WILD DOGS from DOWN UNDER
2006 – 2008
Artists Kerrie Warren, Leonie Ryan, Gary Miles, Eileen Harrison, Laurie Collins and Jenny Murray-Jones collaborated in a two year artistic project ‘Wild Dogs from Down Under’ 2006 – 2008.
The title represents their geographical location – Warragul, Australia.
Together the artists created a touring exhibition of paintings and sculpture inspired by ‘Gippsland’ (their place) and toured with the work as art-inspired ambassadors, representing their region and crossing the language barrier through art in JiuJiang China.
Mayor of Jiujiang Ms Wang Ping hosted the Welcoming Reception attended by the Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Council Cr. David Balfour & Sue, CEO Mr. Glenn Patterson and Vicci, Cr. Adam Tyson and Debbie, Cr. John Daniels and Moira, Arts & Cultural Development Officer Karen Whitaker-Taylor and Vicky Keane who has worked tirelessly as the liaison. Also Wild Dog partners, Chris Major and Marian Collins.
‘Wild Dogs from Down Under toured with their exhibition Gippsland to…
West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul
Meeniyan Art Gallery, Meeniyan
Burrinja Gallery, Upwey
Parliament House, Queen’s Hall Melbourne
Jiu Jiang China
Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale
Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell
‘Gippsland’ on tour and the Wild Dog artists were exposed to a wide variety of Communities, Environments and Situations. The touring exhibition was officially opened for the first time at the West Gippsland Arts Centre in Warragul by past Mayor, Mr. Ian Clark.
More than 300 guests joined the artists to celebrate at the opening.
‘Gippsland’ was hosted at the Meeniyan Art Gallery in the Shire of South Gippsland, Burrinja Upwey, and Parliament House in Melbourne where it was officially opened by Mr. Ted Baillieu – Leader of the Opposition & Shadow Minister for the Arts.
The Lord Mayor of Melbourne John So attended and offered assistance through his office if we required. The ‘Official Welcome Reception’ in Jiu Jiang China was overwhelming.
Mayor Ms Wang Ping hosted an official Reception Ceremony for the Wild Dog artists and the Baw Baw Shire Council delegation.
Mr. Christopher Wright, Senior Trade Commissioner & Deputy General of Austrade in Shanghai flew to JiuJiang to meet the Wild Dogs and speak on their behalf at the ceremony in local dialect.
Mr. Chen Anzhong Secretary of Jiu Jiang Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China also visited the exhibition and was introduced to the artists and their work. Vice Mayor Li Wei, Austrade Officials from Shanghai and Wuhan, Ms Grace Bai, Financial Controller Australian Government, Shanghai
Initial plans were to end the tour when it arrived back from China but the artists were invited to exhibit at the Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale and the Latrobe Regional Gallery in Morwell before completing the tour back at the West Gippsland Arts Centre in Warragul – extending the project to more than two years.
The ‘Wild Dogs from Down Under’ tour has been predominantly funded by the Individual Artists, with very generous support both financial and in kind from a number of Sponsors, including our Major Sponsor and Supporter – The Baw Baw Shire Council.
The Artists created a magnificent body of work and each gave their time to deliver and install in each location, representing ‘Gippsland’ and attended the numerous community engagements and openings.
Each artist made an enormous financial, physical and emotional commitment to create, exhibit, tour and inspire others (as a group, it cost approximately $60,000). The enormity and success of this project required the support of a number of people and organisations (acknowledged below).
The Gippsland region were regularly exposed to updates about ‘Gippsland’ on tour and the Wild Dog Artists through many generous editorials written by the Warragul Gazette and Maree Wallace, editor of Baw Baw Country.
The Warragul & Drouin Gazette followed the progress and supported this project right from the very beginning. A variety of Communities outside the Region became aware of ‘The Wild Dogs from Down Under’ on tour through media, promotions and advertising provided by the host Galleries.
In JiuJiang, the artists made it onto the front page of 5 different newspapers in one week and were interviewed by television twice. The community response in China was overwhelming. The artists signed hundreds of catalogues and were photographed thousands of times.
Apparently the Wild Dogs from Down Under affected the city of Jiujiang (4.7 million people) and locals called the newspaper, radio and television stations to learn more them.
The Wild Dog project inspired media and through that highlighted Gippsland, the individual Artists and their supporters.
The Wild Dogs from Down Under were awarded with the Arts Business RAVE Award 2007
List of Acknowledgements:
The Baw Baw Shire Council have supported this project from the outset, believing in the artists and the concept of the project.
Paul James Design created the catalogue, the website, invitations and the postcards, providing the group with innovative tools to promote and present the exhibition, the artists and the project.
