Thumbs up to appeal and rolls

June 28, 2017

Appealing: DCM’s proposal got the nod because it is the tallest and has the best-looking avatars.

So now we know, and those who don’t know don’t care.

Apparently, when it comes to the new Shepparton Art Museum, there’s a whole army of don’t cares out there, but let’s not be swayed by the howling echo chamber of Facebook.

There are more than enough hysterical lattesippers, cultural tourists, Bohemians, card-carrying Trotskyists, big-end-of-towners, LGBTI people and cake decorators among us to populate the new SAM.

The announcement of Melbourne architect firm Denton Corker Marshall as the designer of the new Shepparton Art Museum means we can all now relax and get back to slugging Absinthe and planning the next revolution.

This thing is going to happen.

I can see why DCM’s proposal got the nod — out of the five finalists it is the tallest and has the best looking avatars, particularly the darkhaired girl taking photos.

She is just the type of invested cultural tourist we want to attract — possibly from overseas, possibly gay, obviously an Instagrammer and she looks to be carrying a Gucci handbag. Perfect.

Other attractions include plenty of parents with baby strollers, a cafe and rooftop space for events and a ‘Community arbour, and art hill’.

The metallic exterior would also make a great backdrop for DarkMofo-style edgy light shows or regular screenings of Captain America: Civil War.

The official council announcement sums it all up in crystal clear bureacratese: ‘‘well-resolved and compelling in its sculptural expression and detail with a highly adaptable, functional, safe and efficient solution’’.

Yes, quite. I can see it all before me in 600 dpi resolution.

Anyway, the decision is a good one.

First of all, because the building is tall and will become a landmark — this will be something you can’t ignore.

Secondly, it allows plenty of open-air engagement on a community level and I particularly like the grassy slope. Kids of all ages love a good grassy slope-roll.

Particularly after a glass or two of 2006 Spatburgunder.

It is excellent to see a dedicated space for Gallery Kaiela in the DCM plan.

Placing local indigenous art at the cultural heart of Shepparton is a wise and exciting move.

My only worry is that from the DCM designs available, there does not appear to be any mention of a community performance area.

It was hoped among the performing arts sectors of the community that some dedicated space would be available for music, theatre and dance.

There is an auditorium, but I assume this is for educational purposes.

Of course, the new SAM is ostensibly a visual arts gallery to better display the museum’s vast collection of Australian ceramics and arts philanthropist Carillo Gantner’s collection of indigenous art.

Any performance space would be an adjunct to the building’s main purpose.

Nevertheless, I would have thought bringing people in from the wider arts spectrum would help broaden the community attraction.

There has been an enormous amount of interest in this vision from the time it was first proposed four years years ago.

There were 1417 public submissions received for the aesthetic proposals and 1781 respondents to the economic plan.

There were probably an equal amount of negative comments on social media.

There will always be those who see art and culture as a waste of space and money.

But I believe this bold new ‘‘beacon in the landscape’’ will present a face to the world that represents our growing and sophisticated multi-layered community.

I also hope the lattes and Spatburgunders are not too expensive.

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