A series of five public artworks commissioned by Towong Shire for the Great River Road project will potentially be the largest of its kind in the North East.
The installations will complement new signage and facilities planned at points along Murray River Road, which will be promoted as a tourism trail branded the ‘Great River Road’.
Concepts for large-scale artworks featuring prominent native species were developed by a steering group and put out to tender.
Yackandandah’s Agency of Sculpture has been selected to deliver the $150,000 artistic element and director Benjamin Gilbert said it was “an honour” to be chosen.
“The council has been very respectful of community; it’s lovely to be involved in a project with so much groundwork,” he said.
“As far as I understand, it will be the biggest single commission for the region.
“There’s a Murray Cod going on the old bridge pylon at Tintaldra that will move in the wind and it will be in the middle of the Murray River, 20 metres from the bank, so it’s quite a challenging installation.”
There will also be species featured at Mount Alfred Gap (Wedge Tail Eagle); at Newmans Lookout between Walwa and Tintaldra (Bogong Moth); at a new rest stop being developed on the western side of the Khancoban township (Rainbow Trout); and at Bringenbrong Reserve (Murray Cray).
All pieces will be large and feature interactive elements – for example, the Wedge Tail Eagle is being mechanically engineered and will move in the wind.
“There’s vast views to the East (at Newmans Lookout) and the Bogong Moth will provide shade and shadow-play – it will be the size of a shelter and almost cave-like inside,” Gilbert said.
“The crayfish will have interactive, movable claws.
“This sets the theme for how people feel about a space … it’s a wonderful thing they chose to invest in and I think it will go on to serve them well.”
Gilbert hopes to have the installations ready early in the new year, and the Great River Road project is scheduled to be complete by July 2019.
Work is already well underway on landscaping and Towong Mayor Aaron Scales told The Border Mail the tourism trail would be an exciting addition to the shire.
“I don’t think there is a lot of awareness about how beautiful the area is, so I think making it known will lead to a good increase in the number of tourists coming through the area,” he said.
The Great River Road project, one of five identified in the Upper Murray 2030 Vision Plan, has received funding from Towong Council and the Australian and Victorian governments.