Arts and Truffles Enrich Our South



Tamika Hogan

What’s more enjoyable than art and wine in the forest?
The tenth Margaret River Region Open Studios event will soon be upon us.
In September, a staggering 166 artists will be inviting the public to wander into their studios.
Gerry Reilly
They’ll be showcasing their paintings, sculpture, sketches, ceramics, glassware, textiles, woodwork, jewellery and photography at 137 studios from Busselton to Augusta.
Enthuses deputy chair Jacquie Happ: “For an event of this kind, managed by a volunteer committee, 10 years is a milestone indeed.”
Amanda Robertson
The event includes 13 artists who have been part of it since it started, and many more who return each year.
“There has been substantial growth in the quality of artworks,” she adds.
Lesley Meaney
Participating artists this year include Leon Pericles, Lauren Wilhelm, Rebecca Cool, Lesley Meaney, Ian Daniell, John Miller, Mary-Lynne Stratton, Rachel Coad, and Christian Fletcher.

This year’s event was launched by  arts minister David Templeman (pictured) to much fanfare, in the Aboriginal People’s Gallery at Parliament House.
(The evening’s musician was former Premier Carmen Lawrence‘s son David, regaling us with tunes on the guitar. David still has fond memories of roaming the building as a small lad when his mum was at the helm.)

A good turnout at the launch


The Margaret River Region Open Studios will be on from September 9 to 24.



And speaking of annual events enlivening our south and getting bigger and better each year, last weekend the 11th Truffle Kerfuffle Festival took place in Manjimup. With logging of our important southern native forests to end this year (hoorah!) the region is increasingly focusing on its gourmet produce and eco-tourism to lure visitors.

Of course, it doesn’t get much more “gourmet” than a truffle festival! Manjimup is, apparently, the most prolific truffle region in the Southern Hemisphere.

More than 1100 people flocked along to this year’s festival, gorging on more than 50 kilos of truffles.  Notable chefs, including Colin Fassnidge, Analiese Gregory, Jake Kellie, Melissa Palinkas, Ben Ing and Tony Howell  captivated foodies with masterclasses, tall truffle tales, and long table dining events.


“I’ve never seen so much truffle in my life,” Colin reflects. “Not only did I get to cook with as much truffle as humanly possible, but with incredible produce from the region – parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, pasture-raised chicken, marron, and more!”
If you want to head along next year, more details can be found at
Truffle Kerfuffle images: Rachel Claire