FRESHWATER considers how water reflects ecological, cultural, political and economic realities. Through the works of over 20 Australian artists and artist collectives, alongside historic works drawn from the SAM Collection, FRESHWATER highlights how water remains central to identity, and to how and where we live.
Issues range from ecological concerns about rising salinity, plant and animal environments, refuse and waste, to the inevitable contest around sustainable balances between environmental and agricultural needs. Rivers and waterways also have cultural and historical significance as they sustain work and life and remind us of stories that stretch across time and place.
Two major waterways meet at the heart of Shepparton: The Goulburn River (or Kaiela River as local Aboriginal people refer to it); and the Broken River. The Goulburn River then runs from Shepparton through to Echuca, where it joins the Murray River. This region is rich and fertile, sustaining economies and agricultural practices from cattle and dairy, to the orchards for which Shepparton is known.
Artists: Ian Abdulla, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley, Louis Buvelot, Vera Cooper, Nici Cumpston, Bonita Ely, Jackie Giles Tjapaltjarri, Eugene von Guerard, Brent Harris, Andrew Hazewinkel, Jonathan Jones and Tom Nicholson, Rosemary Laing, Sir John Longstaff, James Morrison, Albert Namatjira, Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa, Rosie Nanyuma, Wintijya Napaljarri, Lin Onus, Jill Orr, Tiger Palpatja, Eva Ponting, John Skinner Prout, Sally Ross, The Telepathy Project, Gloria Thanacoupie, Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula, Fred Williams, and John Wolseley.