Field day art on show

Kate PollardCountryman

In less than two weeks, gates to the 41st Newdegate Machinery Field Days will open.

Among the happy crowds looking at the latest machinery, sheep and technology will be a special group of art lovers looking to add to a 33-year-old collection.

Special liftout COUNTRYMAN newspaper September 5

Since 1980, the Shire of Lake Grace has invested in a piece of artwork entered in the Newdegate field days art exhibition.

Today, the 58-piece collection of water colours and oil paintings - including works by local artists Melva English, Muriel Walker and Judy Stewart - is displayed throughout the council administration building.

Community services manager Lee Holben has been involved with curating the collection since moving from the City of Melville, which had a 400-piece collection.

"The collection is a reflection and a part of history," Ms Holben said.

Artwork selected is a combined effort of councillors and staff with appropriate knowledge.

"We look for a local flavour and also look at technique, the quality of the artwork work and the way it's framed," Ms Holben said.

Initially, the Shire's collection focused on local artists but has expanded to include works with a local content including farm buildings, flowers, birds and rural landscapes.

There are also pieces from well known artists such as John Ainsworth, Delma White and Linda O'Brien.

Within the next few months, the Shire aims to have the entire collection uploaded to its website, including information on the work and artist.

Gates open to the general public from 8am, and the art exhibition is open from 9am to 6pm.

This year's theme celebrates innovation in agriculture, with WA inventor and farmer Ray Harrington officially opening the event.

There will be plenty to see, including a revamped Dyson Jones Wool and Technology pavilion and the latest genetics in the Bayer Avenge Ram Shed.

There will also be much to capture the interest of children, such as international act Zap Circus, fireworks and all the latest machinery.

The Newdegate Machinery Field Days are on Wednesday and Thursday, September 4 and 5.

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