Past Exhibitions and Events

Arlo Mountford: Deep Revolt
Thursday 18 April 2019 - Monday 10 June 2019

Arlo Mountford’s practice brings large scale interactive installations paired with sound, video and animation to the gallery.

Arlo's work assaults our individual and collective memories of all things art history through the lens of the contemporary. Amusing, strange and laden with references, his films engage the darker side of our political and social histories through the construct of the art institution and the seminal works held within.

This survey exhibition brings together several video works stitching together a lesson in time, place, and art history and shows a gradual distillation and culmination of his ideas to date.

For the SAM iteration of this touring exhibition, two extra works will be included: The Folly and Clock.

Arlo's works are filled with historical references and are enjoyable for all ages. You can view a sample below:

See our Programs and Events page for the variety of workshops that have been inspired by Arlo's works.

Image: Arlo Mountford, Walking the Line (still), 2013, dual channel HD digital animation, 4 channel surround sound, 14:37 minutes. Edition of 5. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria for Melbourne Now. Image courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery Melbourne.

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) presents Arlo Mountford Deep Revolt, an exhibition developed by Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and toured nationally in partnership with Museums & Galleries of NSW, alongside additional key works by Arlo Mountford. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Heather Hesterman - Survey : Multiples
Thursday 18 April 2019 - Monday 10 June 2019

The exhibition survey: multiples, provides the viewer with a space to observe and navigate each object as part of a terrain, like points on a map. The objects each have individual meaning, yet collectively, they contribute to a deeper conversation about our human connection with the natural environment.

The work and collected objects in this cabinet draw on ideas and materials collected and developed over several years of Heather Hesterman’s practice. Collectively, the work investigates intersections of place, ecology, education and science.

Looking through this glass cabinet, we are brought closer into Hesterman’s world of seeing, which is often through an art/scientific lens. As viewers, we feel too, as if we are looking through the artist’s microscope or looking glass. The body of work before us shows a process of documenting, measuring, categorising and sifting through objects and issues both micro and macro.  Hesterman uses repetition, time, space and scale as continual visual cues and themes in her artistic practice and research to explore issues concerning both our inner and outer landscapes: the emotional and the geographic.  Works such as Warming, 2017, look at globally pertinent issues of climate change, whilst works like Waiting or ACT NOW, 2005, analyse the history and materiality of print media and the democratic model of disseminating information.

Hesterman’s training in fine art, education and landscape design combined with a passion for horticulture and an inherently active imagination, are the complementary perspectives in which she grounds her work.  In her process of making, she says ideas evolve, extend and shift along trajectories, “like the unseen paths of a sub-terrain rhizome, sending shoots up from nodes to break through to the surface”. 

Heather is a lecturer with the School of Art at RMIT and has exhibited locally and internationally with artworks held in both private and public collections in Australia, Germany and The Netherlands.

SAM Local
Saturday 2 March 2019 - Sunday 7 April 2019

SAM goes local, spotlighting artistic practice from the region.


SAM Local Spotlight is an opportunity for an artist to exhibit a body of work at SAM. It is an exciting, profile-raising exhibition for a regional artist. The aim of the show is to encourage, stimulate and promote local and regional cultural activities as part of SAM’s annual program. This is also great opportunity to gain professional experience working in an art museum context - working with SAM‘s team across curatorial, marketing and communications, registration, education and public programs, and much more.

Best of Friends

Best of Friends is an open access exhibition and all Friends of SAM are encouraged to submit work. The exhibition’s purpose is to open a window onto the creative practice of many artists working in a range of media in the Goulburn Valley. It‘s a great way to see what other people are making and gain insights into the regional arts sector.

Education Lab

Students, teachers and the Greater Shepparton Community are invited to participate in the 2019 SAM Education Lab with artist and landscape designer Heather Hesterman.

Hesterman’s art practice investigates the intersection of place, ecology, education and science via practices of installation and collaboration.

Click here for more details about the Education Lab.


Showcase is a unique opportunity for collectors and craft lovers to acquire work from established and emerging contemporary artists, as all pieces are available for purchase at the SAM Shop.

