Eye-opening view of our streets

Eye-opening view of our streets

By Sahar Foladi

We become so busy with daily tasks of life that sometimes we don’t take notice of our surroundings. We exist, but we don’t live. We look, but we don’t see.

Walker Street Gallery is hosting a ‘Surveyed Exhibition,’ where locals can view the paintings of the local streets of Greater Dandenong.

The extraordinary exhibition includes works from Harley Manifold, Giordano Biondi who created clay models of imagined cities, and the bold palette of Amaya Iturri who demonstrated the possibility of change through color.

Growing up almost seven hours away from the CBD, Mr Manifold had always found it interesting as a kid when his family would drive to the city.

“Growing up in the landscape, I became very connected to the environments around me,” Mr Manifold said.

Mr Manifold, now based in the relaxed seaside suburb of Warrnambool, made the almost four hour drive to Dandenong and said he really enjoyed the experience.

“I really enjoyed meeting the people of Dandenong while I was painting. I met so many different people from so many different walks of lives and they were all just so nice and so interested in what I was doing.”

Despite contracting pneumonia leading up to the completion of the painting, Mr Manifold enjoyed the experience as a whole.

“I feel very lucky and very thankful to be able to do this for a living, but also to be able to connect with people in this way, it’s priceless,” Mr Manifold said.

With a hobby in drawing as a kid, Mr Manifold would become a visual artist who would go on as a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize as well as Salon Des Refuses of the Archibald and Wynne Prize.

“There’s a lot about the shape itself. The very interesting shapes that buildings form, but there’s much more about how we build our environment in cities.”

Mr Manifold was among 39 finalists out of almost 600 entrants for The Darling Portrait Prize.

The exhibition also features an historical survey of images, maps and drawings from the Council’s Civic and Cultural Heritage Collection.

Together, the works provide a recording of this place, the City of Greater Dandenong.

Surveyed Exhibition is at Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, corner Walker Street and Robinson Street, Dandenong until Friday 18 November. Details: www.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au/surveyed-exhibition

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