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By Michael Doran

There is much to be admired in the work of skilled artisans and the Yarra Valley certainly has more than its share of artists of every imaginable persuasion.

The worlds of fine wine and art will again intersect when the 18th Annual Yarra Valley Arts / Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition and Awards opens on 28 October.

The event, a joint collaboration between Yarra Valley Arts and Yering Station, was first held in 2001 and is a part of the broader arts program that runs at Yering Station throughout the year.

Yering Station Art Gallery Curator, Dr. Ewen Jarvis, said the combination of art and wine is not something new.

“Art, in its many forms, and wine have had a close association dating back to the very early French vineyards,” he said. “Marc Chagall said that ‘great arts picks up where nature ends’, and viticulture is all about nature.”

“I believe this is the second longest running sculpture exhibition in Australia and we had around 80 entries this year.”

“From that we have narrowed it down to 39 finalists whose work will be exhibited in the gardens and interiors of Yering Station, a stunning backdrop for works of this quality.”

“In selecting a winner, we look for originality and freshness of ideas as well as a mastery of the medium the artist is working in. We receive entries in all forms of materials, such as metals, stone, plastics, light and paper.”

Yering Station has been owned by Doug and Ann Rathbone since 1996 and it was the influence of Ann, an art lover, which led to the Art Gallery being created.

The sculpture exhibition takes a commission on all sales, the majority of which is donated to the Leukaemia Auxiliary Royal Children’s Hospital.

This charity has a close connection to the Rathbone family as son, Matthew, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1979.

The balance of commissions goes to Yarra Valley Arts, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to enhancing the cultural lives of residents and visitors to the region.

The exhibition runs from 28 October to 9 December and all details can be found at www.yering.com/artgallery or from the gallery on 9730 0102.

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