Showcase #21: Tracey Muirhead
19 February to 1 May 2019

Drawing Wall #34 - Steven Rhall
Friday 22 February 2019 - Wednesday 1 May 2019

Discover the meaning of the barely visible 'AT THIS SITE', the latest instalment by artist Steven Rhall. This unique drawing wall is a sign post that reflects on Australia's history and the absence of Aboriginal voice.

The SAM Drawing Wall is located in the Eastbank foyer, adjacent to the SAM entrance.

Steven Rhall is an interdisciplinary artist of the Taungurung People, whose practice spans photography, sculpture, and performance including public and private interventions responding both to cultural histories of place and ideas about their potential futures. He lives and works in Melbourne, Victoria. Rhall exhibits internationally, lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts, and is a current PhD candidate at Monash University on Birrarung-ga land (Melbourne, Australia).

For this particular commission, Rhall has painted the oversized text AT THIS SITE in a gloss white paint on a flat white, almost grey, finish. The effect is a phrase that is barely visible. The letters are ceiling to floor in height, and stretch the full length of the wall. The viewer is encouraged to ‘find’ the letters, and thus decipher the meaning underlying the text. The difficulty of doing so is intentional. Rhall’s choice of text and colour intentionally challenge ideas around what First Nations artwork should be, from dot paintings of central desert art, to the use of colour and form. These words and the way in which they have been treated reveals a desire to reflect on the way that Aboriginal and Colonial cultural histories and perspectives have, historically, not always been visible or aligned.

The term SITE has two meanings. It refers to the place that the work is situated. It also has a wider significance for the artist; as the site where the artist’s mother grew up as a young girl, on the banks of the Kaiela (Goulburn River) between Mooroopna and Shepparton – a place more familiarly known as The Flat’s, and where she was removed from her family by authorities.

Rhall’s reference to a specific location and event can also be read as emblematic of many such occurrences experienced by many Aboriginal communities.  Rhall gives voice to a part of Australia’s history, the absence of Aboriginal voice, a lived experience, and the ongoing presence of the past as something that we all share and can comprehend.

Black is Black - Tracy Muirhead
Tuesday 19 February 2019 - Wednesday 8 May 2019

South African born, Melbourne based ceramic artist Tracy Muirhead works predominantly with hand-building processes.

Her practice is informed by the intuitive nature of clay where stretched, torn, squished and pierced pieces are a result of a playful process of discovery and experimentation.

Sourcing black clay from the UK, white stoneware clay from Australia and terracotta from Africa, her work is influenced by the diverse global history of ceramics.  This body of work Black is Black explores Tracy Muirhead’s fascination with black.  Her experiments with white clay stoneware are transformed into bold, strong and powerful pieces through black glazes, gloss finishes, and exhibited alongside more raw pieces made from black clay.

“I resonate strongly with black.  I’m drawn to it over any colour – whether it is in clothing, furniture, art. I find black comforting and familiar.”

Tracy completed her Diploma of Arts (Ceramics) from Box Hill Tafe in 2010. She has exhibited across Australia and her work can be found in numerous private collections. She maintains a strong studio practice from her home in Donvale Victoria.

Tracy Muirhead on Instagram

Craft X SAM is a collaborative project in partnership with Craft.

2018 Indigenous Ceramic Award (ICA)
Saturday 25 August 2018 - Sunday 11 November 2018

The Shepparton Art Museum is pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Indigenous Ceramic Award - Yhonnie Scarce, for her work, Servant and Slave, 2018.

The winning work was selected for the way it speaks to difficult histories with a delicacy and resolved sophistication of language and material. In an extension of her previous work, Scarce rethinks the traditions of fine porcelain and tea. Her broken and intentionally fragmented porcelain cups appear inhabited or co-opted by a series of black glass forms. She invites us to reflect on past oppressions and lived experiences from her own family.

The $20,000 Indigenous Ceramic Award (ICA) is the most prestigious national award for Indigenous ceramics, showcasing new and exciting developments in the field. The acquisitive prize attracted ceramic works from Indigenous artists across Australia.

The winning work, and that of the finalists, will be on display at SAM from 25 August to 11 November 2018.

