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Menagerie, Wagga Wagga and a Flood

Sandra is Object’s Touring Coordinator, and was recently in Wagga Wagga to uninstall Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture ahead of its opening in Dubbo, during the awful flooding that besieged the city.

The exciting life of a touring exhibitions coordinator.

Last week I was away from the office, down in Wagga Wagga to pack up the Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture exhibition that has been showing at the regional gallery there. Concern about my wellbeing and whether I was floundering around in floodwater from colleagues prompted this response:

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‘Thanks for your concern. Luckily I am not driving around in the floods. I flew into Wagga Wagga Monday lunch time after my flight was cancelled on Sunday. We worked till late, around 6pm, making sure the works were high and dry if the levee bank broke and the gallery was inundated. Then I left, had some dinner and went to bed around 10pm. At 10:30pm there was a knock at the door and I was told to get out — literally! We were evacuated in case the levee across the road broke.

I had a great choice where to go — the local high school (I don’t think so) or my friend’s house who lives higher up in Dubbo. Of course I opted for the friend — dragging her husband out of bed to brave the road blocks and come and get me. So I spent two lovely nights with them, watching the rising water level each day, liaising with the gallery staff and going for a drive to see Lake Wagga (there actually isn’t a lake there normally) and trying to get the exhibition finished packing.

I gave up and flew home yesterday. The gallery was hopefully reopening today so that the staff could finish the pack ready to go to Dubbo. Thank goodness we have a week up our sleeves for the delivery to Dubbo as roads are damaged and may delay the delivery. All should be fine however for the install and opening.’

So, in response, that is my little story about my trip to Wagga. I think I need to apply for flood stress leave!

Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture opens at the Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, on 23 March. Our thoughts go out to all affected by the recent floods.

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