White Night highlighting Shepparton creatives
For one night, June 25, the streets of Shepparton will be alight with installations and people, art spilling across buildings, transformed into a parade of light.
But in the blink of an eye, it will be over.
“That's the nature of White Night, it's ephemeral,” White Night artistic director Andrew Walsh said.
“It’s sort of part of the magic, so that it all happens in one night and then really, by the middle of the next day, it's almost sort of no sign it was ever there.”
The White Night event will feature 28 large-scale illuminations, live music and interactive works by Goulburn Valley artists, as well as national and international names.
With origins in Paris, White Night was a staple in Melbourne’s art scene from 2013, drawing a crowd of 300,000 in its first year.
The year 2019 saw the last metropolitan White Night before it went regional.
Shepparton is one of three cities across Victoria hosting the event this year; Ballarat and Geelong are also on the itinerary.
For its stop in the Goulburn Valley, more than a third of the artists in the spotlight are Shepparton born or based.
Installations will unravel the region’s history, with works by Yorta Yorta artists incorporating elements of connection to land, water and country.
In the lead-up to the event, a projection of black and white images may have caught the eye on Wyndham St, projected in a vacant block.
Come White Night, renowned Yorta Yorta artist Troy Firebrace will bring the pieces of Reflection to life with colour.
Close by, Mimi Leung will take over the sides of Shepparton Art Museum with her bright installation, Choose to Love.
“I think it's always really important to have a good representation of wherever you are,” Mr Walsh said.
Kaiela Arts emerging artists Tori Day, Tahnee Day and Dylan Charles will showcase the stories of the Yorta Yorta nation across the wetlands of Victoria Park.
Yorta Yorta artist Tahnee Day said being involved was simply a “surreal” experience.
“When I was younger, I didn’t think my art could take me anywhere,” she said.
“I’ve been to a few White Nights and was completely mesmerised in Melbourne, so to have a piece in my home town is a strange feeling.”
Ms Day’s piece was inspired by the very spot it’s being displayed.
Along the bridge of Victoria Park Lake, Ms Day goes down to feed the turtles meat.
“It’s about the feeling, but also the conversations that come from talking with people ... when people look at them, they’re often surprised they’re meat-eating carnivores when they look so peaceful,” she said.
“So it’s the feeling they give, that they can be many things at once — they teach people.”
A centrepiece exhibition shown at the first White Night in Melbourne brought from Paris is also hitting the foreshores of the Victoria Park Lake.
Shown in the Shepparton Visitor Centre, Michael Blazy’s Bouquet Final will fill the space with enormous cascades of foam.
And for crowds to keep their stamina up, drawing on Shepparton’s identity as the food bowl of Victoria, Shepparton Culture Kitchen is providing a feast of goods through its night market on Vaughan Street.
Mr Walsh said audiences should expect the unexpected.
“It already looks amazing but by the time it's fully finished, I think it will really blow people away,” Mr Walsh said.
The event will run over six hours on Saturday from 6pm to midnight. For more information visit https://whitenight.com.au/ and check out The News’ event map.