The word 'Art' is most commonly associated with pieces of work in a gallery or museum, whether it’s a painting from the Renaissance or a modern sculpture. However, there is so much more to art than what you see displayed in galleries.

The truth is, without being aware of it, we are surrounded by art and use it on a continual basis. Most people don’t realize how much of a role art plays in our lives and just how much we rely on art in all of its forms in our everyday lives.

The Joy of Art

You may be wondering why all of these things are so important to our daily lives and that you could probably survive just fine with essential items that were non-artistic. That is just the reason why art is so valuable! While art may not be vital to fulfill our basic needs, it does make life joyful. When you look at a painting or poster you’ve chosen to hang on your living room wall, you feel happy. The sculpture or figurines on the kitchen windowsill create a sense of joy. These varieties of art forms that we are surrounded by all come together to create the atmosphere that we want to live in.

Art and Music

The importance of art in our daily lives is very similar to that of music. Just like art, music can make life extremely joyful and can have a huge effect on our mood. In the workplace in particular, music is something that can help people set the mood for what they are about to do. If you have something hard or difficult to work on or are feeling tired, an energetic song will likely wake you up and add some enthusiasm to the situation. Similarly, when stress is high, many people find that relaxing to calming music is something that eases the mind.

Inspirational Art

Inspirational art, such as posters are often found in work spaces to encourage employees to continue being productive. There is now an increasing amount of companies using art in their offices, as well as playing background music, as it is proven to actually work in making end results far better quality. There may be a piece of art that you own that you personally find motivational. Perhaps a print with a positive affirmation or quote beautifully scrolled on it or a painting of a picturesque scene of where you aim to travel to one day.


1. Creates Mood
2. Adds Personal Character to the Home
3. Makes Memories
4. Provides a Colour Palette
5. Makes a Room Feel Finished
6. Inspires and Fosters Creativity
7. Conversation Starter
8. Supports Artists
9. It is an Investment
10. Creates a Livable Environment
11. Keeps the Brain Active
12. Relaxation
13. Curating Your Own Gallery is Fun!

Executive Committee

Alice Giles(Artistic Director)

Alice Giles is the extraordinary local Artistic Director of the 12th World Harp Congress. Here are her ‘vital statistics’: First Prize winner of the 8th Israel International Harp Contest; international recital soloist including London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd Street 'Y', Merkin Hall; gives masterclasses word-wide; foremost interpreter of Berio Sequenza II; Director of the Kioloa Summer Course and the Seven Harp Ensemble.

Genevieve Lang Huppert (Artists, Concerts, Volunteers)

Genevieve has always found herself in the right place at the right time. Formative years were spent in playing youth orchestras, sailing tall ships, and writing letters. These days she runs an opera company, plays the harp, and looks for every opportunity to share the joy of music making with audiences and performers alike. Come July, she’ll be bouncing a one-month old on her hip as she plays her part in the World Harp Congress.

Mary Doumany (Sponsorship and Promotion)

After learning her basics, Mary branched into jazz, improvisation and general artistic mayhem. She is now a cross-arts practitioner known as a composer, jazz harpist and singer, and is earning a reputation as a creator of innovative works that encompass music, text and visuals, some of which have been acquired the Australian National Gallery, Canberra. Mary loves to inspire others to transcend self-imposed boundaries, whether in art practice or appreciation

Joanne Newth

Chiefly a music enthusiast, Joanne works as Administrator for New Zealand Kindergartens, and secretary of the Hutt City Brass Band. Proud mum of two musicians (one of whom is, naturally, a harpist) Joanne has bravely taken up the saxophone in later life. More bravely still, it’s her other daughter who’d teaching her! Joanne loves gardening, crafts and… music!

Carolyn Mills – Focus on Youth

Carolyn settled a long way from home in 1989 as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s principal harpist. Given the proximity to Antarctica, she thought a performance there was in order, and subsequently performed on six more continents. A champion of new works for harp, published author and passionate teacher, Carolyn loves living by the sea and experiencing NZ’s outdoor joys.

Natalie Wong – Production (Artist liaison & operations)

Natalie has multiple mild superpowers. Along with the harp, she also plays piano, flute, violin, and has also tried clarinet, soprano sax and Guzheng. She loves learning new things, as well as composing for harp and small ensembles. Currently freelancing with orchestras and teaching, Natalie also gets blessedly excited about administrative tasks and making spreadsheets!

