Bonsai Society of
Southern Tasmania presents
29th Australian National Bonsai Convention Friday 20 May to Monday 23 May 2016
Wrest Point Convention Centre, Hobart, Tasmania
In partnership with
Association of Australian Bonsai Clubs
Southern Bonsai – Island Style A Tasmanian bonsai experience
The Bonsai Society of Southern Tasmania and the Association of Australian Bonsai Clubs have great pleasure in inviting you to attend the 29th Australian National Bonsai Convention to be held in Hobart, Tasmania in May 2016. This will be the first time that the Convention has been held in Tasmania and we hope that you join us to share our enthusiasm for Southern Bonsai – Island Style. The scenic island of Tasmania is home to a magnificent and diverse flora, much of which is well suited to bonsai. Inspiration abounds, from the exquisite alpine landscapes to the sculptural trees clinging to the windblown coastline. Tasmania’s cool temperate climate provides ideal growing conditions for exotic conifers and deciduous trees alike. Add to this rare and unusual species endemic to the state and you can understand why we see Tasmania as a special place for the bonsai enthusiast. The Convention and Exhibition will be held at Wrest Point Convention Centre, from Friday 20 to Monday 23 May 2016. Our celebrated international demonstrator, Robert Steven, comes from another island, Java in Indonesia. He too is familiar with rugged, windblown coastlines, and many of his iconic bonsai have originated from there. Robert brings to bonsai an exciting artistic perspective, which gives us the opportunity to look at our art form from new directions. From the mainland (Tasmanian term for the rest of Australia) we have two experienced and excellent bonsai demonstrators. Grant Bowie, who has held the position of Curator of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia, joins us from Canberra. From Melbourne, Quentin Valentine will bring his very special knowledge of using Australian native species for bonsai. The final demonstrator is from our own Society, Chris Xepapas, a true-‐blue Tasmanian bonsai artist! Will Fletcher, an expert of Tasmanian natives as bonsai, completes the Australian panel to provide you with an insight to the special Tasmania flora. The Exhibition will feature works by bonsai artists from across Tasmania, including many using the Tasmanian flora. Some will be depicted in traditional Japanese styles whist others will capture the essence of wild Tasmania. The Exhibition will be open to the general public. A Welcome Reception will be held on the Friday evening; the Convention Dinner is on the Saturday. Two half-‐day tours will be available. On the Friday you can visit spectacular MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), travelling there by ferry on the Derwent River; we have arranged for the ferry to operate from the Wrest Point jetty. The Monday afternoon excursion will take you to the top of Mt Wellington for panoramic views of Hobart and south-‐eastern Tasmania as well as a chance to examine the alpine flora. You will complete this trip with a visit to the Island Bonsai nursery that specialises in Tasmanian natives. Afternoon tea will be served at the nursery. We warmly welcome you to join us in our Southern Bonsai – Island Style experience. If you are travelling from interstate or overseas, why not take the opportunity to stay longer and explore more of our beautiful island?
Our International Guest Robert Steven
We are delighted that Robert Steven has accepted our invitation to be the International Demonstrator at the 2016 Convention. With his unique approach to form and design, Robert can legitimately be termed as a “bonsai artist” in its truest sense. He has brought an entirely fresh and novel approach to bonsai that is not constrained by traditional dogma. To say his works are stunningly beautiful would be an understatement. Based in Jakarta, Robert has won multiple awards and he is invited to demonstrate throughout the World. He has authored several very influential bonsai texts. He organised the highly successful International Bonsai Art & Culture Biennial 2014 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia that had the theme “When Art and Culture Meet Through Bonsai”; it received rave reviews. Here are Robert’s own words that underscore his approach: In my intuition I find myself In myself I find freedom In nature I find the rule In the rule I find the wisdom I started bonsai in late 1979 or early 1980. At that time I only worked according to my own imagination and taste rather than following the textbook styles. At that time I had not yet joined any bonsai club. It was not until about 1990 that I started to learn more about bonsai from books and local bonsai artists. With this new exposure, the more I learned, the more doubts I had about the criteria that most considered necessary for making good bonsai. The textbook rules and stylistic considerations seemed to me to be overly dogmatic and rigid. I became disheartened as I noted a distinct difference between the art that I loved and the art as followed by the rest of the community. The two ideals were contradictory, in my estimation...
Our Australian Presenters Grant Bowie
Grant’s involvement in bonsai started back in 1971. His skills were soon recognised and from 1975 he was conducting numerous demonstrations and workshops throughout Australia. His first appearance as a demonstrator at an AABC National Bonsai Convention was in Canberra in 2004. He demonstrated and conducted a workshop at the Sydney Convention in 2010. Grant was the overseas guest demonstrator at the 2009 New Zealand National Convention in Napier. He was the Curator of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia in Canberra where he applied all his years of experience to the maintenance of the national collection and learning much from the ever-‐changing array of bonsai from all around Australia. Grant’s special areas of expertise are pines, banksia, heavy bending of branches and redesigning of old established or damaged bonsai.
