Suitcases packed with art

By John Lewis

If you have ever wondered what an ankus is, or wanted to handle some Aboriginal bush toys, Shepparton Library can offer you the chance.

The library is hosting a National Gallery of Australia exhibition called Travelling Suitcase which features artworks of historic and contemporary significance which can be examined and even handled by interested people.

The travelling exhibition is the result of a gift from Australian-born former World Bank president Jim Wolfensohn who donated funds in 1988 enabling the NGA to fill three suitcases with artworks. The cases have since travelled to schools, libraries, community centres, regional galleries and nursing homes across regional and remote Australia.

Shepparton Library has two suitcases for viewing — a red case containing artworks which draw upon beliefs and symbols of ancient cultures from India, China, Africa and Australia; and a yellow case which presents a mixture of concepts that show humour and originality.

Examples include a ceremonial teapot and an ankus — a prod used to guide an elephant — and bush toys of stockmen on horses from Santa Teresa near Alice Springs. 

Individual pieces can be viewed in the library display case until Sunday, October 6.

Library visitors can touch and examine individual artifacts on any weekday between 4pm and 5pm when library staff will open up the cases for close viewing.

For more information and to book a viewing, phone 1300 374 765.