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22 June 2022
By Abby Walter
The Wimmera’s multi-day, multi-disciplinary art festival began this week with gallery openings, musical performances and workshops.
Art enthusiasts can experience a variety of activities during this year’s Art is... festival from June 20 to July 3.
Manager Alistair Shaw said the festival was a chance to celebrate Wimmera artists.
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“The festival brings together artists to co-create art around an annual theme,” he said.
“Having a theme and being a multi-disciplinary festival is something that I think makes this event unique.
“We’ve adopted a five-year ‘Fundamentals’ theme which involves us cycling through the elements. This year is based on earth, then we will have fire, air, water and spirit.”
Mr Shaw said he was looking forward to all the elements of the festival.
“The commissioned projects will be especially exciting,” he said.
“I found a silent film based in Ukraine titled Zemlya, which means earth. We thought about screening it with the music performed live,” he said.
“Horsham College music teacher Nick Shirrefs said it would be easiest for him to compose an original score from watching the film.
“So now we have a Wimmera response to the movie, which is about a rural community. The 110 minutes will be performed by musicians from our community.
“Nick said it was something he would never get to do if not for the festival.
“We will have an orchestra for three nights and electronic artist Will Netherway will perform the music for one screening of the film.”
The film will be screened at The Cattle Shed at Maydale Reserve in Horsham on June 20, 21 and 30 and July 1.
Mr Shaw said the festival was an opportunity to push boundaries and for artists to do ‘what they never would be able to do otherwise’.
“We were contacted by Tenzin Choegyal as he was wanting to tour Victoria and at the time, no one was signing anyone because of the pandemic – but I said yes,” he said.
“Even though he is amazing in his own right, we wanted to leverage up the performance for the festival, so there is a workshop where he is working with local talent.
“Who would think you could work with a multi-Grammy nominated artist in Horsham?”
Choegyal and a collection of Wimmera musicians will perform Concert for the Earth on July 2.
Horsham Showground will be the location for Concert for the Earth, Art is… Bald exhibition, theatre performances The Bunker, A Flying Photon and The White Earth, and immersive experience Eating Tomorrow.
“We’re working with Horsham Agricultural Society to bring together art with the space they look after at Horsham Showground, which also fits the theme of Earth,” Mr Shaw said.
“Another highlight is Djilga Wotjobaluk, which is about showing off what is special and unique here. It brings something from 10,000 years ago into the present, which is very special.”
Uncle Ron Marks will host a multi-course meal with a cultural experience at Natimuk camping ground on July 3.
Mr Shaw said to be able to spread art throughout Horsham and across Wimmera towns was fantastic.
“We’re going to have 500 artists contribute work across shops in Horsham, including the plaza, and five different gallery spaces,” he said.
“I think we make art accessible by having a theme and giving artists the opportunity to respond.
“We focus on consolidating work around a theme and then exchange and collaborate with experts and locals.”
The entire June 22, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!