There were many dignitaries in attendance including the Governor of Victoria, Michael de Kretser, Minister for the Arts, Peter Batchelor and Emergency Services Commissioner, Bruce Esplin. The rec reserve car park was full of cars with locals and visitors from across the state.
Prior to the AGM the Minister officially launched the Illuminated by Fire project. The project will see 11 artists across different Victorian Communities provide different views on the relationship with fire in Victoria.
Sharon Collins, the effervescent leader of the Arts Work Engine in Flowerdale, is one of the artists whose projects was selected. Sharon's project Enlightened Spirits will see the casting of people's hands from across the community which will be hung from a habitat tree and incorporate Fibre Optic lighting. This is something in which all in the community can participate.
When Sharon described her project at the podium she said it represented the coming together of the community since Black Saturday. In Sharon's words "prior to the fire we knew a few people in the area, since the fire we now have hundreds of new best friends".
The most spectacular part of the launch was the lighting of 11 Black 44 Gallon Drums which had patterns cut into them which lit up when the bins were set on fire.
The Flowerdale Drum burns brightly
After the Launch there was a light lunch in the Rec Reserve Clubrooms with an art exhibition of works by local artists. The diversity of the exhibition was a real eye opener with paintings, glasswork, woodwork and photography contributed by a wide range of local artists.
One of the Art Works by Sharon Collins
Perhaps the highlight for me was the number of people commenting on the spirit of the community as well as the way so many people pitched in to make the day a great success. I heard so many people say "what an amazing community".
Those people included:
- Sharon Collin's for the work she did in coordinating the event
- Pete Auty and the CFA who set up the Fire Drums
- Andrew Holyoak who cut the patterns into the drums
- The local artists who set up the display and contributed works
- The Community House people who did the lunch and refreshments
- Samm Hall for all the work she did in capturing photos of the event
- David Thompson who set up the Audio Visual equipment
and I am sure there were others who also pitched in.
Also a big thanks to the drumming group who provided the music on the day.
It was a wonderful day and Flowerdale really shone.