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Adding more to the Begonia Festival

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Looks like a little family: Cr Amy Johnson checks out the sculptures that Russ Brebner created and transported all the way from Frankston for the photo shoot.

THE 2016 Ballarat Begonia Festival will include a new creative element this year with a ‘Gardens of Reflection’ sculpture park. The sculpture exhibition will feature 12 substantial works by emerging and professional artists from Ballarat and the surrounding region. Sculptors will be on hand throughout the festival to demonstrate how they work with different materials, giving Festival-goers the opportunity to ‘have a go’ themselves. A ‘People’s Choice’ competition will see Festivalgoers vote on their favourite sculptural work, with a $500 cash prize for the winner, announced after the Begonia Parade on Monday 14 March.

Selected pieces will be available to purchase at the Festival.

Exhibiting artists are: Amanda Hills – Cuprum Epiphytus; Russ Brebner – Connection; David Barclay – Bird Baths; Gabrielle Hingston & Emma Lamb – Infinity Blocks; Becky Salomons & Jack Pasco – Self Realisation; Eva Eskinazi – The Forest; Michael Shiell – Special installation in the trees.

Russ Brebner has been a sculptor for ten years and says while it doesn’t pay as much as his regular job, he gets great enjoyment from making the artwork. “I frequent a lot of resource places, recycling depots – I end up with a lot of donations from people who have seen me work and they ring up to ask if I want some stuff, which is great” he said. “But I travel all over the place looking for bits and pieces.”

Cr Amy Johnson said out of the 12 sculptors one is from Frankston and the others are established and emerging artists from the region. “The sculptors have used a variety of materials to create their sculptures and festival goers will not only have the opportunity to watch them work but have a go themselves,” she said.

The Ballarat Begonia Festival is on at the Botanical Gardens over the long weekend 12 to 14 March from 10am to 5pm daily. For more information, visit www.ballaratbegoniafestival.com.au and follow us on Facebook. Highlights of the 2016 Festival: The biggest begonia display you’ll ever see in the Conservatory; The return of the world’s largest outdoor Begonia LEGO flower and popular LEGO Treasure Trail; 103.1 Power FM Begonia Parade; Live music and roving entertainment; Children’s theatre, Polyglot, is visiting with its giant Ants; Markets – Gardener’s Market and Creative Designer’s Market; Gardening workshops with Jason Hodges (Better Homes and Gardens) and Dale Vine (The Block).