Twenty years ago when Will Fletcher became enthused with bonsai, he was managing a native Tasmanian plants nursery. With a background of bushwalking, he was inspired by images of Australian trees in their natural landscapes, and ever since, has been designing bonsai using only native plants, whilst attempting to capture that Australian spirit. With the benefit of a nursery full of stock plants, he has been gradually developing his collection, as well as providing advanced raw material for others, through his small business, Island Bonsai. Will is an active member of the Bonsai Society of Southern Tasmania. His enthusiasm for working with native species, especially Tasmanian ones, has encouraged many of the Society’s members to expand their bonsai horizons to include representatives of the local flora. We feel certain that those attending Southern Bonsai – Island Style will also come to recognise the potential of native trees.
Quentin Valentine is well known in Victoria as a skilled bonsai practitioner. His commitment to the art and sharing his knowledge and experience with others is widely acknowledged. Quentin worked in horticulture for 30 years and took up bonsai in 1989 after borrowing a book from the library. He thought “I could do that easily!” and so he did, helped by the numerous variety of plants he was already propagating in the backyard. One tree remains from that first batch of trees, a shohin Liquidamber! Quentin joined a few clubs and went to Japan Seminar House as he sought advice and gradually developed his skills. He is prepared to tackle almost any plant material and has tried his hand at an increasing number of Australian species. He now has a number of significant pines, deciduous trees, broadleaved evergreens and Australian natives in his collection. Some of his trees are on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Collection of Australia in Canberra. Quentin was instrumental in setting up the Victorian Native Bonsai Club that commenced in 2013, and took on the presidency as well as being invaluable in imparting his knowledge at meetings and workshops. We are delighted to have Quentin demonstrating for us, and look forward to him sharing his good advice and wisdom.
From a young age, Chris Xepapas has been fascinated by trees, especially their immense age, the story they have to tell and in some cases the history of a particular tree. This fascination and a copy of "You too can grow bonsai in Australia" by Dorothy and Vita Koreshoff, found in his school library in the 1990's took Chris on a lifelong adventure with the art of Bonsai. Chris's involvement in bonsai grew over the next decade and included propagation from cuttings, air-‐layering and seed collecting. Urban yamadori also played a large part in Chris’s bonsai development. Chris began attending the invitation-‐only Annual Launceston Bonsai Workshops in the late 1990s. His close involvement with Lynn Farrell, from the Tasmanian Bonsai Centre furthered his knowledge of bonsai, especially pines, such as Pinus thunbergii, P. nigra, P. contorta, and P. mugo – in fact, anything pine! His skills also include the development and refinement of junipers, Japanese and trident maples, and Cryptomeria japonica. Indeed, Chris has a good general knowledge of all things bonsai. Chris is also developing a respected knowledge of Tasmanian native tree species for bonsai such as Melaleuca, Banksia and the mountain plum. Chris is the current Vice-‐President of the Bonsai Society of Southern Tasmania.
Tours, Workshops and Social Events MONA – Museum of Old and New Art
Opened in 2011, MONA made an immediate impact in Hobart and beyond. It now attracts many interstate and even international visitors to Tasmania’s capital city. MONA is an art museum like none other; it fascinates, entertains, challenges, and enthralls all who visit it. Situated at the Morilla Winery at Berriedale on the banks of the Derwent River upstream from Hobart, MONA is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. But it is not just the collection of ancient and modern art that justifies a visit; the building itself is stunning. You enter into what appears to be a relatively modest single-‐storey building but then descend down to three larger levels of labyrinthine display spaces built into the side of the cliffs around the Berriedale Peninsula. By far the best way to travel to MONA is by one of the Museum’s own ferries. We have made special arrangements for the ferry to travel from the Wrest Point jetty for the Friday afternoon excursion. There is a range of options for lunch at MONA during your visit.
Welcome Reception & Exhibition Preview Wrest Point is known for the quality of its food and drinks service so what better way to to start your convention experience than socializing with other delegates on the Friday evening at the Welcome Reception? During the evening you can also preview the Exhibition that, on other days, will be open to the general public.
Convention Dinner The dinner is always a highlight of the Convention and we hope that you will join us to enjoy a three-‐course meal on the Saturday evening. Convention dinners at Wrest Point are always of the highest standard – you will not be disappointed. The cost of the meal includes a welcome drink. A cash bar will be available throughout the evening.
Master Class & Workshops On the Monday morning you can join a Master Class conducted by our international guest, Robert Steven. You will have the opportunity to interact closely with Robert as he works on trees. Alternatively, you can participate in a hands-‐on workshop session with Grant Bowie and Quentin Valentine. Because of quarantine regulations, interstate participants will not be able to bring their own trees into Tasmania to work on. However, they will be able to obtain material in Hobart that they can then take with them when they return home.
