HOW ART AND RECYCLING BROUGHT A COMMUNITY TOGETHER

Being on the Arts Advisory Committee of our local shire means that I get to learn about, and be involved in all sorts of fantastic community arts projects. Last year I worked with a group of local authors to produce an anthology of stories written by them about how they had moved on from a difficult experience in their life.

Yesterday, I was at the opening of another amazing community arts project. Over the last few months, talented local artist, Woody Taylor has worked with the townspeople of Darraweit Guim, about 60 kilometres from Melbourne to produce an amazing transformation to a strip of land at the local hall that had lain in waste for years. The idea for the Metal Art Garden came from the local War Memorial Hall committee, who felt that maintaining a large garden in the current climate was not viable and decided to opt for sculptures instead of live vegetation.

The Hon Peter Batchelor, Minister for the Arts opened the Metal Sculpture Garden

Over nine workshops and countless hours, the artists transformed the wasteland into a metal sculpture garden with everything from metal Banksias and emus to crocodiles, a triffid, bugs, weeping trees and even Ned Kelly.

On Sunday, a large crowd gathered in the sunshine to admire the artist’s handiwork and see the garden opened by Minister for the Arts, The Hon Peter Batchelor.

There is so much to marvel at in the Darraweit Guim Sculpture Garden project. The fact that the project uncovered some new artistic talent, that the community came together in a spirit of cooperation and determination to complete the project, and that so much was achieved with so little funding.

Most of the materials came from scrap metal donated by local homeowners and recovered from the sheds of farmers. Around 60 rusty spanners were used and countless cogs, shovels and various other extraneous farming implements. The Darraweit Guim Sculpture Garden is a an example of recycling at its best.

Amazing what artistic talent, hard work and community spirit can achieve.

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10 thoughts on “HOW ART AND RECYCLING BROUGHT A COMMUNITY TOGETHER

  1. Thanks Dale,

    One of the great things about the project is that you didn’t have to be crafty minded or able. Woody Taylor, the artist-in-residence was great for sparking creative ideas in people who didn’t see themselves as creative – and there were plenty of people on hand to do the lifting and the welding. Some people just had a design and others put it together for them.

    Several of the sculptures were made by four or five people working together:-)

    Dee

  2. These sculptures are amazing!
    And what a great idea.
    Loved the bugs and flowers.
    Would love to see someone’s take on a triffid.
    I’m guessing it’s permanent.
    Will have to find it next time up that way – no idea where it is actually, but guessing Woodend or Daylesford way?
    Alison

  3. Thanks, Alison,

    They really are amazing. Darraweit is sort of on the way to Romsey, so you turn off just before you get to Sunbury. If you plan on going, let me know and I’ll give you a mud map:-)

    Dee

  4. Must forward this entry to my daughter who is into art and sustainable energy- except hers is craft- recycling .
    What a buzz it must be to be on the committee Dee- well done for putting your hand up for a community project- our arts need supporting.
    Lorraine

  5. Thanks Lorraine,

    I wasn’t actually involved in this particular project – except for attending the launch as part of my role on the AAC, but I think that what they achieved was amazing. And the best part of being on the Arts Advisory Committee is seeing community arts projects come to fruition. I was involved in a really big project last year where we worked with local writers to produce a book of over 300 pages of their stories and poems. It’s truly inspiring to watch people gaining confidence in their creativity.

    Dee:-)

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