Maryanne Tucker – Production (Harp loans & volunteer assistant)

By day, Maryanne is an enthusiastic Human Resources professional at the beginning of her career. By night, her native habitat is a concert audience, behind her harp at home or with friends. Indecisive but ambitious, she did three degrees at Sydney Uni simultaneously: one in harp, one in German, and one in Psychology. Highlights of her early years included playing with AYO in the Opera House and travelling to Germany to study language. On weekends, she can be found at home, trying to sing Mozart and bake choux pastry.

Liena Lacey – Production (Operations)

Gypsy, social entrepreneur with a commerce degree, and harpist, Liena is co-founder of Harp Centre Australia, and currently General Manager and Festival Producer of the Four Winds Festival on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. A graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium and ANU School of Music, these days she dabbles in 17th century harp, loves crocheting and, having spent time in Italy, good gelati.

Dr Frances Thiele – Academic Coordinator

Frances started with a childhood obsession for three ‘H’s – harp, horses, and history. She’s realised all three of these, with a PhD in 16th century English prophecy, magic and divination; a teaching degree allowing her to teach classroom music and harp; and has recently returned to riding horses after several years of child-wrangling.

Kristina Johnson – Web and Design

Kristina has an extreme harp addiction, with a particular liking for French and Baroque works for harp. During the daytime she works as a 3D animator and visualisation artist. At nighttime she can sometimes be found in the orchestra pit as principal harpist for Melbourne Opera, or street skating if the weather is fine.

Gillian Weiss - Local harp maker's liaison

Gillian has been making harps for 17 years in all shapes and sizes from 19 to 40 strings, working mostly in Australian timbers. She is mostly self-taught but a 2002 Churchill Fellowship enabled her to spend several months visiting and/or working with harp makers in Europe, and North America – a life changing experience!

State Representatives
Jill Attkinson & Lucy Reeves (QLD) Liz Muller (NSW)
Jacinta Dennett (VIC) Judy Morris (TAS)
Gillian Weiss & Di Forrester (SA) Christine Jones (WA)
Brynmor Williams & Anna Dunwoodie (NZ) Louise Johnson – Orchestral Liaison
Andy Rigby – Programming Advisor

How to Arrange Art

  • "People have a tendency to hang art too high," says Linda Crisolo, director of merchandising. "The center of the image should be at eye level." In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be lower. A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.
  • A common problem when hanging artwork above a sofa or sideboard is that it's not in scale. Having pieces that are too small or too large will make the whole arrangement look strange. "Make sure artwork is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or sideboard," Crisolo says. "For example, a 9-foot-long sofa should have a 6-foot-wide expanse of art above it."
  • In the bedroom, choose personal art, such as family photographs or your own photography. If you're arranging the pieces in groupings, Crisolo recommends sticking with one color theme, either all black-and-white or all color photographs.
  • "Above a mantel or fireplace is the perfect place to layer pieces," Crisolo says. "A house looks like a home when you can see layers of artwork and accessories."
  • In the kitchen, hang art in a place where it won't get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art above an office space, near the dining table, or above open counter space. Crisolo also recommends avoiding kitchen art in the kitchen. "I tend to shy away from pictures of asparagus in the kitchen," she says. "Vintage art with traditional frames works in a traditional kitchen. In a modern kitchen, try bright colors with stainless-steel frames."
  • A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. All-white frames and mats unify this grouping. "I like to use the same frames to create homogeny," says Crisolo.
  • When deciding where to hang images in your home, consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room. "Use small pieces between windows and doors," Crisolo says. "If small items are in a space too large, the pieces look lost. With larger pieces, allow room for people to step back and admire the work."
  • Artwork collaborates with other accessories and decor to create a visual story. Make sure images, moldings, and shelves all work together. "Hang artwork in front of a bookcase, on the face of the shelf," Crisolo says. "The shelves and ledges become part of a decorating story."
  • Make sure your arrangement matches your decorating style. "Symmetrical arrangements are more traditional or formal. Asymmetrical is modern," Crisolo says. "Also look at the image and style of the frame. For cottage-style rooms, stick with vintage images or botanicals. In modern rooms, choose large and abstract pieces."