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    ART AND HISTORY: Murtoa Stick Shed is set to take on a new life during Murtoa’s Big Weekend celebrations in October this year. Natimuk’s Dave Jones, pictured with an imposing sculpture taking pride of place inside the historic building, along with fellow artists Anthony Schellens and Jillian Pearce, are exploring the artistic possibilities for a new project show to transform the shed. A Family, Fun and Film Night will also be at the Stick Shed as part of Murtoa’s Big Weekend on October 4. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

All happening in the ‘sticks’ at Murtoa

Momentum is building for Murtoa’s Big Weekend in October with artist Dave Jones busy in the past few weeks working on the event’s premier event.

Headlining a weekend of activities will be a Friday night ‘Flicks and Tricks! In the Sticks’ in Murtoa’s Stick Shed on October 4.

Jones’ residency in the historically significant Stick Shed, backed by Regional Arts Victoria, has provided him with opportunities to explore artistic possibilities within the cavernous space and the trademark ‘cathedral’ poles that feature in the former grain-storage building.

A giant puppet inside the stick shed is a primary feature of his work.

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Murtoa Big Weekend committee member Natasha Pietsch said Jones had also cleverly engineered lighting that responded to music.

“This paints the sticks in a brand-new light and is breathtaking to watch, even during the early days of artistic and technical experimentation,” she said. 

Wednesday night activities in the shed have featured a small group of volunteers learning how to make the huge 15-metre puppet.

Ms Pietsch said there were still opportunities for people to get involved in the artistic program.

“Anyone wanting to be a part of this unique project is welcome to come along on Wednesday evenings between 5pm and 7.30pm, or can contact Dave on email or call Tom Hamilton on 0457 129 200 for more information,” she said.

Murtoa’s Big Weekend will also feature a Short Flick Competition and fortnightly film-making workshops, run by Hannah French and supported by Yarriambiack FReeZA, have been in Murtoa and District Neighbourhood House.

Participants have developed skills and started creating films for the Through My Eyes – Wimmera Mallee competition.

Competition organisers are encouraging people of all ages across the region to create films to enter in the competition.

“This is a unique opportunity to develop a film that will positively promote an area of the unique land in which we live in; a club, community group, school; an idea or brand that has been developed. The options are only limited to the imagination,” Ms Pietsch said.

People can download information and application forms online at

Officials will announce entries and winners of the Short Flick Competition and screen them during the Friday night Flicks and Tricks! In the Sticks.

“The exposure of this premiere event is an exciting prospect for budding film makers to have their film proudly screened to an anticipated large crowd,” Ms Pietsch said.

The entire September 4, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!