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Benalla tram artist has work re-commissioned

By Simon Ruppert

Benalla artist Lesley Dumbrell, who created a unique tram design for the 1986 Transporting Art Program (TAP), will have her work re-created on a modern tram.

The initiative is part of the Melbourne Art Trams program.

The program, which forms part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, will feature Lesley's work alongside seven other contemporary artists.

Lesley, who splits her time between Benalla and Bangkok as a practising artist, created the original design as part of TAP, which ran from 1978 to 1993.

Melbourne Art Trams is a revival and re-imagining of that program, which resulted in 36 hand-painted trams being rolled out across the Melbourne network.

The project was relaunched in 2013 through a creative collaboration with Melbourne International Arts Festival, Creative Victoria, Public Transport Victoria and Yarra Trams.

Ms Dumbrell is recognised as a pioneer of the Australian women's art movement of the 1970s.

Her original tram design, painted in 1986, was inspired by a trip to Italy where she was drawn by the colour, costumes and music of a festival.

For more than 40 years Dumbrell has been refining her technique of geometric abstract painting, injecting colour, light and emotion into an often precise painting style associated with the Colour Field Painters of the 1960s.

As Ms Dumbrell is presently in Bangkok she was not available for comment before publication.

Find out more about Lesley Dumbrell