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Maria Coyle©, Children Chatting, ceramic (in foreground).  

 A very good friend regards Yering Station as the best place to eat in the Yarra Valley.  Sadly, when I went last Friday I didn’t eat at the restaurant. The restaurant space (I did have a coffee) has a spectacular wall of windows along it’s length, looking out at an equally spectacular Yarra Valley view. The grounds and the buildings are dotted with some great sculptures. Some are courtesy of a partnership with Heide Museum of Modern Art and others are owned by Yering Station. You could say that sculpture is a bit of an artistic preoccupation there.  Primarily a winemaking operation (Victoria’s first vineyard) they are also the home of the Yering Station Sculpture Prize. Over the last few weeks, their arts co-ordinator, Savaad Felich, has been overseeing the preliminary planning for this year’s exhibition. The finalists will be exhibited at Yering Station from 23rd October- 4th December.  He gave me a bit of a heads up on the list of finalists. I’m pretty excited to hear that Antonio Villella is one of them. Other names mentioned were Wona Bae, Dean Putting, Jody Goldring, James Parret, Anna-Maria Plescia and Andrew Wood.  

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Bill Ogilvie©, Little Miracle, bronze

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Geoffrey Bartlett©, Chastity 1, mixed media & bronze

Above and below- sculptures on loan from the Heide Museum of Modern Art collection. (Incidentally one of the Yering Station Sculpture Prize finalists will exhibit as part of the Heide Museum of Modern Art summer program.)

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Bruce Armstrong©, Punic Technology, redgum & Tiger II, elm wood

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Savaad also oversees an average of eight exhibitions per year in the Gallery space. Clever use of the tasting room walls means that this is a great opportunity to enhance a bit of wine tasting with a bit of ‘art tasting’.  This exhibition of Sean Rodwell’s work formed  a great introduction for me to the Yering Station Arts Program. You may remember the ‘pollockesque’ work that Sean created before my eyes at the new Healesville Contemporary Artspace.  There were more dripped paintings here, plus some very striking portraits of the great painters of the world. Pollock, Andy Warhol, Diego Rivera, Salvador Dali, Brett Whiteley and our very own 2011 Archibald Prize winner Ben Quilty, to name just a few.

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Andy Warhol by Sean Rodwell©

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Ben Quilty by Sean Rodwell©

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Diego Rivera by Sean Rodwell©

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Yering Station provides that unbeatable combination of wine, food, art and picturesque views that marks the Yarra Valley out as a perfect destination.

I’m on a promise of an invite to the opening of this year’s Yering Station Sculpture Prize Exhibition, so you can be sure that this won’t be the last you’ll see of Yering Station on Isiiad.