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Our textiles group wants to inspire you to Repair, Rewear, Recycle, Restore and Create. We will call a Gathering as soon as soon Covid restrictions allow for anyone interested in sewing, mending, knitting, or learning about any textile craft.

At our first Gathering our textile group will bring along something each of us is working on to show and share. And we are hoping as many people as can be allowed, will join us. 

So, we will invite you to bring along some old clothing you would like to repurpose or refit, or some knitting you want to finish or an idea you have always had in mind to do but just never got round to it.  And we will sit and work together and chat about what textile crafts people are interested in. We may even have a demonstration of spinning with a drop spindle and a spinning wheel. And from these first get togethers we will develop more workshops targeted to those skills people want to develop.

We are also investigating offering demonstrations online of using a modern sewing machine, an overlocker and small projects that you can get started on at home. So gather up those holey socks, drooping hems, too tight pants and dresses, that sewing pattern at the back of your drawer, that beanie or scarf you never finished and get them ready to join us.  And together we will restore and create and make new friends. We will let you know a date and time as soon as we are able.

Stained Glass Workshop with Liz Bashford
If you like jigsaw puzzles, you’ll love making a small stained glass project. Tailor made workshop for 1-3 people, we’ll help you come up with a design (suggest 400×200) and we’ll take you through the process over 2-3+ days of your choosing to make a piece for window or feature. Approx. $100 fee for materials and tools. Fun and very social!

Spring time Abstract Painting Workshop with Miranda Jarvis
An informal session guided by local artist Miranda Jarvis to get together, experiment with colour and enjoy some Spring sun on our backs. Absolutely no experience necessary. Will be held outside in Spring and will abide by all Covid Safe guidelines. Materials and costs TBA. 

Print Making for Beginners Workshop with Veronica Phillips
Come along and learn print making from Veronica Phillips, local environmental and community artist. This workshop will introduce you to print making and is perfect for beginners. Approx. 3 hour session. Materials & costs TBA.

Farm Gate Art

‘Farm Gate Art’ is a community project building welcoming entrances, gateways and letterboxes in Deans Marsh. The project will involve community willow weaving workshops with local artists Veronica Phillips and Sandra Hickford and other art projects to come. 


A gateway welcomes people in, and is an expression of ‘who we are’.
Due to current restrictions we are not able to offer the workshops just now, but encourage you instead to start creating at home.  


We would like to invite our community to be involved in ‘Farm Gate Art’, a creative venture from home, generously supported by Surf Coast Shire, Deans Marsh Primary School and SPARK!


Recycle, weld, weave, paint, create!  
We welcome pictures of your creations…


Artwork by Teagan at Otway Escapes.

Extravagant Birds - Surf Coast Shire Seed Development Fund

Congratulations to SPARK! Committee member and local artist Veronica Phillips who has received funding as part of the Surf Coast Shire’s Seed Development Fund.

Responding to the climate emergency, artist Veronica Phillips will work with 200 students from three rural primary schools to create sculptures based on threatened bird species using farm waste intended for landfill. Wire, silage wrap, balers twine, grain bags and plastic tree guards will be wrapped, stitched and woven onto a simple recycled wire armature. These unique, colourful creations, accompanied by explanatory text, will be exhibited throughout business and public spaces in the Surf Coast Shire as a direct message to remind us all of the relationship between our wasteful society and its devastating effect on our fragile environment.

We will connect with our local Landcare group – East Otway Landcare, to learn about our local flora and fauna through the ‘Birds in Backyards’ online program. This will provide the opportunity to share knowledge about our local environment, learn about the importance of our flora and fauna and how we can begin to solve these important issues.

Note from the Chair

It is great to see so much SPARK! activity underway, and while the SPARK! team drives ahead readying our arts working spaces for classes, exhibitions, visiting speakers, workshops and the like for our Spring Launch (fingers crossed!) I especially want to thank all those local organisations and individuals in our community who are crucially important to this journey.

Our Creative Victoria grant and the support of Surf Coast Shire were the vital ‘sparks’ that got us going but with so much to be done and our budgets very tight, we depend a great deal on local contributions – advice, collaborations, additional funding, in-kind support are all crucial to SPARK’s progress.  So, thank you to our SPARK! team, and thank you especially to our community:

The help and advice of local acoustic specialist Michael Coates has kicked off the acoustic and textile arts transformations in the Community Hall, funded by our Hall Committee. 

The help of Brett Smartt and his team and equipment placing the shipping containers, was essential to improving the storage options around the Reserve, a project funded by Deans Marsh Cricket Club. 

SPARK’s first Footy Shed Art Exhibition was a joint venture with Deans Marsh Community Cottage.

SPARK’s website development is a collaboration with local media magician, Renee Wigley, with funds from our local Table Tennis group and Hall Committee.

Work is underway on a community arts project with our local School and supported by Surf Coast Shire.

SPARK! is very grateful for the many offers from the community to help us on our way. Exciting times ahead!

Well done everyone, and thank you!

Gen Picot

Chair, SPARK!

SPARK! in the Surf Coast Times

Article written by Tony Watts featuring in the Surf Coast Times. 


‘Our local artists saw the opportunity of forming an alliance with our local sports clubs to see how existing buildings around the Reserve could be made better use of as workshop, studios and exhibition spaces, as great new assets for our community to enjoy’.


You can read the article here.

SPARK! in Art Matters

‘Our aim is to create spaces that provide opportunities for both emerging and established artists to share their processes with the broader community and deepen their practice. By placing artistic spaces in an environment usually reserved for sports, we break down the idea that sports and the arts are in opposition, embracing the knowledge that both are essential to healthy and happy communities’.

Read the full article here.

Footy Shed Arts Show Video

Take a look and be inspired by the breadth of creativity and artistic skill in our community.


Share with your friends and get excited about what the future holds for the arts in our district.


A big thank-you to all artists who participated in the Footy Shed Arts Show, to all those who spent their weekends cleaning up the Footy Shed; to our curators, Sandra Hickford, Veronica Phillips and Miranda Jarvis who organised and installed the exhibition, and to Tony Watts, Renee Wigley and John McNama for transitioning the Footy Shed Arts Show into the virtual sphere.


Thank-you to the Deans Marsh Festival for the opportunity for this exhibition to be part of it’s programming for 2020.



The VIRTUAL Deans Marsh Festival Art Show 2020

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