On a recent visit to the South Coast Regional Art Centre some quirky fish sculptures created by local Goolwa artist James Stewart, were part of the exhibition. The scrap metal fish were cleverly created from timber, scrap metal, paint brushes and other recycled pieces. The artist has also created some larger scale sculptures that can be found in the Fleurieu region including a memorial piece in the town of Strathalbyn.
The sculpture is on the corner of High Street and Grey Street and is of a full size motorcycle and rider, completely made out of scrap metal pieces, auto and motorcycle parts which have been welded together.
The sculpture is a memorial to Australian motorcycle rider Ken Blake, who was born in Strathalbyn and competed in many of Australia’s top endurance motorcycle races and won titles at some of the biggest including two Australian GPs at Bathurst, two Australian Road Racing Championships and three victories at the Castrol Six Hour event, production races. He then went on to compete overseas and had more successes until his 15 year career sadly came to an end on the 9th of June 1981, when he was killed in an accident while racing on the Isle of Man. He was 32 years of age.
A plaque at the sculpture which was unveiled by the Governor of South Australia in 2018, reads as follows:
‘This sculpture celebrates the life and achievements of Ken Blake, an Australian motorcycling icon.
Blake grew up in Stathalbyn. He started racing a 1964 Triumph in 1966 and went on to conquer the greats in his chosen sport, winning 11 national championships.
Tragically, Ken Blake died in 1981 after crashing his Yamaha TZ350 motorcycle during the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race.
The sculpture depicts Blake and a Suzuki RG500. He famously won the 1976 Australian 500 Tourist Trophy on this model motorcycle, defeating 15 time World Champion, Giacomo Agostini in a thrilling race’.
The sculpture is so intricate and a wonderful memorial to an Australian motorcycling great.