I’m always amazed to find as we travel around the country, how many super talented people there are in all parts of Australia, and it makes me think that their work should be seen by a bigger audience than just those of us who are passing through, and were lucky enough to find it.
Recently when we travelled around Eyre Peninsula in South Australia I came across some fantastic art that I thought deserved some recognition of the artists involved. Hopefully you can visit them one day and see for yourself.
Port Neill is a small coastal town around 85 kilometres north of Port Lincoln with a population of around 200 people. In the early days it was a busy port with wool and wheat shipped from the jetty but these days the town is known for its cereal crops and sheep production.
Like a lot of coastal towns, its population swells over summer with holiday makers and it’s not hard to see why with a terrific jetty for fishing, crystal clear water in the bay for swimming and snorkelling and great boat launching facilities.
It’s a beautiful bay and the foreshore area has some absolutely stunning mosaic art to look for as you walk to, and on the jetty. These little works of art show some of the sea life to be found in the area, and were made by students at the Port Neill Primary School in 2018.
Another larger few pieces are grouped together, a community project made to bring awareness to the vulnerable beach nesting birds found in a lot of coastal areas, including Port Neill. They were also created in 2018 and a plaque on the feature names the Port Neill Progress Association, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula and the Federal Government’s National Landcare Program as supporters of the project.
The artist who designed and created the pieces, with the assistance of the community, was Karen Carr of Squashed Cocky Enterprises. Also acknowledged are Vivonne Rusden for her poem ‘This Wondrous Shore’ which appears on the mosaic bench, and Rachael Kahnussaar for her knowledge of beach nesting birds.
Karen Carr is also the artist behind a few other wonderful Eyre Peninsula artworks including the mosaic discs on the foreshore walk in Tumby Bay, and the cuttlefish seat and mosaic pieces at the start of the Whyalla jetty.
In Port Neill, as well as the bench with mosaic Oystercatchers and fabulous sand castle, there is a game board to play with, on the top of a half egg shaped sculpture. You are encouraged to find a shell, rock or leaf to use as a counter, then spin the dial to move around the trail, learning about beach nesting birds and the daily hazards they face, as you go.
In the nearby park on the foreshore, more ceramic art can be found in the form of table tops, a clever use for the remains of felled trees.
Another town on Eyre Peninsula where we stumbled across some clever art pieces was in Cowell.
At the start of the mangrove walk, a shelter structure contains information on the mangroves and what sea and birdlife can be found in the area. Inside are some more lovely ceramics pieces made as a joint venture between the Cowell Area School, Cowell Lions Club and the Franklin Harbour Community Development Group. As well as the ceramic pieces you’ll also find some timber sea creatures.
Hats off to these local communities for creating these beautiful pieces that are appreciated by visitors. Well done especially to the school and no doubt the staff who I know, would have helped immensely too.
Are there any other smaller towns you know of, that have community artists who have added something beautiful to the community like these?
Enjoy the discoveries