Sculptures shine in film

TREFOR Prest's sculptures will feature in a film starring David Wenham.

Melbourne-based film maker Paul Cox spent a week shooting in Mr Prest's workshop with Wenham, who rose to fame after his role as "Diver Dan" in ABC television series Sea Change, playing the part of a sculptor.

Mr Prest is an artist based in Strangways whose work has been influenced by memories of a childhood spent frequenting the docks in a Welsh coal port.

Mr Prest's wife Belinda said it was exciting to have Wenham at their studio.

"For a whole week Paul Cox filmed his new film there, Force of Destiny, which is based on Paul Cox's journey with liver cancer and a liver transplant," she said.

"The main character is a sculptor and he's used Trefor's studio as the basis for that character.

"So in doing the filming, the sculptor, who the actor was actually David Wenham, he was working on one of Trefor's sculptures.

"We've had a great time."

Mrs Prest said some of her husband's works were used during filming.

"It's just been very exciting because it's a peer group that you would respect because of their skill level in their craft," she said.

"And David Wenham has actually purchased two pieces."

A selection of Mr Prest's works are on show at the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre and form the exhibition Fabricated Memories.

The sculptures are fabricated from components made in Mr Trefor's workshop using various engineering techniques including forging, turning, riveting, pressing and welding with some woodworking and sewing thrown in.

No found objects are used.

"It's quite labor intensive work," Mr Prest said.

"They've all got to do with the human body.

Australian actor David Wenham uses works in his new role

They've all got to do with the human body. It's just whatever I'm thinking about at the time. - Trefor Prest

"It's just whatever I'm thinking about at the time."

The exhibition at the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre is on show until April 27.

Visual Arts Centre managing curator Paul Northam said this year's program included a variety of contemporary exhibitions focusing on drawings, sculpture, photography, painting, craft and design.

"It's another strong program this year and a couple of pretty significant changes at the VAC," he said.

"The big news for us this year is that we're extending the exhibitions."

Exhibitions in the gallery's front space will now be on show for two months. 

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