State of Origin and art fans, unite!

See rugby league from a worm’s perspective

As fans of State of Origin rugby league matches, we all know how nail-bitingly intense these legendary fixtures can be. But have you ever thought about what the worms on the grounds feel as tens of thousands roar in celebration and despair?

Believe it or not, one artist – Erika Scott from Lamb Island, Qld – gave that very perspective its own spotlight through an out-of-the-box project titled Worm’s-Eye View in the Origin Story exhibition now showing at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery.

Scott’s sculpture, Worm’s-Eye View, captures the essence of State of Origin with discarded popular culture breathing life into the soles of sports shoes.

Commissioned for Origin Story, this maximalist assemblage beautifully depicts Rugby League’s rituals through the sensory and emotional symptoms of football.

Worm’s-Eye View is a masterfully crafted, freestanding work that can be viewed from two distinct, and opposing positions.

Her sculpture is among the many displays celebrating the history of the State of Origin rugby league series in this exhibition.

Inspired by Queensland’s passion for the greatest sporting rivalry of all time, Origin Story brings together artists from across Queensland to reflect on the cultural contribution of State of Origin to Queensland’s identity.

Curated by the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery’s Llewellyn Millhouse, the show features commissioned artworks from Joel Barney, Shane Jacob, Ashley Nixon, Phillip Piperides, Phoebe Paradise, Jack Rodgers, Teho Ropeyarn, Erika Scott, and David Spooner.

Origin Story features work from the Fraser Coast Regional Council Collection and loans from the QRL History Committee, Army Museum South Queensland, and State Library of Queensland.

Get a close look at the original State of Origin Trophy

Did you know that during World War II, the first State of Origin QLD v NSW Rugby League Match was played on 16 September 1945? The venue was at Torokina, Bouganville, off New Guinea.

State of Origin - trophy

The original State of Origin trophy can be seen at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery until August.

What’s also interesting is that the trophy awarded to the winning team was made from a 120mm Japanese shell casting with two handles mounted on each side. It had a three-tiered carved wooden base secured by a large six-sided bolt in the centre.

The trophy, also known as ‘Trench Art’, was engraved with a presentation inscription: ‘Interstate Rugby League Series, Bougainville September 1945, won by Queensland 10-9, 20-13’.

Major General W Bridgeford CB CBE MC presented the winning team with the trophy that was inscribed with the names of Queensland players.

That original State of Origin Cup from 1945 is now on display at the Hervey Bay gallery, thanks to the Army Museum South Queensland.

Deputy Mayor Denis Chapman said, “Origin Story is the ultimate exhibition for sport, history, and art lovers, celebrating the significance of rugby league within the Fraser Coast community.”

1994 ED Falcon – Marooned just for you!

State of Origin - Maroon Car.

Fraser Coast’s biggest Origin fan Shane Jacob has volunteered his pride and joy for the exhibition – a fully ‘Marooned’ 1994 ED Falcon which sports the dates of all the years Queensland has claimed the premiership! Jacob is pictured with fellow fan Lynn and Deputy Mayor Dennis Chapman. Contributed photo.

Origin Story

This is a small preview of what can be seen at the Origin Story exhibition at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery.

Feature photo @ top is artist Erika Scott next to her Worm’s-Eye View sculpture. 

Gordon Hookey: A MURRIALITY – a must-see exhibition in Hervey Bay

The other new exhibition showing at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery until August is Gordon Hookey: A MURRIALITY, which presents perspectives on historical and contemporary issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through sculpture, printmaking, video, and large-scale painting.

Gordon Hookey: A MURRIALITY is a touring exhibition from the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, and UNSW  Galleries, which features loans from major collections including Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Australia.


Exhibitions run until late August

The exhibitions are on display until 27 August 2023 at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery at 166 Old Maryborough Road in Pialba. Open hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm and on weekends from 10 am to 2 pm. Entry is free.

For more details, visit the gallery at



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