Judges shortlisted seven artists from a wide field of contemporary Indigenous artists working in the ceramics medium. Their approaches highlighted the rich and diverse ways that artists understand and extend the possibilities of the medium of ceramics within our contemporary context and times.

The 2018 finalists are:

  • Dean Cross (Worimi, ACT): Cross presents a site-specific work that is responsive to the architecture that confines it and will continue to respond directly to the situation it is presented in. Cross’ work seeks to challenge the Western canon of memorial statuary.
  • Jackie Wirramanda (Wergaia, VIC): Wirramanda’s work incorporates the colours of Lake Tyrell, a site which is both locally and culturally significant to the artist; it is a place referred to by the old people as one where the earth met the heavens. The work represents the Creation story of Larnankurrk (seven sisters) of Wergaia area.
  • Jan Goongaja Griffiths (Miriwoonga/Ngarinyman, WA): Goongaja Griffiths’ work presents scenes from her family history, including her father’s experience as an Indigenous stockman working for rations at Victoria River Station, NT in the 1940s. The work continues in her practice of creating small figurines.
  • Janet Fieldhouse (Torres Strait Islands, QLD): Fieldhouse, who is participating in her fifth Award, presents large scale sculptural forms, exploring themes such as the narrative of storytelling, abstract scarification, the beauty of landscapes, and sharing of knowledge.
  • Jock Puautjimi (Tiwi, NT): Puautjimi presents lidded and unlidded vase forms which continue to explore Tiwi graphic mark making. Some lids have symbolic sculptural pieces affixed. Puautijimi also presents representations of traditional pukamani poles.
  • Penny Evans (Gamilaraay/Gomeroi, NSW): Evans’s pieces work with Thanggall and Giinbay (large and small freshwater mussel) ceramic forms, utilising terracotta, black and white clays.
  • Yhonnie Scarce (Kokatha/Nukunu, SA): Scarce’s work combines her signature glass vessels with ceramic forms, making reference to the oppressive behaviours that occurred during Aboriginal domestic’s employment, and how Aboriginal women were kept; hidden, covered and imprisoned.

“We congratulate each of the shortlisted artists presented in the 2018 Indigenous Ceramic Award. The Judging panel were moved, delighted, and impressed with the calibre and diversity of approaches and artworks.

“Each work in its own way rewrites the language of ceramics inflected through a personal cultural specificity. Some of the works have a close engagement with Country, others with post-colonial narratives, while others celebrate deep memory of people, culture and place,” said the Judging Panel.

It’s the sixth in the series of biennial Indigenous Ceramics Awards which have been held at SAM since 2007.

Director, Shepparton Art Museum, Dr Rebecca Coates, said the Award supports Indigenous artists to pursue aspirational projects in the medium, and provides a national platform to share personal, historical and deep cultural learnings from artist and Country.

“The Award celebrates and supports the rich and diverse use of the ceramic medium by Indigenous artists and acknowledges the special industry of ceramic art. Each shortlisted artist has presented a substantial body of new work for display,” Dr Coates said.

The judges for the 2018 ICA Award were Stephen Gilchrist, Associate Lecturer of Indigenous Art, University of Sydney; Genevieve Grieves, Manager, First Peoples Department at Museums Victoria; and Dr Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum.

The 2018 ICA’s Project Curator is Belinda Briggs, Shepparton Art Museum’s Community Engagement Officer – Indigenous, working with Anna Briers, Curator, SAM.

To assist the artists to create their dynamic body of work, the seven finalists received a development fee to help support the production builds on SAM’s significant holdings of Indigenous ceramics.

Previous Awards winners include Kaiela Arts artists, Jack Anselmi and Cynthia Hardie in 2016; Bankstown Koori Elders Group in 2014; Janet Fieldhouse in 2011 and 2007; and Danie Mellor in 2009.

The 2018 ICA is supported by Principal Partners, Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation and Mr Allan Myers AC QC, and the University of Melbourne (Learning and Engagement Partner).

Image: Sean Miller, Songlines in the Sky, 2016 (detail). Shepparton Art Museum Collection © the artist. Photo: Christian Capurro.

