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He’s Here! The Launch of Larry’s Big Brother

Director of the Shepparton Art Gallery Leanne Willis is delighted to announce that Larry’s big brother, ‘Louis’, will be unveiled as part of the SheppARTon Festival on Saturday 11 March.

Artist Pamela Irving, who donated the original Larry to the Shepparton Art Gallery, has created this new sculpture after Larry was destroyed by vandals in May 2005.

“The public appeal to raise funds for Larry, as well as the colouring competition held through the gallery, showed just how much people loved Larry and how disappointing it was to see him destroyed,” says Ms Willis.

“We are inviting everyone to come to the launch to welcome Louis and to thank those community members who donated money to have him rebuilt,” says Ms Willis.

Louis is 2.6 metres high, 3.5 metres long and 1.6 metres wide, and is built around a steel frame using thick concrete covered in Italian Bisazza glass.

The launch will take place on the Eastbank Centre lawn at 1.30pm on Saturday 11 March.

Free Events During Week Two of SheppARTon Festival

With the SheppARTon Festival now in full swing, Chairperson Adam Furphy reminds everyone that there are some great events that are free!

“This year we’ve been able to incorporate some fantastic free exhibitions and events into the program,” says Mr Furphy.

“These free events are a great way for people who may not be that interested in art to get along and have a look at some of the great local and national talent we have,” he says.

Free events include:

  • ‘Live at the Park’

    7.00pm to 11.00pm Friday 10 March, S-Scape Skate Park, Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton
    Be entertained by the sound of a range of bands and DJs, including some local bands.

  • ‘Art in the Park’
    11.00am to 4.00pm Saturday 11 March, Queens Gardens, Welsford Street, Shepparton
    Queens Gardens will be full of art, music and artists. A chance to get up close and personal with ‘the makers’.
  • ‘Launch of Larry’s brother’
    1.30pm Saturday 11 March, Eastbank Centre Lawn, 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton
    Larry’s big brother Louis will be launched, thanks to the many community members who donated money.
  • ‘Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’
    7.00pm Sunday 12 March at Queens Gardens, Welsford Street, Shepparton
    Families will gather together on picnic rugs to enjoy the original musical starring Gene Wilder.


And Everyone Was An Optimist

The Shepparton Art Gallery, in conjunction with the SheppARTon Festival, is proud to present, And everyone was an optimist, an exhibition of artworks by Kate Durham.

Ms Durham’s artwork probes deeply into the experience of refugees in detainment camps and in particular has investigated the sinking of the SIEV X boat on 19 October 2001. This incident occurred when an overloaded boat carrying approximately 400 asylum seekers sunk in Australian waters. Of the 353 people who drowned, most were women and children.

The signature work in Kate’s exhibition consists of a collection of 20cm square paintings, each depicting one of the people who died that night. The exhibition is dedicated to Amal Basry, a survivor of the SIEV X tragedy.

“Kate’s exhibition raises our attention to the plight of these women and children, who were desperately trying to join their husbands and fathers who had already obtained refugee protection in Australia,” explains Kirsten Lacy, Curator of the Shepparton Art Gallery.

In addition to Kate’s work addressing the sinking of the SIEV X, in 2001 she established Spare Rooms for Refugees, a project to provide community accommodation for asylum seekers.  Additionally, in August 2002 Kate assisted BBC Correspondent with the Pacific Solution program. Kate and an undercover journalist entered and filmed the detention camps in Nauru with secret cameras. The footage they took formed the basis of a film, which was has until now screened on BBC worldwide but not in Australia.

This film is screening as part of the SheppARTon Festival and provides a unique opportunity to learn about the kind of experiences refugees in our community may have had.

Kate’s exhibition is to be opened by local Shepparton resident Shahrezi Hussaini. Shahrezi is an Afghani boy who was detained for three and half years in detention facilities in Nauru. The opening is an alcohol free event and is observant of Iraqi and Afghani customs. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Opening Address: Shahrezi Hussaini, Afghani boy, three and a half years detained in Nauru
Opening: 4.00pm Saturday 4 March
At: Shepparton Art Gallery, 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton VIC 3630
RSVP: by Wednesday 1 March on 5832 9861.

Admission to the Shepparton Art Gallery is free and it is open seven days a week from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The gallery is located in the Eastbank Centre, 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton, phone (03) 5832 9861.