Michelle Dunn generously gave her time and creativity to write and edit the project details and artists statements that feature in the catalogue on the website.
Maree Wallace editor of Baw Baw Country has been a supporter and promoted the Wild Dogs from Down Under on numerous occasions by way of editorials and promotion.
GippslandArtists.com for their generous promotion.
Vision Australia 93.5 FM and Neville Pellitt
Wild Dog Winery created a Shiraz and Chardonnay labelled ‘Wild Dogs from Down Under’ and from each bottle sold, $1 was donated back into the Wild Dog project.
Tarago River Cheese supports this project and have provided mouth-watering ‘Shadows of Blue’ for all to enjoy at each exhibition opening.
Des Dillon provided financial support to assist in the production of a promotional video. The DVD was filmed and edited by Magyar Smith Productions.
Logos Unlimited printed the Wild Dogs from Down Under t-shirts which have made a huge impact on the promotion of the group – logo designed by artist Jenny Murray-Jones.
The Warragul Gazette have followed the Wild Dog story from the very beginning and have provided the group with professional photography, editorial write ups and community awareness.
West Gippsland Arts Centre Warragul supported this project and provided the space, the ‘Fountain Room’ where the exhibition ‘Gippsland’ was officially ‘Opened’ for the first time by Mayor Cr. Ian Clark and Graham Stapleton who provided support through Warragul Hire & Drive.
Stage Door provided catering and went out of their way to assist the artists throughout the exhibition period.
Meeniyan Art Gallery hosted the exhibition during January 2007. Director Meg Viney coordinated the ‘Opening’ and ‘Artist Talk’; sponsored by Meeniyan Art Gallery and the Shire of South Gippsland.
Burrinja Gallery hosted the exhibition during Feb / March 2007. Director Ross Furnell and Indigenous Collection Programs Manager Nicholas Boseley were coordinated ‘Artist Talks’ on a variety of weekends during the exhibition. Burrinja Gallery, Wild Dog Winery and Tarago River Cheese sponsored the ‘Opening’.
International Power / Mitsui Loy Yang B acquired artworks by Eileen Harrison and Jenny Murray-Jones, providing funds to travel as part of the ‘Artist Support’ program.
Jonathon Allen, McKenzie Allen Lawyers collected artwork by Kerrie Warren as part of the ‘Artist Support’ program.
Baw Baw Shire Council acquired artworks by Leonie Ryan and Laurie Collins as part of the Artist Support Program.
Latrobe Regional Gallery generously donated the use of their International Touring Crates that will safely house the work while it is in transit via sea.
Angela Betheras Consultancy is managing the packing, shipping and customs requirements of the work during its overseas tour.
Multiplex Capital sponsored the cost of the Art Partitions that the group was required to install in Queen’s Hall, Parliament House for their exhibition in the first week of May 2007. The partitions were erected with assistance provided by the Rotary Club of Warragul.
The catering on this special night has been generously sponsored by the Baw Baw Shire Council and MP Gary Blackwood, Member for Narracan who also supported this project and communicated with the Parliament of Victoria to exhibit this work in Queen’s Hall.
Ted Baillieu MLA, Leader of the Opposition & Shadow Minister for the Arts officially ‘Opened’ the night in Queen’s Hall on the 1st May 2007.
We were overjoyed to meet Lord Mayor of Melbourne John So when he came to the opening at Parliament House accompanied by Lady Mayoress Wendy Cheng.
Warragul Hire & Drive has generously offered to loan a truck to transport the exhibition to and from the shipping port in Melbourne.
Oamps Insurance Brokers Warragul have generously donated financial sponsorship to assist the project and have been a big help in sourcing the necessary insurance required for the journey.
Peter & Lois Juratowitch created a slide show of JiuJiang and prepared the artists with very helpful tips and advice which came into great use!
The JiuJiang Municipal People’s Government and Ms Wang Ping who embraced us and provided us with interpreters, publicity and the opportunity and means to meet the artists of JiuJiang.
The S&N International Hotel in JiuJiang who provided a welcoming and warm service, also hosting a very special evening with Ms Betty Yang.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
The Wild Dogs from Down Under were awarded with the Arts Business RAVE Award which was presented on the 5th May 2007.
JiuJiang’s famous traditional Chinese artist Mr. Fu Meiying invited the Wild Dogs from Down Under to visit his studio and watch as he painted this special piece to present as a gift to the Baw Baw Shire Council.
Tall and Straight, Gentle Lotus
As a Memento for Baw Baw Shire Council, Australia
Best Wishes to Everlasting Friendship between Australia and China
傅梅影 八旬画 赠于九江
Presented by Mr. Fu Meiying in his eighties in Jiujiang