Artist Glenn Morgan has found his own way to honour Warrnambool icon Fletcher Jones.
Mr Morgan is hosting an exhibition entitled Fletcher Jones Project, offering a unique look at the history of one of the city’s greats.
Two-and-a-half years in the making, the 44-piece exhibition will include 3D works, interactive displays and images that light up on demand.
As is his style, all of the artworks are framed in theme.
Inspired by footage of the clothing factory and its workers, the solo exhibition promises a social commentary on the era according to its creator.
“I use a lot of memorabilia in my work,” he said. “And this was no exception.
“I made some dioramas years ago after I’d got hold of some images but I always knew I wanted to do a whole body of work on him.
“I knew he was a really good bloke but there’s all different stories about him floating around and I wanted to learn what he was really about.”
The former art teacher said his research had taught him a lot about the man Fletcher Jones.
“He was really good to his workers, I knew that about him,” he said.
“He was such a socialist and he allowed the workers to buy shares in the company and when he passed away the workers had 70 per cent of the shares and management only had 30 per cent.
“He also gave women equal pay and he gave women the right to shares as well. He treated everybody really well.
“The gardens here were designed to be a place all the workers would be happy in. Everything was immaculate. His philosophy was if you keep the workers happy, you’ll get best results. He also used to have stand-up meetings. You know when you have a work meeting and everyone’s sitting on their a..e comfortably eating nibble pies, it drags and it’s irrelevent.
“He’d get the people together and everyone would be standing and they had to have their ideas and it all had to happen within about five minutes. Then they’d get back and float ideas, make a plan, meet again for a stand-up meeting for five minutes and something would happen. He was a very clever man ahead of his time.”
Mr Morgan said both his mother and sister had worked at Fletcher Jones and it is appropriate he now runs his art classes in the same building.
His connection with the building came when his then-employer South West TAFE moved the arts department to the site.
“When we first came here it was meant to be for 18 months to two years,” he said. “It turned out to be 14 to 16 years. We all loved it here and stayed.”
Glenn Morgan’s exhibition will run from August 11 to 26 before moving to a gallery in Collingwood.
The opening night for the exhibition is Saturday, August 11.