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I Am Someone exhibition opening night
Nov 05 2016

I_Am_Someone_-_opening_wall_shot

It used to be that the term ‘animal sanctuary’ would typically only bring up thoughts of spaces dedicated to wildlife, or dogs and cats, but sanctuaries that focus on ‘farmed animals’ are becoming more and more common. One such example is Where Pigs Fly, which began just over two years old in the beautiful surrounds of Laguna in the lower Hunter Valley (inland from Newcastle and under a two-hour drive north of Sydney). I’m unfortunately yet to visit the sanctuary itself, but I’ve met its founder Debbie a few times at events such as the Animal Activists Forum and Cruelty Free Festival. Her work focuses on a combination of hands-on rescue and education. The “I Am Someone” exhibition currently showing at the Special Group Gallery in Surry Hills brings both of these approaches together, with strikingly emotive photographic portraits of some of the lucky Where Pigs Fly residents, taken by the award-winning Gary Sheppard. Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the opening night, and I absolutely fell in love with so many of the beautiful images.

I_Am_Someone_-_wall_shot_1

I was the first visitor through the doors, so managed to get some photographs of the artworks themselves before the room filled up. (I did check first to make sure it was ok to photograph the artworks, as I didn’t want to impinge on Gary’s copyright!)

I_Am_Someone_-_dipsThe whole night was amazing, with delicious vegan catering including canapés from Seeds to Feeds, boutique tree nut cheeses from Sprout and Kernel, and a lovely array of crudités, dips, and fresh fruit. One great thing about the night – besides the vegan food and the actual exhibit! – is that typically around a decade or 15 years ago I would go to specifically vegan-friendly events such as this and usually know about 80% of the people in the room. But the movement has grown so much that this time around I only knew about 20% of those there. This is just another great example of how much the scene has expanded – or should I say exploded? It’s fantastic to see, and I can only hope that the growth continues exponentially.

 

I_Am_Someone_-_Sprout_and_kernel_cheesesI_Am_Someone_food_collageVegan food collage!

 

I_Am_Someone_-_Gary_Sheppard_speechGary Sheppard speaking at the opening nightCongratulations to Gary Sheppard, who spoke movingly about his motivation for the exhibition: “The project’s aim is to challenge and reconstruct society’s perception of farm animals as sentient and emotional beings inspiring greater respect and compassion towards them.”

Certainly, no one could view the images in this particular exhibition and be left with any doubt about the individuality of each subject’s experience.

Every image is available for purchase, in four print sizes from 50cm x 42cm ($150) to the impressive 150cm x 125cm ($800). The photographs are all stunningly detailed, and I certainly envy anyone with the wall space for a larger sized print! We stretched ourselves to two of the smallest ones – one being of Harriet the pig (in honour of pigs being the main reason I went vego in the first place all those years ago - as briefly mentioned in my spoken word piece "This Muddy Swine") and one of Maggie the goat (TGO’s choice!).

 

Anyone in Sydney has two weeks left to attend this remarkable and memorable exhibit. If you can’t attend in person, all the images are on the Where Pigs Fly website to view and purchase – as mentioned, these two are my favourites, but you can scroll through the WPF site to look at all 33 incredible shots:

Maggie 3Maggie 3 - hosted on Where Pigs Fly site

Harriet 1Harriet 1 - hosted on Where Pigs Fly site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

I Am Someone is open from 10am every day until Saturday 19th November, closing at 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends. Get yourself down to the Special Group Gallery at 270 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills – the chance to see the photographs up close in large format is not to be missed! And even better, all proceeds from the exhibit go to the sanctuary “to assist in their ongoing rescue and outreach work.”

 

I_Am_Someone_-_Elizabeth_with_HarrietHarriet, the 'poster pig' from Where Pigs Fly

  I_Am_Someone_-_Marty_with_SophieActor and long-time advocate for non-human animals, Martin Dingle Wall, with Sophie the goatI_Am_Someone_Debbie_and_Elizabeth_with_DaffodilDebbie (Where Pigs Fly founder), Elizabeth, and Daffodil (I had to get a photo with the pony pic!)

 
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MAKER_orange_cakeWell, Winter has come and gone and even half of Spring has passed me by without another blog update here, but the grand opening event for the MAKER Kitchen takeaway coffee and treat bar has brought me out of hibernation!  Here's a bit of a mix of recent Veganthused! and MC Pony happenings, along with certified drool-worthy pics from the food delights available at today's opening.

 

 

 
Lentil as Anything arrives in Sydney!
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Lentil as Anything Curry PlatterYes, the headline says it all – there’s now another item that can be crossed off the list of “things that could make Sydney vegans be jealous of Melbourne”! Tonight was the Opening Night of the Newtown-based Lentil as Anything, a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ enterprise that relies heavily on volunteers and the good side of human nature. This was definitely big enough news to break the almost 5-month drought on this blog!

 

 
Mad Hatter Cupcakery & my 15th Veganniversary!
Jun 23 2013

Mad_Hatter_Jess_and_cupcakesMeet Jess van der Walt, the talented baker behind the all-vegan Mad Hatter Cupcakery

Plus, this is my 15th Veganniversary month, so there's some bonus vegan High Tea celebration food shots too...

 
And so it is February...
Feb 01 2013

I can't possibly be the only one who's astounded that it's February already.  Today's post really just explains the delay (yes, again!) in putting anything up on this site.  You're actually better off checking out the post from World Vegan Day, last November, featuring Leigh Drew's Chocolate Melting Moments.  But, if you truly want to find out what caused the hiatus, by all means click on "Read more".  Just don't say I wasn't honest with you!

 

 
Get Veganthusiastic!
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Why would I be creating another vegan blog when there are so many awesome ones already? Because there can never be too many efforts to inspire and encourage others to explore and embrace veganism – ie, to get Veganthusiastic!

 


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