By JOHN DOOLEY

AS the saying goes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and there are certainly some treasures on display at this year’s ‘Trash to Art’ exhibition at Gallery F, which officially opens tonight and runs until November 24.

The exhibition, which is enjoying its fourth year, was the brainchild of Christie Centre Disability Support Worker and event organiser Mel Castleman, PICTURED, who is also the facilitator of the centre’s ArtRageUs program, which sees participants producing amazing artwork from a variety of assorted materials.

Ms Castleman said the idea for the Trash to Art competition had emerged from something she had seen in a supported-employment newsletter, which featured a story from Hobart, about an organisation that runs the ‘Tip shop’ and employs people with disabilities in a similar way to Aroundagain, the recycling social enterprise run by the Christie Centre.

“I saw that they had an exhibition called ‘Art from Trash’ and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness we have to do this’, it was just too perfect to ignore and so that inspired me to get our own under way,” she said.

The Christie Centre’s ArtRageUs Wednesday Group have an entry in this year’s exhibition titled ‘Dreams in the Sky’, which features a NASA-inspired rocket ship, and a flight command centre, which is based on the Thunderbirds, and is constructed out of bits and pieces found at Aroundagain.

Another fascinating work is the ‘Harley Seahorse’ constructed out of parts from an old Harley Davidson motorbike, and an eye-catching work ‘Car Boot Living’, which has a collection of colourful characters is a highlight as is the ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ entered by Mildura Primary School students.

Ms Castleman said that the exhibition is the culmination of a lot of entries from a variety of people.

“We have entries from the ArtRageUs art program and other members of the community who have an interest in creating things, including schools and people who live out on blocks and farms who have put some unusual pieces together from all sorts of things,” she said.

“It’s open to anyone, and some people who may not call themselves artists have been brave and put themselves out there and submitted entries.”

In addition to the works on display at Gallery F, there is also an outdoor exhibition of sculptures and larger pieces of work at the Eco Village, which will open on Sunday, November 11.

The winner will receive $1000, and their work will remain on permanent display at the village with other sculptures from previous years, and eventually, as the years go by, it will become a sculpture park.

Following the exhibition’s opening tonight at 6pm, Mildura Fringe will stage their ‘Trashion Parade’ from 7pm in the Museum of Innocence, adjacent to Gallery F, which will feature two categories – ‘Trashy’, create an outfit from trash, and ‘Thrifty’, put together your best OpShop outfit.

The night will be jam-packed with Melbourne eclectic rock and roll band the Easy Browns, and there will also be a David Bowie Tribute show, performed by local muso Walter Ison, as well as slam poet champion CJ Bowerbird, who will be providing some off-the-radar entertainment.

Registration for the Trashion Parade will take place tonight at the door, and prizes will be awarded to the best entries. 

Drinks are available at bar prices and entry is by donation. Gallery F is located at 31-33 Deakin Avenue, and is open to visitors Thursday and Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm.