Public art in Collie reaching for the stars

Public art in Collie reaching for the stars

The Shire of Collie has given the go ahead for $100,000 to be allocated from SuperTowns funding for a five-metre-high bronze sculpture to be constructed by acclaimed Sydney husband and wife team Gillie and Marc Schattner. The sculpture will be located directly in front of the new, fit-for-purpose art gallery being constructed in the town centre as part of its broader central business district revitalisation project.

It is hoped the unique and iconic piece of public art will enhance the identity of the town, attract tourism and become a point of pride for locals.

The selected design entitled Leap of Faith will feature a large round bronze ball at the base with a two-metre-high figure atop reaching for abstract stars.

The artists outlined in their design submission that the giant leap off the ball symbolised an act of courage. “Anything is possible when you have the courage to follow your dreams,” said Mr and Mrs Schattner.

Collie Gallery Group Chairperson Elizabeth Lindsay said the group was very excited to be involved in such an important project in the development of Collie’s identity looking into the future.

“Collie has a rich and diverse history, but towns that focus on their past are often condemned to keep re-living that past,” Mrs Lindsay said. “A well executed piece of contemporary public art has the potential to invigorate a community and contribute to its identity.”

“The design is certainly unique and iconic,” Mrs Lindsay said. “I have not seen any major public artwork like this anywhere else.”

Submissions were invited from suitably experienced artists for a major public art commission with a focus on innovation and creativity.

The recommended design was selected from a diverse range of submissions received from local, national and international artists. Each submission was judged by a panel comprised of two Collie Art Gallery representatives and two Shire of Collie representatives against a set of evaluation criteria, drawn from the expression of interest brief, which were weighted according to outcome parameters. Members of the public were encouraged to nominate to be part of the working group prior to the submission closing date.

Gillie and Marc’s body of paintings and sculptures created over a 20-year period of collaboration have received worldwide acclaim and are held in collections both nationally and internationally.

The artists have donated their time to this project, with the project expenditure on a cost-recovery basis of materials, transport, installation, lighting costs and sundry expenses.

Mr and Mrs Schattner have scheduled a visit to Collie in early December to view the site in person and to further refine the sculpture’s design in conjunction with representatives from the Shire of Collie and the Collie Art Gallery.