Subject / Object
Saturday 25 August 2018 - Sunday 11 November 2018

Developed by Shepparton Art Museum in partnership with Bendigo Art Gallery and La Trobe Art Institute, artist Damon Moon presents a series of exhibitions that respond to these unique Victorian regional collections and spaces. Moon has selected collections of vessels or pots that are specific to each institution, history and context. Using slip cast multiples and repetitive forms, Moon explores the subtle shifts in technique and materiality between his work and the selected ceramics. He offers a form of object-based conversation between his own ceramics works and works from each Collection selected to reflect on each place’s history of art and industry. These inspirations include the utilitarian vessels of early Chinese migrants; domestic-ware made by Bendigo Pottery; and a series of works selected to respond to a building’s architecture.

An exhibition developed by Shepparton Art Museum in partnership with Bendigo Art Gallery and La Trobe Art Institute. Subject / Object is a feature project of Artlands Victoria. Artlands Victoria, Australia’s largest regional arts gathering will be in the City of Greater Bendigo and Mount Alexander Shire from 10 – 14 October, 2018.

Image: Damon Moon, Untitled blanks from the Subject/Object project, 2018, slip cast ceramic, dimensions variable. Courtesy and © the artist. Photo: Andre Castellucci. 

Drawing Wall #32: Sadie Chandler
Saturday 11 August 2018 - Wednesday 24 October 2018

Sadie Chandler’s practice spans painting, wallpaper and occasionally object making. Her work has a cartoon-like quality characterised by graphic outlines and a figurative style that avoids any shading or traditional perspective.

Her subject matter ranges from urban cityscapes to pin-up girls, portraiture and landscapes. Rendered through economical gestures, her images have a sense of immediacy that is prioritised over realism. This is echoed through her preference for DIY processes such as paste-ups and ink on paper.

In Arcade (2017-18), a series of busts, objects and ceramic vessels are displayed on Greek columns directly referencing art history. Based on studies of Classical sculptures in the famous French museum the Louvre, Paris, some of the familiar figures include: The Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch (c.100-130 BC) and The Borghese Gladiator signed by Agasias of Ephesus (c.100 BC). These are contrasted with contemporary interpretations of ancient statues such as Damien Hirst’s copy of a roman foot from Remnants of Apollo (2012). Two ceramic pots by Ernabella artists Alison Milyika Carroll and Shauna Colin also feature with Ngayuku Walka (2014) and Tali (2014) from the SAM Collection.

Chandler is compelled by the constant circulation and reproduction of existing images, and the enduring influence of art history on the construction of new ones.

Sadie Chandler has held a number of solo exhibitions across Australia since the late ‘90s. Recent significant group exhibitions include: Unfinished Business, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2017); Constellations – A Large Number of Small Drawings, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne (2012); Shilo, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University, Melbourne (2009); Soft Sculpture, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2009); I Walk the Line – New Australian Drawing, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2009). Her work is held in a number of collections Australia wide including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Bank, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; and RMIT University, Melbourne.

Image: Sadie Chandler, Arcade, 2017-2018 ink on paper

Showcase #19: Takeawei
Friday 10 August 2018 - Wednesday 21 November 2018

Chela Moonflower Edmunds creates alluring, functional ceramics under the moniker Takeawei from her studio in Torquay, regional Victoria.

Formerly trained as a textile designer, Edmunds draws on her background in fashion to explore the application of colour and pattern on stoneware platters, plates and vessels. Working primarily in a pastel palette, her works reveal subtle gradations of mint, lavender and muted pinks applied in a gestural manner that is amplified through the alchemy of the firing process. Her wheel thrown forms with their aqueous glazes pervade a watery quality, evocative of the coastal environment where she is based.

Chela Edmunds has been profiled in numerous online and magazine publications including the Design Files, Sight Unseen and the Journal of Australian Ceramics. Recent selected group exhibitions include the Victorian Craft Awards, Craft, Melbourne (2016); Dress Up – Namaste, Craft, Melbourne (2015); and 1-OK Club, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2015).

