Artistic flair spices up Wirrabara arboretum

After nearly three months of twisting, shaping and turning wire mesh, seven sculptures have come to life and are now on display throughout the arboretum in Wirrabara’s Wongabirrie Park. 

This sculpture trail venture all started from eager volunteer, Val Surch who is member of the Wirrabara Tourism and Development Group and decided that the artistic passion of those around the town could contribute to a near tourism site that has the ability to grow into the future. 

After several visits from wire sculptor, Malcolm Craig from Kapunda, funded by Country Arts SA, eight artists brought together the skills they learnt of the peculiar art form and created seven sculptures which now stand on display. 

The trail was officially opened on June 2 and saw a crowd of almost 40 residents and visitors flock to see the new display revealed. 

The deputy Mayor of the District Council of Mount Remarkable, Vicki Morley says the opening was very nice and went down incredibly well with all those who attended. 

“I think anything to add a new dimension to the arboretum or to Wirrabara is very good.”

Since the opening, organisers have heard nothing but good whispers of their project and have said that the original seven sculptures are just the beginning of what is hoped to be a great attraction for visitors. 

“Two of the artists are already planning to put more in and have started work on that. Someone else has come to me and is interested in submitting a sculpture as well. This is the beginning of it. There is plenty more space, so if anyone is interested they can contact me and we will set the ball rolling”, organiser Val Surch said.

“They just loved them. I think they were surprised at the expertise because for most of us, this is the first time we have done this type of sculpting. We are all artists in our own right, and it was just amazing what they came up.” 

“It was an absolute success in every way, the Wirrabara Progress Association donating funds for the signage and the installation of the signage too.” 

The artist who led the group, Malcolm Craig was shocked at the level of expertise artists in the region displayed. 

Valerie explained how he was surprised at their ability to get on with their work and produce the quality sculptures that are on the trail. 

When venturing through the arboretum, visitors will find a kangaroo, lizard, kookaburra, three bats hanging between two trees, a goanna in a tree, a huge tree with little birds and lizards on it,  a woman who is a tribute to middle age, a little boy sitting in a tree reading a book and a redback spider. 

The success of the trail has encouraged a several women from the area to form a group and they have since booked a gallery in Port Augusta for two years time and hope to have a combined exhibition of their works on display. 

If you are interested in participating and contributing to the sculpture trail, get in contact with Val Surch on 8668 4297.