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Art and law a passionate combination

Art and law a passionate combination

ART AND law seem to be combining their disparate charms everywhere we look this week, from chilly Melbourne to sunny Queensland.In Victoria, the Passion exhibition launched this year’s Law Week…

ART AND law seem to be combining their disparate charms everywhere we look this week, from chilly Melbourne to sunny Queensland.

In Victoria, the Passion exhibition launched this year’s Law Week and Arts Law Week in Victoria, where law professionals and visual artists have combined forces to create a visual tour-de-force of unique art works. The exhibition program featured an artists meet and greet with guest speakers Brian Tee MP, the Parliamentary Secretary Justice, Julian Burnside QC, and Penny Hutchinson, Director of Arts Victoria.

The artists have adopted members of the judiciary as their muses for the Passion project. Mitra Malekzadeh (Iranian), Andrea Draper (Burmese), Sutueal Bekele Althe (Ethiopian), Bill Poon (Chinese), Naeem Rama (Pakistan), Georgia Metaxas (Greek) & Lyn Thorpe (Aboriginal ) have joined forces with Her Honour Judge Felicity Hampel, The Hon Justice Lex Lasry, David Allen, Bernard Balmer, Clint Lingard, The Hon Chief Justice Warren AC and Julian Burnside QC, who have each provided the artists with inspiration.

“This is an exciting and unconventional partnership between two communities that normally never cross paths,” said Jill Morgan, Executive Officer of Multicultural Arts Victoria, who are co-sponsoring Arts Law Week. “It’s possibly a world first.”

“All the artists are from culturally diverse backgrounds including Indigenous Australia,” explained Roger Ouk, a Multicultural Arts Victoria Board member and formerly a refugee from Cambodia,

“Generally, people in the legal profession are seen as elite or from privileged backgrounds. By bringing them together, we’re highlighting the common humanity in Australia's diversity,” he said.

Meanwhile, moving North, national law firm Clayton Utz has announced a new artist’s scholarship scheme in Queensland. The Clayton Utz Travelling Arts Scholarship, nicknamed LAUNCH, will be awarded twice this year? in July and December ? to an “emerging Queensland-based visual artist or an artist with a close connection to the state who can demonstrate their commitment to artistic practise.”

The $5000 will give the artist the opportunity to travel within Australia or overseas to undertake formal study, a residency or a planned program with a professional artist or mentor, or informal study for a planned research project.

The works will be displayed at the Clayton Utz offices in Eagle Street on loan for six months.

Clayton Utz Brisbane managing partner Michael Klug said he was proud that the firm was able to support some of Queensland's rising artists.

“There are so many talented artists waiting for the opportunity to showcase their work and a means by which to develop their careers. We hope that the LAUNCH initiative will give a few of them the chance to do so.” he said.

The winner of the first scholarship will be announced at the LAUNCH exhibition opening on 2 July 2008.Twenty-five finalists, including the winner, will also be invited to exhibit their work at the LAUNCH exhibition at the Metro Arts Main Gallery in Brisbane.

The full Passion exhibition is currently on show at Bourke Place, 600 Bourke St, Melbourne. For more information about either of these exhibitions visit the websites: or

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