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Little Houses built by a big-hearted community

Little Houses, Berkeley Street Kindergarten, Castlemaine. Photo: Christine Sayer.

A unique interactive installation exploring how homes and people make a community brings the early learning sector to the Castlemaine State Festival for the first time.

The Little House Project is the initiative of accomplished central Victorian artist and specialist in early learning arts teaching, Ann Ferguson.

In early 2017 Ann and Kaori Fujimoto ran workshops with 180 pre-school children in the Mount Alexander Shire. Using the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework themes of Being, Belonging and Becoming, the children explored their connection with family and home by creating their own little clay houses.

Cutting, stamping and painting their tiny clay creations, the children also played with pre-made ceramic houses and soft clay, creating their own streetscapes and towns and sharing stories about home, environment and community.

Now glazed and fired, the little houses will become an interactive installation at the Castlemaine Art Museum for the duration of the Festival; a place where children and adults can play and build their own tiny towns.

This is the latest evolution of the Little House Project, something Ann has been working on in one form or another since her time as a specialist teacher at the University of Melbourne in 2004.

Artist Ann Ferguson and pre-schooler work on the Little Houses, Berkeley Street Kindergarten, Castlemaine. Photo: Christine Sayer.

“I’m delighted by how well everything has come together,” says Ann. “I’ve been extremely well supported by the community, from the pre-schools, kindergartens and childcare centres to LaTrobe University, the Festival team, my assistant Kaori and local craftsman Mark Anstey who built the table for the exhibition, everyone has been just fantastic.”

At the completion of the exhibition and the Festival, the little houses will return to the centres as resources for ongoing play and exploration of the theme.

“This ongoing work is just as important as the exhibition,” says Ann. “While the exhibition will be beautiful, by taking the houses back to play with in their own spaces the children will be able to continue to explore the ideas of being, belonging and becoming and what they really mean to them.”

The Little House Project

Castlemaine Art Museum

14 Lyttleton Street Castlemaine

18 – 26 March 10am – 5pm (closed Tuesdays)

Free

Waller Realty is pleased to be able to provide financial support to The Little House Project.

The Little House Project is part of the Festival’s ASCEND* education program. *ASCEND – Arts, Society, Community, Education, Nurture, Development.

A Very Castlemaine and Maldon Christmas

castlemaine christmas

Whether you’re looking for handmade gifts, someone to cook your Christmas lunch or a spot to share some carols with friends and family, our region has it all.

Shop local and handmade

The Castlemaine Artists Market showcases over 40 established and emerging local artists, designers and craftspeople. At this year’s annual Twilight Market on Friday 16 December they’ll be joined by the Castlemaine Farmers’ Market so you can shop for presents and produce from over 100 stalls. While you’re there enjoy some great food, cool tunes, a craft workshop or even a cocktail!

Light up the night

Each night, as the sun sets, we put on a show. Local homes and businesses are transformed by everything that twinkles, glitters and glows. Bundle the kids in the car and take a tour. You’ll find maps in the Castlemaine Mail and Tarrangower Times.

Carol under the stars

Gathering with friends and family and a picnic dinner for carols under about a billion stars is the stuff Christmas memories are made of round here.

You’ll find the Maldon Carols by Candlelight in the Shire Gardens on Saturday 17 December where you’ll hear the Maldon Brass Band and other local artists thanks to the Maldon Lions Club. Castlemaine Carols by Candlelight is the work of Rotary Castlemaine with musical theatre company Three’s A Crowd, the Thompson’s Foundry Band and plenty of other local talent in Victory Park on Wednesday 21 December.

Celebrate with food and music

Whether you’re after something kid friendly or a night out with friends we’ve got you covered.

Take someone special for a meal at the Public Inn, housed in Castlemaine’s Old Fire Station, before the Christmas rush. Sample a local craft beer or cider at The Taproom at The Mill, Castlemaine’s recently transformed historic woollen mill. Or grab some friends and celebrate the return of the Criterion Hotel Castlemaine’s famous Christmas Eve Party.

Want a year off cooking the Christmas lunch? Locals, The Bridge Hotel (who recently won Best Regional Venue at The Age Music Victoria Awards – congrats!) and The Five Flags Hotel Campbells Creek are both open with delicious set menus sure to make your day a happy one.

Be part of a country Christmas tradition

Thought Santa only travelled by sleigh? Think again. In Castlemaine and surrounding towns the man in red delivers lollies and icy poles to excited kids from the back of a ute on Christmas morning.

It’s a tradition that started nearly 80 years ago when the Castlemaine Apex Club would deliver food hampers to families in need. It continues today thanks to the dedication of the Castlemaine Past Apexians and it’s a special part of our Christmas morning that’s loved by everyone regardless of age.

Whatever you do this Christmas we hope it’s a safe and happy one for you and your loved ones, from everyone at Waller Realty.

Victorian Goldfields Railway Sponsor

Victorian Goldfields Railway

Muckleford Station

Running through the Goldfields of Central Victoria, the Victorian Goldfields Railway brings to you the experience of Steam Train Travel. Linking the historic towns of Castlemaine and Maldon, your train takes you through Box-Iron Bark forest in a region that saw some of the richest gold mining in Australia. It also includes a visit to the quaint Muckleford Railway Station.

Waller Realty are proud sponsors of the Victorian Goldfields Railway.