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MPavilion join together with Shepparton Art Museum and Geelong Gallery to deliver new regional program

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) and Geelong Gallery have joined together with MPavilion to deliver a new special regional program of workshops and public events designed to connect community groups, cultural institutions and government bodies, and to foster meaningful conversations around design.

Opening on Tuesday 3 October 2017 and running until Sunday 4 February 2018, MPavilion 2017 is designed by renowned international architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA. Inspired by Koolhaas’s current preoccupation with the countryside and urban design, for the first time, this year MPavilion is extending its reach from the heart of Melbourne to work with key partners in regional Victoria. Held throughout October 2017 and February 2018, the series of workshops and events are curated and facilitated by MPavilion in collaboration with Shepparton Art Museum; Geelong Gallery; Jack Self (director, REAL Foundation, UK; co-curator, British Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2016); artist Keg de Souza (NSW); and Sarah Lynn Rees (MPavilion Regional Program Manager; Indigenous Architecture & Design Victoria).

Naomi Milgrom AO, Founder of MPavilion said

This season the MPavilion program has been developed in collaboration with our architects Rem Koolhaas, David Gianotten of OMA. A main focus of OMA’s current research is the notion of countryside. It was important to us that we interrogate this theme with a focus on the unique Australian context. Through this project, we will investigate regional Victoria as a product of its Indigenous continuous living histories and its colonial history, as well as how it continues to evolve through immigration, infrastructure and agriculture.

With Shepparton and Geelong as central case studies, the program considers how regional Australia might address issues of inclusion, diversity, innovation and evolving industrial landscapes through the lenses of architecture, design and the built environment.

Director of Shepparton Art Museum, Rebecca Coates, said

We are delighted to be partnering with MPavilion and Geelong Gallery on this exciting project. Shepparton is undergoing a period of exciting civic, social and economic growth.  A major infrastructure project to build a new SAM Art Museum is currently underway – one of the many major new projects which will change the face of Shepparton over the coming years. The new SAM demonstrates that great art and design can be central to how we live and who we are. Working with leaders in the architecture, design, and creative thinking fields, we look forward to continuing to interrogate ideas around what good design can look like in a unique part of regional Victoria.

Director of Geelong Gallery, Jason Smith said

This is a timely and exciting collaboration for Geelong Gallery.  Over the past year the Gallery has contributed to the thinking and planning for the community-led blueprint for Greater Geelong to be recognised regionally, nationally and internationally, as a clever and creative city-region.  The opportunity to collaborate with MPavilion, OMA and our close colleagues at SAM aligns perfectly with our commitment to Geelong’s future.

The program will comprises of series of workshops and events including regional workshops in October 2017 in Geelong and Shepparton with international guest Jack Self and Sarah Lynn Rees of MPavilion; a Melbourne workshop with Rem Koolhaas & David Gianotten (OMA), Jack Self, Sarah Lynn Rees, Shepparton Art Museum and Geelong Gallery.

In February 2018, Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist, Keg de Souza will present a collaborative project with program participants at SAM in Shepparton and Geelong Gallery. With particular interest in the built environment and the social spaces and communities that inhabit them, de Souza’s wide-ranging practice is informed by her architectural training and encompasses video, performance, installation, publishing and inflatable architecture. Her work has recently featured in the Biennale of Sydney 2016, and the 5th Auckland Triennial, curated by Hou Hanru.

Designed to empower participants and associated organisations to instigate and support change in Shepparton and Geelong and elsewhere at grassroots and government levels, a high-quality not-for-profit publication—produced and globally distributed by Jack Self’s REAL Foundation—will also be produced that can be adopted and employed by all participants involved in the program.