Showcase #18: Alterfact
Friday 4 May 2018 - Wednesday 8 August 2018

Alterfact's candy coloured ensemble of teapots, milk jugs and drinking vessels reflects the intersection of new technologies with traditional ceramic techniques. Produced through digital printing processes, plastic clay the consistency of toothpaste is finely layered to produce three dimensional forms. Various components are then adjoined and finished, with some finer details such as handles or lids being hand built using raku clay before firing.

Exploring the boundaries between function and aesthetics, art and craft, the quirky idiosyncratic forms in Teapot Menagerie vary in their use value. Despite their industrial construction, the objects refuse to be categorised. Resisting their traditional templates they are neither functional design nor purely aesthetic object.

They ask how functional an object built for function needs to be, or if it can occupy this liminal space between design and art.  

Alterfact is an experimental design studio created by Lucile Sciallano and Ben Landau in 2014. Since graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2013, the artists have collaborated on various projects in different mediums, culminating in the creation of Alterfact Studio. The studio conducts critical research with materials and data translated through the manufacture of utilitarian and aesthetic objects. Alterfact’s practice is currently focused on the use of 3D printing in clay as a small batch manufacturing process that pushes the boundaries of this traditionally plastic-based medium. Teapot Menagerie  was exhibited as part of Melbourne Design Week, 2017. Works from this series are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and in private collections.

SAM's Showcase presents exhibitions of new work by contemporary ceramicists in the glass display cabinet of the art museum's entry. Showcase is a unique opportunity for collectors and craft lovers to acquire work from established and emerging contemporary artists, as all pieces are available for purchase at the SAM shop.

Image: Alterfact, Teapot Menagerie, 2017, 3D printed from Southern Ice Porcelain with coloured stains. Image courtesy Alterfact. Photo: Ben Landau.

Drawing Wall #31: David Harley
Saturday 28 April 2018 - Wednesday 1 August 2018

Since the mid to late 90’s, David Harley has incorporated digital technologies and large format printing to produce his expanded ‘free-form’ abstract paintings. His practise draws on the traditions of Abstract Expressionism —a post-World War II painting movement that favoured abstract gestures over realistic representations of the world, used to convey emotive or universal themes.

Harley employs artistic techniques that evolved from our networked, digital age. Exchanging oil paints and canvas with a computer mouse and screen, he uses computer graphics software such as Photoshop, Blender and After Effects as artistic tools. His expressive approach to colour and line is then up-scaled and translated through digital printing processes onto adhesive wallpaper where the Drawing Wall becomes re-skinned. Sections of the work have been activated as live, digital abstractions, re-animated by motion graphics that generate implied three dimensional forms on two dimensional screens. The combination of digital media and art history allows Harley to explore space and materiality in new ways, while re-inventing tradition. 

Throughout his career, Harley has used classical music for inspiration. His painterly gestures conjure up the oscillating pitch and dynamic shifts of music, resembling a kind of graphic notation that might be read as a score. This is further amplified by the format of the Drawing Wall space with its long corridor that creates a kind of continuum. This said however, the linear progression usually implied by a musical piece instead folds and implodes into itself, as Harley’s expressive scrawl disrupts the progression of time. Likewise, with the introduction of moving paintings displayed on LCD screens, the artist moves beyond the facade of the two dimensional picture plane into three dimensional virtual terrain. 

David Harley has held over 25 solo exhibitions in both private and institutional gallery spaces. In 2015, he was awarded a practice-led PhD from the School of Art, Faculty of VCA&MCM (The University of Melbourne).  He has held sessional lecturing appointments at VCA, RMIT, Monash and VU. Harley has undertaken various artist residencies in Australia and Germany, at the VCA and RMIT University, Melbourne; and two at AtelierFrankfurt in Frankfurt Am Main. Harley has completed a series of large scaled commissioned artworks for buildings in Australia and Germany, including for the NAB and Deakin University in Melbourne. He is currently represented by Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne. The artist would like to acknowledge the support of SAM staff, Professors Kate Buchanan and Andy Bennett, Simone Slee, Coco Harley and Judith Harley.

Image: David Harley. Courtesy Charles Nodrum Gallery © the artist.

