the place is blessed
with you

and all you have to do is
consider the everything to come
gets better and better
but now

be in the moment perfect
it doesn’t come again