Brushing up on Hazelwood’s history

A new exhibition at Latrobe Regional Gallery (LRG) reflects on the role the iconic Hazelwood Power Station had in the lives of Latrobe City locals over several generations.

The feature piece is an eight-metre painting depicting the history of the power station from its farmland origins to its 1994 heyday and its imagined future, donated by Hazelwood owner Engie in 2020.

Painted by then resident of Morwell River Prison, Jenardiy Zabenko, the artwork features images of well-known local identities and workers of the time.

Two of those workers, David Addis and Scott Gillespie, star in video interviews as part of the exhibition.

Historic material from State Electricity Commission films, newsletters, drawings, photographs and diagrams sourced from Morwell Historical Society, Gippsland Regional Studies Centre and PowerWorks are also on display.

The exhibition includes three Kerrie Warren paintings commissioned by Hazelwood Power Station in 1998.

LRG will host a free afternoon tea for former workers and their families on Thursday 5 May from 12 noon.

A conversation about Hazelwood and Latrobe City will take place at the gallery on Saturday, 25 June from 2pm.

The talk will focus on the industrial history of Morwell, how the community was built and what we can do to preserve the memory of important heritage sites in years to come.

Chaired by Erik Eklund, Professor of History at Gippsland Campus of Federation University, speakers include PowerWorks chairman Darryl White OAM and former

Hazelwood engineer Clarke Spencer.

The exhibition runs from 2 April to 10 July, 2022.

As stated by Latrobe City Mayor Kellie O’Callaghan

“The Hazelwood Power Station held a special place in the hearts and minds of Latrobe City residents over the course of many years.

“This exhibition offers a look at the history of the power station and its influence in our community.

“I would encourage all locals to visit the gallery and explore the rich history of Hazelwood through a creative lens.”

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