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2014 - 2016 Art is... Layers of Time

The land we walk upon is an ancient one. At the heart of Aboriginal identity is an understanding that the land and the people are one, made from the same earth. The first peoples lived in harmony with this land, with its stark beauty and extreme seasons. This in turn shaped cultural life. In this setting of traditional and contemporary cultural knowledge, and amongst the diverse cultural communities that have since come to settle in the Wimmera, our attitudes, values, ideals and relationships are still influenced by the land in which we live.

This land we walk upon is an ancient one. Let us share in it.

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Layers of time had the following subthemes:

2014 - Geological Stories

2015 - Ceremonies and Celebrations 

2016 - Exploring Myths and Legends 

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2016 culminated in the Stories of Wotjobaluk country - a stage show and an animation.  Also, there were beasts - wild animals roaming around the city... Be careful out there...

Here are the highlights of the stage production of Tchingal - Stories of Wotjobaluk Country. It is an n amazing achievement. All five traditional Owner Groups came together to create and deliver the creation story.  

The Fabulous Beasts project was presented by Dave Jones and Mary French. Animation by Dave Jones, Desiree Cross and Hannah French, with film-maker Tracey Rigney. The community witnessed fabulous beasts roaming the streets and slinking down alleyways in Horsham.

Animation by Dave Jones. Based on the dreaming stories of Tchingal, this animation was created by illustrations from the Kookas Kids group at Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative and featuring the voices of Traditional Elders of Wotjobaluk Country.

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The major project for 2015 was Culti-Vat. Culti-vat completely transformed a disused building in the central city. An old car garage became home to a compendium of visual art exhibitions, interactive installations, a giant teapot and creative performances including toast reading, a shadow story book in an inflatable black room and seed bank scientists.

Kate Finnerty was the Creative Producer of Culti-vat and developed this project from initial discussions with local and invited artists. Culti-vat was a collaboration between invited artists from Sydney based company Erth: Aesha Henderso, Andrew Blizzard and Scott Wright; Wimmera based animator Dave Jones; puppeteer/model maker Mary French; sound artist Robbie Millar; Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) graduates; performing artist Timothy Phillip; invited local artists; Wimmera Primary Schools; local spinners and weavers and community members.

The venue was open for three hours each day over nine days, with some extended hours for visiting schools and community groups. The collective energy gathered throughout the week of the festival moved towards the Cultivat Debutante Ball, a collaboration between Scott Wright from Erth and local Debutante legend Jan Morris. The evening was a celebration of culture, art and puppets and was attended by over 250 people. A special thank you to Middy’s for the generous support and use of their vacant shop on Pynsent Street for Cuti-Vat's place to call home.

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2014 embraced our new three year theme whole heartedly,  reflecting the geological story of the Wimmera region through layered cake competitions, author talks, geological bus and walking tours, a degustation dinner, and visual art exhibitions ensuring there really was something for all ages, interests and artistic abilities!

The major project, Museum of Lands Past, was a stunning visual experience that brought to life the story of the Wimmera landscape through interactive installations, animation and imagined artefacts.


The museum was a collaboration between invited artists from Sydney based company Erth, featuring Aesha Henderson and Andrew Blizzard, Wimmera based animator Dave Jones, puppeteer/model maker Mary Frenc, emerging artist Adelle Rohrsheim, sound artist Robbie Millar, local Primary Schools and community members.


The Art is... festival also delivered creative workshops across the region that explored our unique landscape, both real and imagined, through art making.  These workshops informed the final concept of the Museum and engaged a great many artists and local school kids in the creation of the museum's collection.


It was the second time that the festival took over a vacant shop and converted it for the festival giving us a focal point in the main street of Horsham. Manned by volunteers the space was accessible for the duration of the festival, many visitors made multiple visits, and the time-line allowed word of mouth and reputation to build attendances.

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