Football is Art?

Press Release


There are many people who think football, Australian Rules, is brutal, physical; and there is no science or art attached to the game.

But there is also another school of thought; people who believe that Australian football is the most artistic game of all.

One such person is the curator of The Art of Football exhibition now showing at the Red Rock Regional Art Gallery at Cororooke: Bob Utber aka Citrus Bob of Footy Almanac fame.

Utber, who just happens to be the Grandfather of Geelong champion Patrick Dangerfield, has put together an eclectic variety of art for what is his fourth exhibition on the art of football.

“For many years I have been passionate to tell people there is more to football than the game and that they (people) should be thinking outside the square when they talking football,” Utber said.

He says he has been fortunate in getting to know a cohort of artists from around Australia (except Western Australia) who have a passion for the game and a desire to put their passion to canvas.  The Footy Almanac has also been a great support in promoting the venture as well.”

One such artist that by chance he found while googling at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris is young Tasmanian Shantelle Perry.

“I was just looking through items under my name when Shantelle’s name appeared. I Googled her name and found some outstanding works that I thought I must have in my exhibitions. I rang her and she was delighted that someone on the mainland was interested in showing her work,” he said.

Perry specializes in portraiture and the works showing in the exhibition include retired players Brad Sewell (Hawthorn), Jude Bolton (Sydney) and Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe. She is working on a portrait of Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin at the present time.

Utber believes that Perry, an unknown on the mainland, has a wonderful future as a portrait artist and at 26 has the world in front of her. “I am just delighted that Shantelle accepted my invitation to show at Cororooke, a place she has never heard of, as part of The Art of Football,” he said.

Other well-known artists showing include: Ann McMaster (the daughter of Geelong legend Bill), Jim Pavlidis, Wayne Elliott, Glen Morgan, Susan Sutton, Yvette Wroby and Richmond tragic Kate Birrell who naturally specializes in her Tiger favorites.  Both Sutton (Geelong) and Wroby (St.Kilda) would also be classed as tragics.

In all 22 artists’ works will be on show.

Citrus has also had enquiries from other towns along the way to Colac, with Birchip in particular wishing to hold the exhibition. As he says: “Football is the biggest religion in Australia by far and everyone deserves to see this wonderful art; not just city slickers.”

Award winning journalist and author of books about Nick Riewoldt, Brendan Fevola and Robert Murphy – Peter Hanlon -will open the Exhibition tonight at 6.30pm at the Red Rocks Regional Gallery at 520 Corangamite Lake Road, Cororooke.  All welcome. The Gallery will be open each weekend from 11am to 4pm and by special request if you are passing by.  Do yourself a favour.

Further enquiries to 0408238252 or 0408101403.

Citrus is also preparing for his biggest show ever later in the year in Mildura and anybody interested in showing is asked to contact him at [email protected]


Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin by Shantelle Perry [click to enlarge]


  1. Citrus Bob says

    PB – no artists interested in football in WA? The only work of art that I know of in Sandgroper country is hanging in a building that I cannot mention in Kalgoorlie and they wont lend it to me!

  2. Heather Welsh says

    Congratulations Bob on providing such wonderful support for artists and the game

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