Inspired by Alma

Docklands’ own Alma Doepel served as a source of inspiration for a group of artists who gathered in Docklands last month.

According to organiser and Alma Doepel “artist-in-residence” Maggie Cowling, some 20 painters, almost all members of the Victorian Artists Society in East Melbourne, set to work with oils, watercolour, pen and wash, pencil or ink to capture Alma on her barge and the shed life.

“Their painting showed an appreciation of the contrast between Alma and the city skyline and how she complements her Docklands environment,” Ms Cowling said.

The artists have all been invited to contribute works from the paint-out to the Alma Doepel Art Show, which will open on Friday, April 29 at 6pm.

The exhibition will also be open to the public on April 30, May 1, May 7 and May 8 from 10am to 5pm.

The May 1 opening also coincides with the Alma Doepel Open Day, which is part of the National Trust Heritage Festival.

Attendees will have the chance to join a behind-the-scenes tour of the Alma Doepel Restoration site and see the work being done to restore the ship.

The Alma Doepel restoration has involved 40,000 hours of volunteer effort in addition to work by professional shipwrights and engineering work.

“By seeing the progress made for yourself you will come to realise just how important this project is for the local communities and for the preservation of heritage vessels – it is literally a dying art,” open day organiser Tim Horton said.

Visitors can enjoy a sausage sizzle and will have the opportunity to peruse merchandise and possibly take home a rare piece of memorabilia.

The Alma Doepel Open Day is on Sunday, May 1 from 10am to 4pm at Shed 2 North Wharf Rd.

If you’re interested in supporting the work of the restoration crew, the Alma Doepel Supporters Club is currently looking for an enthusiastic local Docklander with a passion for film-making to help create a short film following the restoration progress of the Alma Doepel.

If you don’t have any film-making experience but are keen to give it a go, Docklands-based not-for-profit Open Channel is running a short-course in documentary film making this May.