Walk through the arty side of Soldiers Hill

Way to go: Artists Judith Bryce and Diokno Pasilan ready for the Soldiers Hill Art Walk. The walk is free, takes half an hour, and showcases 18 venues. Picture: Kate Healy

Way to go: Artists Judith Bryce and Diokno Pasilan ready for the Soldiers Hill Art Walk. The walk is free, takes half an hour, and showcases 18 venues. Picture: Kate Healy

BALLARAT’s oldest suburb is throwing open its doors this weekend, inviting the world to take a special peek behind its Edwardian windows.

The Soldiers Hill Art Walk is a self-guided tour through the creative places – and minds – that make up the historic inner suburb.

Using a pamphlet and pavement markers as their guide, walkers can expect to find themselves in a former butcher’s shop full of striking industrial and urban photography, an antiques shop resplendent with edgy installations, or pubs brought to life with abstract paintings.

The third event by the emerging and self-funded Soldiers Hill Art Collective (SHAC), the walk will coincide with the Ballarat Heritage Weekend as a way of activating and renewing the suburb’s profile as an arts locale.

“SHAC got together as a group of like-minded artists. The common thread we all had is we all lived within the suburb of Soldiers Hill. Our main purpose is to link buildings and artists within Soldiers Hill,” photographer Scott Fredericks said.

“The objective is to get Soldiers Hill residents and out-of-town visitors to go for a walk and have a look at this suburb, which incidentally is Ballarat’s oldest suburb, so it makes sense to run it at the same time as Ballarat Heritage Weekend.”

The Soldiers Hill Art Walk will begin at Coach House Ale, next to the railway station, then moves up Lydiard Street North. The yellow pavement markers will then direct walkers to participating venues, with the pamphlet giving a map, artist and artwork details.

Typographic artist and SHAC member Helmut Stenzel is one of the exhibiting artists. His letter-press posters using old wooden letterpress type will be on view at Coach House Ale, with “tongue-in-cheek quotes” relating to beer, given the nature of the venue.

Digital printmaker Jimmy Pasakos will exhibit at new venue, The Tin Roof at the corner of Lydiard and Macarthur streets, with works representing buildings and historical areas in Soldiers Hill.

Drawer, painter and sculptor Lynne Makings said homes and gallery spaces such as the architecturally-designed Mary Damyon House in Armstrong Street would open their doors, paying homage to the likes of esteemed architect Russell Madin.

She said the walk would help reactivate the historic suburb of Soldiers Hill.

“Because it’s so close to the railway, it’s a big pickup where Melbourne people are buying,” she said.

All works included in the walk are for sale directly from the artists.

For more information on the walk, visit www.shacballarat.com.au

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