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It’s time to make your architectural and artistic mark

Want to make your mark in regional Australia? With the Bridge Art Project, Echuca-Moama Art Gallery receiving funding, it’s time for the creative juices to flow and architecture to shine.

It’s time to make your architectural and artistic mark

Architectural concept, supplied by Brandrick Architects.

Excitement is in the air in the New South Wales town of Moama and its border neighbour in Victoria, Echuca, as the Bridge Art Project (BAP) is about to realise its dream. With a grant worth $4.95 million approved and on its way, design work and subsequent building can soon commence on an art gallery in Meninya Street in Moama that will see the twin towns benefit from a new cultural destination that is certain to become a must-visit on the regional tourism map.

The grant comes via the NSW Regional Tourism Activation Fund program and is testimony to more than 10 years of hard work by a dedicated group of committee members and friends, with a dream of a nationally significant precinct for contemporary art and artists as well as a community meeting place.

BAP chairperson Allison O’Brien says, “It represents the first and most important stage in a monumental plan that will see the addition of an elevated walkway from the gallery through 17 hectares of bushland to Dhungala, the Murray River, at a point adjacent to the landing of the new bridge and visible across the river from Echuca”.

Architectural concept, supplied by Brandrick Architects.

The project will be situated on Yorta Yorta Country, a unique stretch of forest-wetlands located in what is now known as the central Murray – Goulburn region. The BAP acknowledges that Yorta Yorta Ancestors, Elders, Family Groups, culture and traditions have nurtured these lands and waters, always. The river was not a border to First Nations people, but now forms the state border between Victoria and New South Wales.

Founding chairman and originator of the project, Barry Donchi, reflected on BAP’s journey, saying, “It started with an idea to create a precinct that sought to depict, through contemporary art, the history of humankind’s presence in Australia. The project will bridge histories and pave a future that prompts new conversations that enquire into the past for direction. We know that’s a big vision, but we love a challenge!”

Ash Keating, photography courtesy of Steve Huntley, Riverine Herald Echuca.

Of course, the grant is a wonderful beginning for BAP but more funding is required to ensure the totality of the dream becomes a reality and all contributions are gratefully received. Local support has been outstanding allowing BAP to purchase the Meninya Street property on which the gallery will be built.

BAP secretary Lynne Gillard pays tribute to a group of dedicated committee members and supportive local businesses who have been instrumental in their on-going contribution to the project.

Artwork by Clive Atkinson.

Last year, artist Ash Keating contributed his time and talent, free of charge, to paint the derelict house at 74 Meninya Street in vibrant mauves, purples and yellows to bring recognition to the project. Support for BAP has come in many shapes and sizes and the art installation by Keating was enormous as is his interest and support for the new art gallery.

However, first things first, and it’s time to consider plans for the new gallery. Expressions of interest for architecture, design and construction are welcome, simply email the Steering Committee of the Bridge Art Committee for more details at info@bridgeartproject.com.au.

Artwork by Lynne Gillard.

O’Brien is delighted at the prospect of the first stage adding, “We now enter the very exciting phase of getting the gallery built. We have the job of refining a design that will do justice to the site and the vision, however as is always the way, more funds are urgently required and benefactors are very welcome.”

The BAP extends an invitation to be part of a very special and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will create an enduring legacy for Moama, Echuca, the regions and indeed the states. Here is the chance for architects and architecture to make a tangible statement that can change the face of the twin towns, as well as the lives of the regional community, both now and for the future.

Photography by Alkina Edwards.

For further information contact, info@bridgeartproject.com.au

Bridge Art Project

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