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Unlikely art: Guide Dog collection dogs take centre stage in new exhibition

BY Guide Dogs Victoria | 21-Apr-2016
Guide Dogs Victoria will make its first foray into Melbourne’s art scene this International Guide Dog Day (Wednesday 27th April), launching its Recollections exhibition at the State Library of Victoria, free to the public. The Recollections exhibition, hosted by the State Library of Victoria in its Keith Murdoch Gallery, will feature a litter of collection dogs that have been repurposed into works of art by leading contemporary artists local to Melbourne and a selection of metropolitan schools. The free exhibition explores the life changing role a Guide Dog plays in supporting people with vision loss to lead independent lives.
Venue: Keith Murdoch Gallery, State Library of Victoria
Address: 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Date: April 28th - May 10th
Time: 10am - 5pm
Ticket: Free
: https://www.facebook.com/guidedogsvictoria
Recollections Exhibition Logo (Credit Guide Dogs Victoria)
Old hounds saved from dog house by creative crowd Exhibition of repurposed collection dogs to raise funds for future Guide Dogs 27 April 2016, Melbourne, Victoria: Guide Dogs Victoria will make its first foray into Melbourne’s art scene this International Guide Dog Day (Wednesday 27th April), launching its Recollections exhibition at the State Library of Victoria, free to the public. The Recollections exhibition, hosted by the State Library of Victoria in its Keith Murdoch Gallery, will feature a litter of collection dogs that have been repurposed into works of art by leading contemporary artists local to Melbourne and a selection of metropolitan schools. The free exhibition explores the life changing role a Guide Dog plays in supporting people with vision loss to lead independent lives. Guide Dogs Victoria CEO, Karen Hayes, said the exhibition gave the organisation an opportunity to engage with the community on what independence looks like, using art to encapsulate the freedom and joy that Guide Dogs bring to Victorians with a vision impairment or blindness. “The beauty of what a Guide Dog does is in the everyday – in their working life, a Guide Dog will walk over 9000 kilometres supporting people to go to a footy match, do their shopping or even guide a father and his daughter down the aisle. “The works of art in the exhibition are simply stunning and show various interpretations of reimagining independence. The creative process connected artists and students with the stories of people living with vision loss, with many becoming passionate advocates for the equal rights of those living with a disability,” she said. “The exhibition demonstrates our commitment to educating the community on the importance of providing an inclusive community for people living with vision loss, and we’d like to sincerely thank the artists and students, as well as the Business without Borders Swinburne students who all played a part in bringing this to fruition.” The Recollections exhibition also pays homage to the important role Guide Dogs Victoria Collection Dogs have played in raising funds for the organisation and raising awareness for Guide Dogs in the community since they first made their debut in the 1960s. “We have uncovered so many stories of people who as small children remember being given a coin or two to put in the Collection dog, and sneaking a quick cuddle with it before they were taken off begrudgingly to help with the groceries. “Through this simple act, parents have been teaching their children about the joy of giving and the importance of personally contributing to society, and these are the stories we love hearing. Stories like 9 year old Xavier who each week puts a portion of his pocket money into his local shopping centre’s Collection dog.” Each artist and school has gifted Guide Dogs Victoria their works of art to be auctioned to raise funds for the organisation to continue breeding and training Guide Dogs for those living with blindness or a vision impairment. The exhibition will also house a suite of heritage collection dogs, photography and artefacts from the Guide Dogs Victoria archives. Audio descriptions will be available and all artworks are available for purchase through an online bidding platform to raise money for future Guide Dogs. What: Guide Dogs Victoria’s Recollections exhibition When: Thursday 28th April – Tuesday 10th May, 10.00am – 5.00pm daily Where: Keith Murdoch Gallery, State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne Cost: Free - ENDS - Media enquiries: Tabitha Mathew: 03 9268 7800 | 0400 621 323 | tabitha@keepleft.com.au Georgia Harrison: 03 9268 7800 | 0423 617 372 | georgia@keepleft.com.au Jessie Csaplar: 03 9268 7800 | 0430 112 546 | jessie@keepleft.com.au About Guide Dogs Victoria: Guide Dogs Victoria is Australia's largest and most successful breeder and trainer of Guide Dogs nationally, providing 75 per cent of Victoria’s Guide Dogs. Guide Dogs Victoria is about so much more than Guide Dogs. The organisation also offers wider support of vision impaired and blind Victorians through a suite of programs including Children/Youth Services, Adult Services, Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services and Occupational Therapy Services. Guide Dogs Victoria receives only 8 per cent of Government funding for services other than Guide Dog Mobility, which is reliant on community donations exclusively. Fast Facts: • Every day, 28 Australians are diagnosed with uncorrectable vision loss, including nine who become blind. • Over the next 10 years it’s predicted that more than 2,000 Guide Dogs will need to be trained to keep up with the growing demand from Australians who are blind or vision impaired, at a staggering cost of over $60 million. • A Guide Dog will walk