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The Metro Farm Herefords were the Aussie Rules football team that played out of the middle of Melbourne’s sewerage farm from the early to mid 1900s. Formed from players who lived and worked in Cocoroc, the township at the heart of the sewerage farm, the Herefords were known for a home ground advantage based entirely on the overpowering smell of sewerage. During their years in the western league they enjoyed some modest success, particularly when playing at home. While the oval and goal posts still exist in a state of beautiful disrepair, The Herefords, like Cocoroc itself, folded in the mid 1960s.

Shane McGrath is an artist with a profound interest in lost vernacular cultures. As one of the artists invited to produce a temporary commission for Treatment, a site-specific public art project curated by David Cross in conjunction with City of Wyndham and Melbourne Water, McGrath is seeking to bring back the Herefords. His ambitious work in the name of art will seek to return the ground and its facilities to their former glory. Reviving the change rooms, reproducing the famous guernsey, and re-recording their football song, on November 14 and 21, 2015, his audience will be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the halcyon days of the Herefords. As part of this artistic re-enactment, McGrath will re-stage a coach’s address in the rooms with the audience listening in from the outside. The work experienced in situ through architectural re-modelling and re-staging, will offer new considerations of sport as a socially binding agent in regional communities while speaking to broader concerns around the shifting nature of labour in an era of expansive industrialization.

McGrath’s project will take place at Melbourne’s Water Treatment Plant, Werribee, in November and December, 2015, and is part of the large scale community art project, TREATMENT – curated by David Cross and supported by the City of Wyndham, Deakin University and others.

Shane McGrath (Artist), David Cross (Curator) and Cameron Bishop (assistant curator) 





Project Team



Project Team

Name: Shane McGrath

Email: mcgrathshane@hotmail.com

Website: http://shanemichaelmcgrath.com
Shane McGrath has delivered several major public artworks in New Zealand and Australia including commissions for the Wellington Sculpture Trust, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne Airport and Sculpture by the Sea. He is represented in Wellington by Bartley and Associates.

Name: David Cross

Email: School of Communication and Creative Arts

Website: http://www.davidcrossartist.com

Curator: Professor David Cross is an artist, writer and curator. He has curated discrete and large-scale events in New Zealand and Australia, one of the most prominent being One Day Sculpture in 2008/09, involving 23 international artists, across numerous sites around New Zealand. He also curated Iteration: Again, a large-scale project involving hundreds of artists in Tasmania in 2012.

Name: Cameron Bishop

Email: Cameron@deakin.edu.au

Website: www.cameronjbishop.com

Assistant Curator: Dr Cameron Bishop is an artist and writer and has exhibited in individual and collaborative exhibitions in Australia and overseas. His collaborative practice has led to an interest in community oriented projects and pedagogy. He has worked closely with the City of Wyndham and Deakin University developing this project and the event of which it’s a part, TREATMENT.


How The Funds Will Be Used

With your help we are looking for $5000 total donations to fund this project. 



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How the Funds will be used

Designer for football cards and team banner.

There is a long tradition of the collectable/souvenir cards not only in sports but wartime cigarillo packets and soap. It’s a small but important element at the commencement of the work as the audience member obtains a ‘piece-of-the-action’ immediately. It will be nostalgic in design (1960s) as well as speaking to the festive nature of the work. On the reverse side will be the lost lyrics to the Metro Farm club song that will be played over the bus P.A. system. The artist will be present to introduce the project and lead the audience in learning the lyrics of the song in preparation of arrival at the oval to cheer Metro Farm on for the banner run-through and the first bounce.

Team song – Arrangement; recording; mixing; and singers.
The team song being learnt and sung on the bus approaching the oval is an integral part of staging and setting the initial tone of the work. The atmosphere is entirely contrived and controlled which must have the inclusion of the song. Currently the real theme song only exists in partial text form, no recordings have survived. Therefore a re-staging and re-recording is required.

Fabrication of Run-through Banner
The banner run-through is a distinctive tradition of the native game that not only signals the start of proceedings for the crowd, but is a visually striking collaboration with the team and their fan-club. The messages emblazoned on the banner set the tone for the game.

Football Uniforms – Jumpers; shorts; and socks
The team colours and jumpers no longer exist other than in black & white photos.
However through some extensive research and interviews these important details have been uncovered as has a manufacturer that still has the original knitting machines to create merino wool replicas. As the players will be seen up close, the attention to detail is an important part of the artifice.

Voice Actor – Coach’s address
Audience member’s will listen in on the Herefords as they are roused by their coach’s half-time address.

The Challenges

The project is well advanced and we have researched the rich history of the site for this and the large scale public art project of which it's a part, TREATMENT. Our partners in Melbourne Water, Wyndham City and the Wyndham Community Cultural Foundation have given us a number of leads to follow and we have interviewed past players, local historians and Treatment plant engineers to frame the project as faithfully and sensitively as we can. Given we have established the schedule, the activities, the aesthetics and the rationale for the project it is primarily the production phase for which we seek assistance. 
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on 14th Nov 2015 at 10:52pm. The payment portal is closed now.
A$10 +Team Photo PostcardPersonally signed by the artist
11 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2015
A$50 +Runner's Memorabilia Pack-MFFC Stubby holder -Signed deck of Football cards
14 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2015
A$100 +Supporter's Pack-MFFC Stubby holder -Recording of song -Football cards -Signed team photo postcard
5 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2015
A$250 +Player's Pack-Signed Limited edition replica Metro Farm Jumper. (If you live in the Melbourne region the artist will deliver it to you personally and share a meal of gourmet pies and craft beers.)
4 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2015
A$1000 +Coach's Award PackFULL PACK Signed Jumper Team Socks Song Team Photo Footy Cards MFFC Stubbie holder Personal delivery and beer and kick of footy with the artist if Melbourne resident
1 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2015