Winemaker Flower Plougher

Sunflower Geoglyph

Richard Tallis has been at it again — turning a paddock into a giant artwork ready for this weekend’s SheppARTon Festival Dream Voices performance.The Dream Voices celebration and community performance starts from 5pm at Tallis Wine March 9th 2014 - ALL WELCOME FREE EVENT.

This year’s ploughed paddock or ‘‘geoglyph’’ depicts a huge sunflower measuring more than 1km from stem to flower tip. Last year, Richard ploughed a giant long-necked turtle totem into the same paddock to celebrate the festival theme of Emerging Voices. Festival artistic director John Head designed this year’s paddock artwork. The main body of the flower, including petals, is more than 380m long and 250m wide.

The labyrinth contains more than 5km of trails that took Richard three days to plough using a GPS device on his tractor. The flower stem represents the journey taken by a myriad of cultures to the Goulburn Valley. John explains the thinking behind the sunflower image in a carefully-worded artistic statement.

‘‘The unfurling leaves on the sides represents life’s choices along the road to a better path and the sunflower with its spiralling central path depicts the rich rural industry surrounded in the finger-like petals of an overseeing spirit of the Indigenous custodians of the region.’’

Sunday night’s Dream Voices event involves lighting, projection, music and mobile scultpures, culminating with a choir performance telling the Indigenous story of creation conducted by Indigenous soprano Deborah Cheetham. The performance will end with the voices of the multicultural Dream Voices choir singing the festival theme song written by Shepparton singer-songwriter Tenielle McKenzie.

The Dream Voices celebration and community performance starts from 5pm at Tallis Wine, 195 Major Plains Rd, Dookie on Sunday. Shepp Transit buses are available and must be pre-booked by emailing buses@sheppartonfestival.org.au with name, contact number and number of seats. Bus tickets are $5 return. The first bus leaves from outside Shepparton Library on Marungi St at 4.30pm. It will return at 9.30pm.