Sunday, May 26, 2024

Full face test for Ballarat Heritage Festival

Preparations for the upcoming Ballarat Heritage Festival are well underway, with one event given a test run overnight.

Giant faces were beamed onto trees in Sturt Street on Wednesday night as a teaser to the festival.

Monuments, by Australian artist Craig Walsh, is a free outdoor video installation that projects large human faces onto trees to challenge traditional expectations of public monuments and the selective history represented in some civic spaces.

As part of the festival, the faces of Wadawurrung man Barry Gilson, local restaurateur of Greek heritage Terry Frangos, and Charles Zhang of the Chinese Australian Cultural Society Ballarat will be projected onto the large trees in Sturt Street’s centre median.

To be shown nightly during the festival, the faces of the three local identities will visually depict how Ballarat became home to a shared group of Traditional Owners and migrants from Chinese and European backgrounds.

Monuments will run every night between 6pm and 9pm for the festival, from Friday 17 May-Sunday 26 May.

For Craig Walsh, it will be the first time his work has been showcased in Ballarat, but comes off the back of countless exhibitions throughout Australia and overseas including in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Singapore.

He said he was thrilled to be able to exhibit his works in Ballarat’s historic Sturt Street boulevard.

“This project not only recognises Barry, Terry and Charles and their communities for their distinctive contribution to Ballarat, but also acts to represent the many people making a difference in this region, often in a way not recognised in our public monuments,” Mr Walsh said.

Mayor, Des Hudson said the entire Ballarat Heritage Festival line-up was shaping up as one of the most impressive festivals to date.

It is expected the 10-day celebration of Ballarat’s proud heritage will inject $2.5 million into the Ballarat economy.

“The events that are on offer this year provide a brilliant mix of interactive experiences, food and drink, performances, markets, tours, workshops, you name it – we’ve got it covered,” Mayor Hudson said.

“I’m particularly proud of the First Nations focus in so many of the opportunities, including Jenna Oldaker’s creative immersion display story in the shipping container, the Victorian Opera performing Parrwang Lifts the Sky, and the Wadawurrung Culture and Language Session.  

“Ballarat is known far and wide for its 1850s heritage, but it’s crucial we continue to deepen our understanding and celebrate the thousands of years that Indigenous peoples lived on these lands.”

The festival program, event highlights, tickets and maps can be found at

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