To arrange interviews with MPavilion please contact Rhiannon Broomfield at ARTICULATE on 0410 596 021 or

For further information, or to arrange interviews with SAM’s Director Rebecca Coates please contact SAM Marketing Coordinators by phone (03) 5832 9494 or by email on or

Dropbox of high-res images, press release and further information:

VIDEO: A video featuring MPavilion 2017 architect Rem Koolhaas discussing the importance of the countryside can be found and shared through the following link:

MPavilion key dates and useful links:

  • MPavilion will open free to the public on Tuesday 3 October 2017 until Sunday 4 February 2018
  • For further information, please visit

About OMA

OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) is an international practice operating within the traditional boundaries of architecture and urbanism and was founded by visionary Rem Koolhaas, a Pritzker prize-winning architect. Together with 8 partners Koolhaas heads the work of both OMA and AMO, the research branch of OMA, operating in areas beyond the realm of architecture such as media, politics, renewable energy and fashion. David Gianotten is OMA’s Managing Partner-Architect; responsible for the management and growth of OMA worldwide and is the responsible partner-in-charge of numerous projects in Asia, Australia and Europe including the New Museum project in Perth and Rotterdam’s new Feyenoord football stadium. Together Koolhaas and Gianotten are responsible for the design and execution of the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.

OMA completed large scale projects in recent years include the Qatar Foundation Headquarters in Doha; Faena District in Miami; London’s Design Museum; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow; Fondazione Prada in Milan; Shenzhen Stock Exchange; De Rotterdam; and CCTV Headquarters in Beijing.

About MPavilion

MPavilion is Australia’s leading architectural commission and design event conceived and created by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation in 2014. Every year one new temporary pavilion, designed by a leading international architect, is erected in Melbourne’s historic Queen Victoria Gardens.  From October through February, the MPavilion becomes a design and cultural laboratory, and home to a series of talks, workshops, performances and installations. At the end of each season MPavilion is moved to a permanent new home within Melbourne’s CBD, creating an ongoing legacy in Melbourne’s increasingly sophisticated architectural landscape. Australian architect Sean Godsell designed MPavilion 2014 (now at the Hellenic Museum); and in 2015 MPavilion was designed by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A (now in Collins Street, Docklands). Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai designed MPavilion 2016 (soon to be relocated to the Melbourne Zoo).

Australian philanthropist Naomi Milgrom AO initiated MPavilion. She is also the Commissioner for the Australian representation at the 57th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale, Tracey Moffatt exhibition 2017.

SAM’s summer exhibition – Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance opens in November

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is excited to present Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance as its major Summer exhibition. Featuring the works of thirteen artists and collectives, the exhibition explores ideas around mimicry and impersonation, re-performance or reiteration, as artists and collectives expand on the notion of the cover version and its subversive potential within the digital age.

Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance quotes from the histories of music, popular culture and the internet, ethnography and the natural world. This is expressed through a range of media including sound art and instrumentation, robotics, video, photography and installation. Mimicry has been equated with camouflage but it is also like holding up a mirror. Whether employed as a means of survival, in homage, or for the purposes of political critique, these works reveal something about the nature of our times.

Departing from Arthur Merric Boyd and Neil Douglas’ earthenware platter that depicts a lyrebird— a creature that can mimic multiple sounds and voices—the exhibition will examine the ways in which artists have used mimicry as a means of resistance, as a comment on contemporary culture, or as a means to subvert perceptions around gender, sexuality and ethnicity.

Curator, Anna Briers states:

This major group exhibition features two specials commissions anchored in SAM’s unique site and context. Artist collective Super Critical Mass will present a participatory sonic performance from a newly assembled community choir in response to the museum’s architecture, the collection display and each other. Also included, artist Michael Candy has produced a series of robotic pollenizers that mimic flowers, addressing the bee crisis that is both a local and global concern. These projects enable large-scale participatory audience engagement, while furthering cutting-edge experimental media art practice.

For the exhibition, two artists/artist groups have been commissioned to make new work.

The New York/Sydney/Brisbane artist duo, Super Critical Mass has been commissioned to create a version of their ongoing work, Moving Collected Ambience. It is a participatory sound art performance in which participants move through the gallery spaces producing simple vocal sounds in response to SAM’s permanent collection, the gallery architecture and each other. Artist Julian Day has been in Shepparton recruiting a choir to perform this work for the opening night of the exhibition.

