Save the Mary campaigners Glenda Pickersgill and Jenny Mengel compare the contrasting images of Anna Bligh and Peter Garrett at Gympie Regional Gallery .
Save the Mary campaigners Glenda Pickersgill and Jenny Mengel compare the contrasting images of Anna Bligh and Peter Garrett at Gympie Regional Gallery . Craig Warhurst

Art celebrates protest

SUCH a huge effort was contributed by protesters to the Traveston Crossing Dam proposal for three and half years that it is hard to include the output from all that energy under one roof.

The Gympie Regional Gallery and its major sponsor The Gympie Times are joining forces for their annual birthday exhibition, this year titled ‘The Art of Protest’.

The exhibition is all about the on-the-ground art that was used to get the message across that the Traveston Crossing dam proposal was unacceptable to this community.

It is about the raw, immediate, responsive art that was out there on highways, fences, billboards, banners, worn on bodies, paraded through many protest marches, sung, or performed by countless protestors young and old.

This is a community’s response from the heart that sprang up immediately after the announcement from Premier Beattie in April 2006, and didn’t stop until the final announcement by Minister Peter Garrett on that memorable day, November 11, 2009.

The creative spirit continued throughout the three and half years, relentlessly. There were always new ideas, new tactics, new slogans and many events that reached out and touched a nation and the world.

The exhibition ‘The Art of Protest’ will display a selection of the actual items, merchandise, posters, cartoons, costumes and other items from this period, accompanied by video footage and the music that was part of the campaign.

This exhibition represents the beginning of documenting the visual evidence showing the different stages and aspects of the campaign to save the Mary River.

“The campaign to stop the damming of the Mary River at Traveston Crossing stands out like the Franklin Dam campaign as one of raising the bar in our collective understanding of why we need to protect our environment and why rivers need to run free to the seaSave the Mary River Group president Glenda Pickersgill said.

These items are now regarded as collectibles in one way, because they show the range and diversity of what people can do.

To see a large room like the gallery space full of these items will bring back many memories, and will also give those who weren’t as involved an idea of the massive effort that was achieved.

The exhibition will be on display until April 3.

Entry is free.

Now on display

  • The Art of Protest, on until April 3 in The Gympie Times Exhibition Space. A representation of the protest items used to gain public and political attention during the three- and-a-half years of campaigning against the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam.
  • Zebras and Other Animals, by local artist Nonie Metzler. On display until March 13.
  • Faces and Inspirations, by local artist Violette Vegh-Jameson OAM. On display until March 13.
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