SAM Education Lab 
Saturday 31 March 2018 - Sunday 13 May 2018

SAM’s Education Lab will provide a diverse range of students and teachers (both primary and secondary) the opportunity to work directly with an artist and create an immersive installation within SAM’s exhibition spaces. Directed at school kids of all ages, SAM’s Education Lab will cater to a wide demographic. 

The Education Lab will be an evolving exhibition process that will see a range of schools and educational groups work with an artist to transform the gallery space on a weekly basis. Students' work will remain in the gallery space over six weeks, providing them with the opportunity to see their work displayed in the galleries in an open lab-style mode of display. 

Masato Takasaka will be the first practicing artist to take up residency in the Education Lab for six weeks from March 31 – May 13, 2018. 

Masato will be present and working in the gallery for two days a week for the duration of the SAM Local / Education Laboratory exhibition period. He is a Melbourne based contemporary visual artist, who likes to think about his studio practice in musical terms, describing his aesthetic as an iPod Shuffle on endless repeat: playing the greatest hits of 20th century avant-garde art, with references to Constructivism, Dada, Pop and Minimalism alongside the back catalogue of his own greatest hits. 

Primarily working with found objects and materials to construct his gallery-based installations, art and design history collide in Takasaka’s mini-cities. Described as “techno-contemporary”, the exuberant chaos of his sculptural practice involves a process of working and re-working everyday materials in inventive ways to make something new.

In the final week students will have a chance to see their work with Masato Takasaka accumulate in an exciting large scale installation.

Join us for the closing party of SAM’s inaugural Education Lab on Monday 7 May, 6 to 8pm. RSVP essential, by Friday 27 April:

Masato’s artwork has featured in a range of museum exhibitions such as TarraWarra Biennial 2016: Endless Circulation, TarraWarra Museum of Art and Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013), Roppongi Crossing 2013: OUT OF DOUBT, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2013), and Reinventing the Wheel: the Readymade Century, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2013).

Schools are encouraged to book their groups in early to participate in this exciting artmaking and exhibition opportunity. Contact SAM Visual Arts Educator, Catherine Read to discuss booking in your school to participate. 

Why a Lab?

After extensive consultation, SAM is shifting our education focus to an inclusive project that enables students to be involved in a curatorial process. The decision to move from a VCE focused exhibition to an Education Laboratory approach considered a number of key influencing factors: 

•    SAM now offers a range of specifically targeted VCE and senior secondary educational opportunities. The change in direction for our Education programming has seen a major re-focus on providing opportunities for senior secondary students to be involved with SAM, for instance the SAM Scholars program and VCE Exam preparation workshops are new additions to opportunities SAM provides for the senior secondary students in our region.
•    SAM Education wants to make this opportunity available to many students of all ages. This is an opportunity that is inclusive for primary school students, secondary school students and the broader educational community.

•    Working directly with an artist is inspiring and exciting. SAM Education wants to provide the opportunity for regional students to work directly with a practicing artist to experience and understand firsthand the artist’s studio processes and artistic practice.

•    SAM is Local and our SAM Local Friends exhibition will be exhibited alongside the Education Laboratory project. VCE students with exemplary work are encouraged to become a friend of SAM and exhibit their artwork in our Friends of SAM show. 

•    In response to New SAM’s Education and Community opportunities, which will include an Artist in Residence, further practical workshops and an education and community gallery space, an Education Laboratory project is the perfect opportunity to trial new ways of engaging with the community of students and educators within our region. 

For further enquires and bookings please email SAM Visual Art Educator, Catherine Read on


Image: ANOTHER PROPOSITIONAL MODEL FOR THE EVERYTHING ALWAYS ALREADYMADE WANNABE STUDIO MASATOTECTURES MUSEUM OF FOUND REFRACTIONS 1994-2016 (r)eternal return to productopia-almost everything all at once, twice three times (in four parts…TWMA BIENNIAL: ENDLESS CIRCULATION 2016 remix), 2016. Mixed media, foam-core, perspex sheet found objects , mdf composition board, light box. installation view Tarrawarra Biennial 2016: Endless Circulation. Photo: Andrew Curtis.