Celebrated Sydney Sculptors visit Collie

Acclaimed Sydney artists Gillie and Marc Schattner recently visited Collie for a tour of the future location for a five-metre-high bronze sculpture they have been commissioned to produce.

The unique and iconic piece of public art 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.

Shire of Collie Supertowns Project Manager Geoff Klem provided the visiting artists with an overview of the range of projects Collie is undertaking, including the central business district revitalisation and a tour of the recently completed skate park, and explained how the new gallery and public artwork would fit within the overall scope of the Supertowns Project.

After seeing the context and location for the artwork, Mr and Mrs Schattner welcomed the opportunity to refine the design in a round-table discussion, which included Mr Klem as well as the Collie Gallery Group’s Chairperson Elizabeth Lindsay, Gallery Director Sarah Stanley, Creative Director Joshua Thomason and Committee Member Debra Mangini.

The design is being refined following the collaborative process so that it includes elements of the threatened species of black cockatoos that are endemic to Collie and surrounding areas.

“Sometimes as an artist you get quite protective of the idea…but then sometimes something special happens where ideas flow in and the artwork becomes better, and also it becomes the product of many minds so there is a lot more ownership and meaning to it,” said Mr Schattner.

Gillie and Marc’s work often includes animal/human hybrids that they believe makes people think by challenging conventions, expectations and societal norms.

“It’s very important that art has an impact on the community,” said Mr Schattner. “A piece of art fails when it’s ignored.”

Mr and Mrs Schattner 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.

The artwork is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2015.