In 1940, Erwin Fabian was deported to Australia alongside some 2000 other ‘enemy aliens’. He was a Dunera boy who was interned in Camp 2 at Tatura. He was just 25. Today, he is one of Australia’s most significant modern artists, with a decades-long career as a sculptor and painter. An exhibition of the work of Erwin Fabian opened at Tatura Museum on 15 September 2019 at 1:00pm.
The Museum will open at 1.00pm and official proceedings will commence at 2.00pm.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Councillor Kim O’Keeffe, will officially open the new Tatura Museum Exhibition Gallery at the Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Museum.
Following the Official Opening, special guest Jana Wendt will be launching the Museums first exhibition in the new Tatura Museum Exhibition Gallery – Migration and the Refugee: The Art of Erwin Fabian.
The selected artworks span Fabian’s time spent in internment in Tatura through to more recent years and features artworks never before shown in public.
from Shepparton News:
Tatura residents were out in force yesterday for the official opening of the new exhibition gallery opening. Tacked on as major extension to the Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum the occasion also marked a new exhibition – Migration and the Refugee: The Art of Erwin Fabian.
Tatura Historical Society president Evert Worm said it was an important day for the town as it allowed the town to showcase its work. “We never had this space for our historical artefacts; we were piling it up and keeping it in containers,” Mr Worm said. “As we’ve been growing for the last 10 years, we had the office space, but then we needed a temperature control room, which can house our artefacts long term.
“Then we needed more space to put our exhibition in. “It’s fantastic to have the inaugural exhibition of these paintings in Tatura. “To have it home, to where he (Erwin Fabian) started his life is very important. “I’m sure it will be been important to him as well and he wouldn’t have picked any other place.”
Opening the gallery was Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe and opening the exhibition was veteran journalist Jana Wendt.
Ms Wendt said it was impressive to see the Tatura community supporting its history. “It’s wonderful to see a community investing so much in preserving the memory ofthis area and the memory of very important aspects of our history that took place here,” Ms Wendt said.
Erwin Fabian’s work reflects his time escaping Nazi Germany’s and British oppression for being a Jew before migrating to Australia. The Gold Logie Award winner said museum visitors would be impressed by Erwin Fabian’s moving work.
“At a time when there seems to be so much discord and disagreements surrounding just about everything in the world, it’s comforting to think, at least in my mind, that there is a principle that most people can agree on; whatever the politics or their ideological disposition,” Ms Wendt said. “I think most of us can say that we believe in the principle of universal human dignity.
“By that I mean that we recognise every person as valuable, and is bringing to the world and individual grace along with the individual humanity. “It’s a principle that’s recognised by people of faith, many faiths as well as people who claim no faith at all. “It’s largely because we hold to this belief that seeing other human beings in distress disturbs us when a person is in misery in trouble. We feel for them. “Because of our common humanity there’s a way that we share in their misfortune.
“Whether it’s the misfortune of strangers, whose stories we might see reported on the news or our friends or families, we instinctively put ourselves in their place. “We ask questions of ourselves, what would I do in the same circumstances would I survive? Could I survive? If what was happening to those people was happening directly to me?”