This Saturday 25 June, the regional city of Shepparton in Victoria will come alive with excitement as the celebratory event, White Night, takes over the town. Following on from White Night Melbourne, created some nine years ago, the free festival will now be experienced in regional centres – Bendigo on 3 September, then Geelong on 8 October. However, the first White Night is to be held in Shepparton this week.
The program has been created by Andrew Walsh AM, principal of Accolade.art, artistic director and his team. Walsh has much experience with White Night, as artistic director, he established the inaugural event in 2013, and undertook three subsequent iterations.
While White Night has taken a short hiatus of late, on Saturday, Shepparton will have the opportunity to participate in an experiential happening that will brighten spirits, bring the community together and focus the spotlight on the town and region.
On offer will be installations, exhibitions, visual art, performance, music, food and a night market to entertain locals and visitors alike. A focus for this White Night is the collaborative nature of the event, with the Indigenous Yorta Yorta Yenbena, showcased through ideas and creative expression.
Walsh has great ties, respect and understanding of First Nations culture, and was honoured to have brought Josh Muir and his work to prominence in White Night Melbourne in 2014, also featuring his art at the Australian Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai this year. Through sight and sound, connection with the local population and honouring place, Shepparton’s White Night will be a celebratory occasion and one to remember.
While colour and movement and wild and wonderful sculpted forms will set the scene, the local landscape will be utilised for walks and exploration, as will prominent buildings for visual art installations. For example, the newly completed
There will be myriad activities to see and participate in, and here is a sample of what is on offer.
1. Choose to Love. Vibrant and colourful projections of artist Mimi Leung’s work that investigates the relationship between parent and child and the complications of culture, assimilation and racism. To be seen on the north and east façades of SAM.
2. Reflections. An original artwork on Country by artist Lowell Hunter, who carves stories in sand with his feet – the incredible work will be fully revealed over the course of the evening.
3. Bouquet Final. An enormous and fantastical cascading soap bubble sculpture by French Artist, Michel Blazy, that has been re-commissioned for White Night Shepparton.
4. Star Dreaming. Created by Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Scott James Towney, Alick Tipoti, James Henry and Accolade.art for the Australian pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai this year, Star Dreaming gloriously represents more than 80,000 years of Indigenous astronomy and will be a sight to behold. This will be the first occasion when Star Dreaming will be seen outside the World Expo.
5. The Nuts. Giant, colourful inflatable gum nuts that will interact with the audience. Inspired by the Australian bush and created by Jacinta Weyers.
6. Path to Extinction. Accolade.art has produced a walk of wonder that will showcase some of Goulburn Valley’s most unique and vulnerable species.
White Night will be just the occasion for Shepparton to come together and have some fun and it’s gratifying that the populace in the regions have the chance to explore and experience moments which such an event, that usually happens in major cities, can provide.
Shepparton is just two hours from Melbourne and everyone is welcome.