Brisbane-based media artist Michael Candy has been commissioned to create a series of Synthetic Pollenizers – robotic flowers that work in concert with the local ecosystem to attract bees and increase the pollination of flora in the Shepparton region. This will occur in peak spring, assisting the bees with their pollination and documenting their activities with a motion tracking camera. On Saturday 23 September, the artist will be testing his Synthetic Pollenizers at Tallis Wines in Dookie. This is a public event, and those interested can RSVP via the SAM website. From Saturday 11 November, the bee activity will be live-streamed into SAM, from the rooftop residency of Melbourne-based beekeeper, Honey Fingers.

Yuki Kihara’s Culture for Sale 2014 will also be featured in the exhibition. Kihara, leading contemporary New Zealand- and Sydney and Samoa-based artist, here has employed a type of reverse anthropology in which the viewer participates in the exoticisation of the subject in the work by asking the viewer to insert a twenty cent coin in order for a video to be activated. Here, the artist subverts what was known as Samoan participation in the ‘Völkerschauen’, a popular form of exotic entertainment and colonial theatre in Germany in the early 20th century. The work makes viewers question practices that have been embedded—albeit more slyly—within mainstream culture throughout time, now expanding on the ways in which we consume video games. 

Artists in the exhibition include: Arthur Merric Boyd and Neil Douglas, Michael Candy, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Marco Fusinato, Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross, Yuki Kihara, The Kingpins, LOUD + SOFT (Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste), Frédéric Nauczyciel, Soda Jerk vs The Avalanches, Super Critical Mass, Christian Thompson, and Jemima Wyman.

Curated by Anna Briers

Artists available for interview Yuki Kihara, Julian Day, Michael Candy

Resources Dropbox of high-res images –

For further information, or to arrange interviews with SAM’s Director Rebecca Coates or artists included, please contact SAM Marketing Coordinators by phone (03) 5832 9494 or by email on or

Image: (foreground) Super Critical Mass (Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste), Moving Collected Ambience 2014, participatory sound work, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art and Performance Space, Sydney, 2015. Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the MCA Foundation, 2015. (background) Kerrie Poliness, OMG 2014, graphic film on wall, installation view, MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday, 2016. Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the MCA Foundation, 2014. Image courtesy the artists and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney © the artists, Kerrie Poliness/licenced by Viscopy 2017. Photo: Hospital Hill.

Planning approvals for Shepparton Art Museum

The Victorian State Government has given the green light for the new Shepparton Art Museum development that’s set to create jobs, boost tourism and grow the local economy.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has approved an amendment to the Shepparton Planning Scheme to allow the development of the new Shepparton Art Museum to proceed in a timely manner. The Minister for Planning will become the Planning Authority for this project. Council is pleased that the State Government has agreed to assist with the planning approvals for this project.

Once complete, the new SAM is expected to attract more visitors to the region from right around the state and nation, boosting local visitor spending by more than $6 million annually.

Construction of the project will create 72 direct and 109 indirect jobs, injecting $34.5 million into the local economy.

Planning approvals follow a $10 million investment by the State Government to help Shepparton showcase its strengths as a cultural hotspot for the arts. The $34.5m project is also funded by Greater Shepparton City Council, the Commonwealth Government and from philanthropic donations through the SAM Foundation.

The project will see the Shepparton Art Museum relocated to the more prominent and accessible location of the Victoria Lake Park.

The State Government is working to strengthen Shepparton as a cultural destination, creating more local jobs, boosting visitor numbers and attracting business investment and consumer spending in the region’s retail, hospitality and accommodation sectors.

The Shepparton Art Museum will showcase unique ceramics, indigenous and multicultural collections to visitors in turn boosting business for local hotels, cafes and other small businesses.

Greater Shepparton City Council Deputy Mayor, Kim O’Keeffe said the decision was welcomed and will ensure the project can progress quickly to the build stage.

“We are on track to have the former Shell Service Station and café demolished before the end of the year ensuring the two year build can commence in 2018,” said Cr O’Keeffe.

“This is a very exciting project for the municipality and an important one that positions Greater Shepparton as a progressive region not only in the arts world but as tourism destination.”

“Developments such as these instil confidence amongst business that Shepparton is growing and prepared for the future and will attract new investment to the area,” said Cr O’Keeffe.