Wild Dogs from Down Under
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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.
Supported throughout by Karen Whitaker-Taylor, ‘then’ Arts & Cultural Officer ‘now’ Cultural Development Officer, Baw Baw Shire Council
‘Wild Dogs from Down Under’ seemed a catchy group name and referred to the artists geographical location ‘Warragul Australia’
Together the artists created a touring exhibition of paintings and sculpture ‘inspired by Gippsland’ (our place).
Inspired by the landscape, the environment, the people – an opportunity to explore culture and history through art.
The six dedicated artists toured with the work as art-inspired ambassadors, representing their region and crossing the language barrier through visual art in JiuJiang China.
‘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
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 – the project cost approximately $60,000 in total and was made possible with the help of Sponsors and Supporters.
The Gippsland region and our evolving contact list were kept regularly updated about ‘Gippsland’ on tour through Wild Dog newsletters, many generous editorials published by the Warragul & Drouin Gazette and Maree Wallace, editor of Baw Baw Country, and interviews by Cath McAloon ABC Gippsland.
The touring exhibition was officially opened for the first time at the West Gippsland Arts Centre in Warragul by Mayor, Mr. Ian Clark and Graeme Stapleton who was accompanied by Caroline Heysen (the great granddaughter of Sir Hans Heysen).
More than 300 guests joined the artists to celebrate at the opening on the 8th of August 2006
Gippsland on Tour
‘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.
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.
The catering on this special night was 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.
We were overjoyed to meet Lord Mayor of Melbourne John So when he attended the opening in Queen’s Hall accompanied by Lady Mayoress Wendy Cheng.
The ‘Official Welcome Reception’ in JiuJiang China was overwhelming. Mayor Ms Wang Ping hosted an official Reception Ceremony for the Wild Dog artists and the Baw Baw Shire Council delegation.
The delegation who accompanied the artists included Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Council Cr. David Balfour and 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 – thank you all!!
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.
‘Gippsland’ was displayed in Mr. Cen Qi’s Gallery
Mr. Chen Anzhong Secretary of JiuJiang Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China visited the exhibition and was introduced to the artists.
The Warragul & Drouin Gazette followed the progress and supported this project 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 our host Galleries.
In JiuJiang China, the artists made it onto the front page of 5 different newspapers in one week and were interviewed on television twice.
Apparently the Wild Dogs from Down Under affected the city of JiuJiang (4.7 million people) as locals were calling the newspaper, the radio and television stations to learn more them.
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 Dog project inspired story and highlighted Gippsland, The Wild Dog Artists and their Supporters.
The Wild Dogs from Down Under were awarded with the Arts Business RAVE Award 2007
The success of this project required the support of a number of people and organisations as acknowledged below…
The Baw Baw Shire Council have supported this project from the outset, believing in the artists and the concept of the project.
Mr. Russell Broadbent, MP Electoral Division of McMillan (Vic) for your advice, encouragement and inspiring words.
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 & Drouin 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 also provided support through Warragul Hire & Drive.
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. Thank you to Director Ross Furnell and Indigenous Collection Programs Manager Nicholas Boseley for coordinating ‘Artist Talks’ during the exhibition.
Burrinja Gallery, Wild Dog Winery and Tarago River Cheese sponsored the ‘Opening’ while Darryl Whitaker DJWTV filmed the exhibition.
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.
Latrobe Regional Gallery for hosting Wild Dogs ‘Unleashed’ (new work) on our return from China, a very special thank you to Director Jacqui Hemsley and Curator Sherryn Vardy, also to Mr. Tim Wills, Regional Development Victoria for his wonderful opening speech!
The Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale for hosting ‘Gippsland’ on its return from China and for coordinating Artist Talks by Kerrie Warren & Leonie Ryan. A special thank you to Claire Watson, Curator.
The final exhibition ‘Gumbay’ included works influenced by the artist’s tour to China and was held in the same space where this journey began – at the West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul. The official opening was held on the 7th March 2008.
Thank you to Cr Dick Van Leeuwen, Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Council for his official welcome and to Karen Whitaker-Taylor, Arts & Cultural Officer for being a wonderful MC, a constant support to this entire project and for being part of the delegation to JiuJiang China!
International Power / Mitsui Loy Yang B acquired artworks by Eileen Harrison and Jenny Murray-Jones, providing funds for the artists to travel as part of the ‘Artist Support’ program.
Jonathan 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.
Angela Betheras Consultancy managed 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.
Warragul Hire & Drive generously loaned 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. Thank you also to Gale, Mr. Strong and Mr. Yu who assisted and made us feel so welcome.
Also to Vice Mayor Li Wei who arranged a formal reception on the very first night of arrival in 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
The Gippsland Coastline Series 2006 by artist Kerrie Warren
Wilson’s Promontory, Gippsland Lakes, Snowy River and Croajingolong National Park, Collected by Jonathan and Vivian Allen
Venus Bay donated by the artist to the Jiujiang Municipal People’s Government, China