Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bridge art project takes step in right direction

A project which would see an art gallery stretch along the proposed second bridge route has big plans for the space.

MONIQUE PRESTON September 21, 2012 4:14am

The Bridge Arts Project Steering Committee presenting the project to Regional Development Australia on Wednesday.

A proposal to turn Echuca-Moama’s new bridge and surrounding land into an art gallery took its next step on Wednesday, with the project presented to representatives from Regional Development Australia.

The Bridge Arts Project steering committee told the funding body and a collection of community leaders about the ambitious project, which would see the proposed new bridge form the central part of a major art and cultural exhibition celebrating indigenous and post-colonial Australian history.

The steering committee hopes to have some say in the new bridge, with things like the pier design, decorative designs in concrete pylons and even having hooks placed on the bridge that artwork could be hung from.

Steering committee secretary Chris Bilkey said the project would stretch along the bridge route and would include an information centre, gallery and interpretative centre, as well as the possibility of a conference and education centre some time in the future.

Mr Bilkey said a significant amount of the Yorta Yorta story would be told, but it was also hoped to represent all of Australia’s indigenous story through art.

‘‘We want to make this an iconic national indigenous art centre,’’ Mr Bilkey said.

RDA’s Barb Hull told those present Federal Regional Development and Arts Minister Simon Crean was interested in the project.

VicRoad’s regional director Mal Kersting was supportive of the steering committee’s ideas and Yorta Yorta Nation’s Neville Atkinson said it was a way of ‘‘drawing a line in the sand of the past and moving forward together’’.

Mr Bilkey said the project was dependant on the building of the new Echuca-Moama bridge.

However, as much of the initial work would be on the NSW side, Mr Bilkey said the start of the project would not be delayed by which of the mid-west two bridge options were chosen to go ahead.

The steering committee has a long-term vision for the project, with Mr Bilkey saying it would be done in stages and could take 20 years to complete.

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