Turtles swamp Kaiela studio

By Myles Peterson

Kaiela Arts studio’s third annual Turtle Muster Exhibition climaxed on Saturday with hundreds of clay turtles and a few of the real thing.

‘‘It’s been incredibly successful,’’ Kaiela Arts manager Angie Russi said.

‘‘We started at 11 o’clock and at 11am we had a whole swathe of children and parents come in and it’s been flat out until about 2pm.’’

Children swamped the studio in search of their own clay turtle creations, which had been assembled into the form of a giant turtle.

The final day of a three-month celebration, Saturday involved Turtles Australia bringing a collection of the real thing.

The three species on display were the Murray River turtle, the eastern snake-neck turtle and the culturally significant broad-shelled turtle.

‘‘It’s about honouring the turtle as the totem of this country, of the Yorta Yorta people, and the attributes of the turtle in terms of family and connection to country,’’ Ms Russi said

‘‘The fact that it needs water and our waterways need to be clean and environmentally sound for our turtles to survive is very important.’’

It was the biggest event in the muster’s three-year history with schools across the region getting involved.

‘‘We’ve had turtle muster offshoots going off everywhere,’’ Ms Russi said.