Mt Wellington & Island Bonsai Nursery
Towering to 1271m, Mt Wellington provides a striking backdrop to the City of Hobart. A coach will take you to the pinnacle of what the locals affectionately call “The Mountain”. From the Lookout Building you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and most of south-‐eastern Tasmania as well as learning about the history and fauna and flora of the mountain. Some short walks will introduce you to a rugged alpine environment that is less than 30 minutes drive from the CBD. As you return to Wrest Point, you will visit the Island Bonsai Nursery run by Will Fletcher. Here is your opportunity to experience many of the Tasmanian natives that Will has crafted into beautiful bonsai. Afternoon tea will be served at the nursery.
29th Australian National Bonsai Convention 20-‐23 May 2016
Hosted by the Bonsai Society of Southern Tasmania Inc in partnership with the Association of Australian Bonsai Clubs Ltd
All events are at Wrest Point unless indicated otherwise
FRIDAY 20 MAY 2016 11.00-‐12.00 REGISTRATION 12.00-‐16.30 VISIT to MONA -‐ Museum of Old & New Art -‐ ferry leaves from Wrest Point 17.00-‐19.00 REGISTRATION 19.00-‐21.00 WELCOME RECEPTION & EXHIBITION SATURDAY 21 MAY 2016 8.00-‐9.00 REGISTRATION 8.45-‐9.00 OPENING CEREMONY 9.00-‐9.30 WILL FLETCHER -‐ Welcome and introduction to the Tasmanian flora 9.30-‐10.30 ROBERT STEVEN -‐ Demonstration 10.30-‐11.00 Morning Tea 11.00-‐12.30 ROBERT STEVEN -‐ Demonstration 12.30-‐13.30 Lunch 13.30-‐15.00 GRANT BOWIE -‐ Demonstration, black pine 15.00-‐15.30 Afternoon Tea 15.30-‐16.50 QUENTIN VALENTINE -‐ Demonstration, Tasmanian native 16.50-‐17.00 DAY 1 RAFFLE DRAW 17.15-‐18.00 AABC GENERAL MEETING 19.30-‐23.00 CONVENTION DINNER SUNDAY, 22 MAY 2016 8.00-‐9.00 REGISTRATION 8.00-‐8.45 ROBERT STEVEN -‐ Exhibition tree critique 9.00-‐9.30 WILL FLETCHER -‐ Best Tasmanian trees for bonsai 9.30-‐10.30 TEAM CHALLENGE -‐ Three teams, three Tasmanian scenes, three saikei! 10.30-‐11.00 Morning Tea 11.00-‐12.30 CHRIS XEPAPAS -‐ Demonstration 12.30-‐13.30 Lunch 13.30-‐15.00 ROBERT STEVEN -‐ Demonstration 15.00-‐15.30 Afternoon Tea 15.30-‐16.00 ROBERT STEVEN -‐ Demonstration conclusion 16.00-‐16.30 ROBERT, GRANT & QUENTIN -‐ Reflections on Australian, Asian and World Bonsai 16.30-‐16.45 2017 HOST CLUB PRESENTATION 16.45-‐17.00 DAY 2 RAFFLE DRAW 17.00-‐17.15 TREE AUCTION 17.15-‐17.30 CONCLUDING COMMENTS & CONVENTION CLOSE MONDAY, 23 MAY 2016 9.00-‐12.30 MASTER CLASS with Robert Steven or WORKSHOP with Grant Bowie & Quentin Valentine (Morning Tea provided) 12.30-‐13.30 Lunch (not provided) 13.30-‐16.00 COACH TOUR -‐ Mt Wellington and Island Bonsai Nursery with Will Fletcher (afternoon tea provided) Program is correct at time of printing
The Convention is being held at Wrest Point, a hotel, convention centre and casino on the banks of the Derwent River in Sandy Bay, just 2.5 km from Hobart’s CBD. Wrest Point offers a choice of excellent accommodation options ranging from 3.5 to 5 star. Delegates staying at the hotel can take advantage of the many facilities on site including five restaurants and four bars, valet parking, 24-‐hour room service and reception, hairdresser, beauty salon, gift shop, gymnasium and an indoor pool.
Wrest Point is offering discounted room rates for Convention delegates. Requests for bookings need to be made directly to the hotel quoting the code BB#625424. Premier/Executive Suite (5*) $285/night Executive/Tower Room (4.5*) $179/night Water Edge Room (4*) $157/night Motor Inn Room (3.5*) $135/night There is ample free parking for all delegates at Wrest Point Wrest Point ` Telephone 1800 139 760 410 Sandy Bay Road, E-‐mail [email protected]
Sandy Bay, Tas, 7005 Website www. http://www.wrestpoint.com.au
The Bonsai Society of Southern Tasmania thanks the sponsors of the Convention
Further information about Southern Bonsai – Island Style can be found at www.bonsai-‐southern-‐tasmania.org.au/convention.php