Upcoming events

Koala Action Day, NOW Saturday 6 February 2021

Valla Reserve (where the markets are)   FREE!

VBCA and Nambucca Valley Council are organising a Koala Action Day It’s free and there’s music, a free sausage sizzle and much more.
Koalas need our help after these catastrophic bushfires. Help us plant a koala food tree garden in the reserve. Come and find out about these unique creatures and meet a trained koala sniffer dog.
There will be workshops, information stands by the Great Koala National Park, Landcare and other NGOs.

There is also a literary competition prose and poetry which I am judging.

At 10.00 AM the winning entries in the VBCA Poetry and Short Story Competition will be announced and winners will receive their cash prizes at the market.
Open to Nambucca Valley LGA residents only.

One entry per person. Maximum 500 words.
Entries close 31 Dec. 2020.

Under 12 years – $75    12 to 18 years – $100
Open Poetry – $200       Open Prose – $250

Please send your entry to: Secretary, VBCA traceysuter@bigpond.com

Launch: Planet in Peril: Photography, Art and Poetry. Sat, Jan 18

The reading now starts 4 for 4.30 details on eventbrite, The Garden Lounge, 573 King Street. I will be in Sydney for the launch of this international ecopoetry anthology, reading with Anne Casey and Geoff Callard.

The Overwintering Project

Opens Dec 6 to Feb 8 Coffs Regional Gallery

Overwintering, some of the artist’s books foreground

My job was to write poems about the migrant birds to inspire artists who created beautiful artists’ books

Saturday Nov 30, 9am Large scale linocut prints were steamroller printed in the Castle Street Carpark (behind Coffs Central) by students.

Friday Dec 6, 6pm. The Overwintering Project Opening Night, Coffs Regional Gallery.

Nexus Gallery, Bellingen

Four local artists, Julia Morell, Bronwyn Rodden, Chris Wilson and John Bennett exhibit paintings, photographs, 3D sculptures and a video. They offer unique examples of the Still Life genre in parallel with the region’s main visual art event of the year, Still: National Still Life Award at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. These works didn’t make it into Still (which had over 700 entries), yet they celebrate the rich depth of the genre and include approaches which explore assemblage, the use of native inks and an ecological critique re-purposing the genre itself.

My work is: Natura Morta ~ Still Life ~ five creeks in Gumbaynggirr country – Single Channel video with printed inventory.

20th Century still life master Georgio Morandi famously said: ‘I believe that nothing can be more abstract, more unreal, than what we actually see.’ But at what point do we need the invisible to become visible? We can no longer take the air we breathe or water we drink for granted anymore.

Glass usually magnifies, reflects and refracts, but Morandi painted bottles matte or poured in pigment to eliminate reflection. Yet, in the midst of an evolving crisis, the bottles I have filmed may contain useful information. Water is life and the water in the bottles was laboratory tested.

Art is a valuable tool for thinking and feeling, and can inform and artists as citizens have responsibilities.

Poetry to commemorate the centenary of Armistice,
Nov 9, Coffs Library

The poetry of WW1 is a treasure trove of literature that covers all aspects of the war, from the optimism of Empire to the bravery of young men, to the reality of trench warfare.

This is an opportunity for people to bring along and read their favourite WW1 poem.

Launch of ‘To End All Wars’

27 October 3pm, The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Road,
Eds, Dael Allison, Anna Couani, Kit Kelen, Les Wicks, Puncher & Wattmann, 2018.

Celebrate World Poetry Day at Coffs Regional Museum.

I will be in conversation with Geoff about his life in sport and art, his exhibition, and reflect on the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Then we will be joined by some local poetic voices as they perform short renditions on the theme of the sea. Light refreshments will be served.  21 March 5:30pm A free event but bookings are requested.

Two illustrated talks on the history of the Still Life genre

Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

In these illustrated talks, John gives an entertaining account of the multifaceted nature of the still life genre, from Elizabeth Cummings to Coorte, Morandi to Magritte, Andy Warhol to Zurbarán and the current show. Manet and Mattisse were mesmerised by the Dutch masters who developed the still life genre in a particular cultural setting which we have inherited. Discover the genre’s possibilities: from meditation, visual spectacle, fierce gaze, playful techniques to political commentary and more.

Talk 1 ~ Peeling the Lemon

Tues 12 December: 10:30 am – 11:30 am    Details here

Talk 2  ~ Glass – Art & Reflection

Thu. 14 December: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

First Light – From Eos to Helios  

Eos exhibition Talk   Thu. 10 August  6:00 pm Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. Free

Eos shared – Morning tea  Sat. 12 August 10:30 am – 11:30  Free
Share your experiences of first light

And this Sunday August 13 Not So Solitary Arts in the Garden afternoon at Coffs Harbour Regional Museum from 12-4pm Free

I have been commissioned to write a poem and Wyn has been commissioned to make a linocut to commemorate Captain Cook passing by. I will join other voices in celebrating the rich history and present wonders of the area now known as the Solitary Islands Marine Park. With a Blues band, sausage sizzle, afternoon teas and more. Rescheduled from a very wet Sunday in May.

