This year the Shepparton Festival turns 25. For those of us old enough to remember 1996, that was a quarter of a century ago. Have you caught your breath? To celebrate this incredible milestone the festival will soon be launching an exciting Winter festival program kicking off on the long weekend in June. The 17-day program runs from 11 to 27 June 2021. Festival Chair, Kirsten Green says “25 years is an amazing achievement for a grass roots, community run festival. I am so very grateful to the community members who had the tenacity to start the Festival – and to those who have worked hard to ensure it has continued over the last 25 years.”
This year’s theme is Unify. In August last year Festival Creative Director, Jamie Lea, announced the ‘Call to Create’, inviting visual artists in the GV to interpret the theme. “My wholehearted thanks to all those who responded to the festival’s Call to Create, we were blown away by the diversity in works and found it incredibly difficult to select the chosen artist for 2021”
The Festival is proud to announce Marion Langford as the chosen artist for this year’s Winter festival. Her textile piece ‘Unify: The Fabric of our society’ was born out of an opportunity for the artist herself to reconnect and unite with other creatives after a challenging year. The weaving beautifully captures the meaning of unify. “When I think about unify, I think of the coming together, the threads of our lives, of community, our story line, our sense of place, and how we are all interconnected” says Marion.
As the chosen artist, Marion’s piece has formed the basis for the Festival branding. It reflects a winter colour palette of dark nights, big blue skies and fireside glow. The soft and inviting fabrics weave to create the perfect platform for a Winter festival. “There is something quite special as an artist to be understood” says Marion. “In the understanding there is unification. It comes back to community and a sense of belonging. I hope as part of my involvement in the Shepparton Festival that I can create a community event, to bring all backgrounds together and create a community weaving. Watch this space!”
To see the unveiling of this year’s branding, head to the Festival facebook page @sheppartonfestival or website www.sheppartonfestival.org.au
The festival team and board would like to express their gratitude to all the artists who submitted work – Beck Gladman, Dery Theodorus, Natalia Collins, Barb Rigano, Marion Langford, Erminia Villani, Philip Hickingbotham, Jasmine De Lai, Amanda Paino and Davidson Lopes da Rosa. Each artist participated in a short video, discussing their response to the Festival theme. If you’d like to see the incredible artworks and hear directly from the artists, head to the Festival facebook page.
Community support is paramount to the success of the festival, with ticket sales covering less than one third of the program presentation costs. If you’d like to become a festival friend offering financial support or join us as a corporate sponsor, it’s not too late. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information please call Festival General Manager, Louise Tremper on 0434 560 946.