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Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Page: 14194

Mr BYRNE (Holt) (10:30): I rise today to advise my constituency and people around it about a great opportunity for local community groups, sporting organisations, faith based institutions, local schools, TAFEs and universities to permanently house one of the what I call brilliant Armistice centenary commemorative paintings. Last year, to commemorate the Armistice centenary, we awarded $28,210 to Provenance Artists under the Armistice Centenary Grants Program. What happened is that Provenance Artists commissioned over 20 local artists to paint commemorative paintings for a special Holt Armistice 100-year fine art exhibition.

I think one of the things that was most impressive about what Provenance Artists did commissioning these 20 local artists was that they met with the RSL and asked, 'What is the best way, through art, that we can articulate, express and commemorate Armistice Day 1918 and the centenary of it in 2018?' What they did—through paintings that were exhibited at the mechanics hall when they launched in October 2018, at the Casey Central shopping centre in November and also at the Cranbourne RSL in December 2018—was brilliantly encapsulate what it meant to be there, what it is like to be a relative of one of the soldiers who were there and what it was like there. So we have these almost priceless paintings that now comprise an exhibition.

For young people that art speaks to—and it still does speak to them—it's a great way of articulating to them, very powerfully and viscerally, an experience, and communicating it briefly and succinctly. This group of paintings that has been commissioned by Provenance Artists is something that I want to be permanently distributed to members of my community. So what I'm calling for—and we'll have the details when we put this clip up—is for people within my constituency to apply to house one of these paintings. Some of the artists that have painted these paintings would normally charge $10,000 or $15,000 for a commissioned painting. They were paid a lot less, but the quality of the art—and I saw it in people's reactions at the Casey Central shopping centre and at the RSL—is great, communicating a powerful message about the sacrifice of our soldiers. I urge anyone in my constituency who wants one of these paintings to apply to our office. Lest we forget.