ALBURY mayor Kevin Mack yesterday side-stepped a comparison between an $80,000 art work unveiled in Atkins Street and Wodonga Council’s plans for a piece valued at up to $1 million.
Cr Mack joined artist Warren Langley for the launch of the sculpture, known as Grow, which includes 14 steel replicas of the endangered crimson spider orchid from Nail Can Hill.
The art work had been approved by the previous council as part of the successful application for a special rate variation.
Cr Mack said it represented excellent value for money, but wouldn’t be drawn into the plans by Wodonga Council to install an art work in Junction Place.
“What we’ve spent here is a great investment,” he said.
“Wodonga will do what Wodonga will do.
“But the reality is we need to spend our money wisely.
“This is a great investment and symbolic of the wilderness of our area.”
The steel plants sit in a concrete vase at a prominent entry point to the city.
Cr Mack said the art work was even more spectacular at night with concealed intercepted lighting.
“This stuff value adds to what we are as a city,” he said.
“We are a cultural destination and it is not a great cost.
“This art will not depreciate, it will gain in value.
“It has been done by an internationally-renowned artist.”
Langley has more than 30 years’ experience as a public artist and his works include pieces in Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, Asia and Europe.
Permanent pieces are located at the Anzac War Memorial, Brisbane Airport and Museum of New Zealand.
“It is about growth, survival and is intended to be quite an uplifting piece,” he said yesterday.
“It is symbolic of the community and all the changes that are happening.
“But a little thing which is an endangered species is still growing on Nail Can Hill.
“The symbolism is all tied together.”
Mr Langley said he had not tendered for the $1 million art work in Wodonga.