Local artists have put the finishing touches on some huge illuminated floral creations in Ballarat’s main thoroughfare in celebration of the 69th annual Ballarat Begonia Festival (6-28 March).
Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney said the installations were exceptional and a great addition to the new look COVID-safe Begonia Festival program that has moved its emphasis into the CBD to adequately disperse crowds and support local businesses and the economy.
“The fact that we have been able to utilise some of the best homegrown artists and creators, many of them with an international standing, is a great nod to our creative city status,” Cr Moloney said.
Ballarat brothers Nathan and Justin Weyers from local set design and production house FORM Imagination have produced a giant illuminated garden on Sturt Street, creating a colourful and magical world of blooms, discovery and wonder.
The talented duo, who have worked on projects around the world from London to Dubai, from The Lion King to Harry Potter, are proud to be bringing their talents to the 2021 Begonia Festival.
The City invited individual artists to put their own creative design on giant illuminated letters in Sturt Street that spell out B-E-G-O-N-I-A. The artists have drawn inspiration from Ballarat’s natural surrounds and used colour and alternative materials to bring the letters to life during the day and evening.
Ballarat’s historic Town Hall has been graced with a breathtaking begonia garland featuring 100 exquisite handcrafted paper clay begonias by Ballarat indigenous artist Dr Deanne Gilson.
In the median strip opposite the Town Hall stands Spherophyte, a 6.5-metre-tall kinetic sculpture with 48 moving arms by artist Alex Sanson from Metaform. The sculpture has integrated lighting so it can also be enjoyed day and night.
Over at the Civic Hall, the Urban Garden is a not-to-be-missed floral exhibition highlighting the exceptional talent of local and regional florists. This event includes a world-first floating begonia carpet by Floral Enterprises’ Kevin Moneghetti and will be on display for a limited time (6-14 March).
The 2021 begonia display will be open every day of the festival at the Robert Clark Conservatory at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens from 10am-5pm.
Residents and visitors can also explore the region through the floral frame trail featuring six over-sized photo frames creatively dressed by local Ballarat artists.
All COVID-safe requirements will apply at Begonia Festival events including QR code scanning, one entry, one exit points (staffed), social distancing and maximum capacities at the Robert Clark Centre (50 people) and Civic Hall (100) at any time.
For a full program of events visit ballaratbegoniafestival.com