Opening July 7 Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

First Light – From Eos to Helios  

Sunday morning, Valla_wb

My photographs, video and poetry 

Image cover of Regional Gallery~wb

John Bennett, Jenni Catt & Angela Tay

7 July – 12 August 2017​
Three artists who each experiment with process and technique to explore our connections with nature.  For poet and photographer John Bennett, the focus is Eos, the half-hour before sunrise when light starts to overwhelm the gaps between the stars and gives us some sense of our ancestors’ experiences and aesthetic joy. For Angela Tay, it is the way ebbing tides surge and retreat, creating ever-changing dramas. Experimenting with ink and watercolours on tissue-thin paper, along with video and paper sculpture, her work is as unpredictable as what we experience on the beach. For Jenni Catt, meditating on the life force while she paints loosely – almost ritualistically – in watercolours, opens up questions of absence, presence and the soul of animals.
SUNDAY AUG 13  – Free event at Regional Museum Coffs

I have been commissioned to write a poem and Wyn has been commissioned to make a linocut for Not so Solitary – they were going to be unveiled Sunday 14 May  – Rain postponed –

Plus a blues and and Uncle Mark Flanders on didge – article by Ute and with short video here.

Not so Solitary museum day

I have been commissioned to write a poem and Wyn has been commissioned to make a linocut. The Solitary Islands Marine Park oral history project adds to its archive of images, poetry and song  – in association with the travelling exhibition – East Coast Encounter from The Australian National Maritime Museum, about Captain Cook’s visit. This shared story is re-imagined here by Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, to encourage cultural dialogue and promote reconciliatory understanding.

Broken Dreams 3#, Michael Cook
Broken Dreams 3#, Michael Cook

Wed 14th Sept 5:45pm Coffs Library – Nature Poetry

The new travelling show Australian Inspiration reveals how the unique beauty of Australia’s native flora and fauna has long inspired artists and designers – but also poets. I will be giving a taste of  poetry inspired by Australian native flora and fauna, including my own. Free but book here. Hear for yourself.
See for yourself, Australian inspiration


I am giving Haiku workshops at the Bellingen Turtle Festival, Sunday Oct 2

Turtle festival, 2016


Eos – an aesthetic opportunity, talk

Sunday 14 August, 3.30pm Nexus gallery Bellingen, free

Eos - Sunday Bites talk flyer Sunday Aug 14

I will be expanding on February’s ABC Radio National documentary on his work, ‘Poetry at First Light’. Aesthetics and the embodied mind, tools and machines encountering the natural environment.

Eos 1, July 16

Don’t forget 10-13 June, 2016 – the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival –

Eos ~ Earshot, ABC Radio National

Tuesday 16th February, 2016 at 11am – repeated on the following Saturday at 5pm.
Producer Gretchen Miller stayed with us to record my thoughts and poetry.

02 15_Jagun_Oyster Creek1

Tern Up Sawtell

Poetry reading (and sand art) Sat Nov 14 Sawtell Art Gallery

LT invitation front DL_w LT Invitation back DL_w

The reading was a great success:

Tern Up opening group

Illustrated  Talk – Sunday May 10

Natural Aesthetics, free talk by John Bennett, May 10, Nexus

Naked Lunch Flyer_w
Will be an event not to miss.

Still life – the art and poetry
Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery,
 Wednesday 3 December 10.30am – 11.30am

John Bennett will present a brief history of the still life genre with poems past and contemporary that work from still life and challenge the eye with the ear.

Dr John Bennett is an award winning poet and photographer who is currently writing a book on aesthetics. He will present poems from the past exploring the genre and poems he will write specially for this event inspired by one or more entries in this year’s Eutick Memorial Still Life Award.

John will announce the winners of the Still Life poetry competition and share these poems with the audience. The audience are invited to take an active role and recite any poems they have written following John’s presentation.

– See more at: http://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/our-community/facilities-parks-and-places/regional-gallery/Pages/Education%20and%20Public%20Programs.aspx#sthash.QJIlzfLu.dpuf



The Delicate Trace – photography by John Bennett & Julia Morrell

Opening night is Saturday March 1st at 6.00pm through to Saturday April 5th, Matilda Street Gallery, Macksville.The Precious Trace looks at how these two photographers present their photography beyond the traditional frame.
John Bennett & Julia Morrell - The Precious Trace front

Saltwater/Freshwater, Kempsey, Australia Day

The writers I worked with in the Guunumba project will be performing in the yurt.

Nexus Pop up Gallery , Bellingen Butter Factory, Dec 1 – 31st
Wyn’s prints and paintings, my photographs

Landscapades Exhibition @ Blue Mountains Heritage Centre (NPWS),
End of Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath, Launch 2:30 Sunday 6th Oct

Bellingen Arts Week, 20 – 28 September

I will be holding a haiku workshop, giving a poetry reading at the Headland cafe, Valla Beach and exhibiting here at Blue Poles and in Bellingen.

Solitary Islands launch, Saturday 7 September, Coffs Regional Art Gallery

This follows a successful multimedia presentation of the initial part of this exciting oral history project at the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival –  with new material and the storytellers themselves, music, video, Bronweyn Rodden’s linocut prints and poetry.

The Art of Nature – Nature of Art – the modern

Sat May 11 10.30am Coffs Regional Art Gallery

This illustrated talk takes a leisurely look at key modern representations of nature from the Pre Raphaelites to Cezanne to Damien Hirst, Andy Goldsworthy and the Papunya revolution of contemporary Aboriginal art. Part one of the Art of Nature given in March was a rapid tour of how nature slowly became important in Western art – this is Part 2.
John will close the performance with a reading of poetry stitched to local images.

von Guerard
Eugene von Guerard, View of Moroit or Tower Hill, Vic, 1855.

His paintings are considered so accurate that this painting has been recently used in the revegetation of the area.

Andy Goldsworthy works with ephemeral phenomena like shadows, ice, leaves as well as stone.

Andy Goldsworthy ice

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