Metal fragments mangled by the fierce Upper Murray bushfire during Black Summer will be forged into a sculpture to celebrate the firefighters who stood alongside residents to protect the community.
Jingellic Hub Showgrounds treasurer Janice Newnham said the sculpture, to be created by Urana found-metal artist Andrew Whitehead, was part of a wider project to update the showground's entrance and gates.
Mr Whitehead was responsible for creating a realistic sculpture of Tim Fischer, The Last Train to Boree Creek, and has won many awards for his metalwork.
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"He's going to create a human figure of a firefighter in action and that firefighter will celebrate the heroic efforts of the CFA and RFS volunteers who helped support Jingellic and Walwa during the fires and defend us," she said.
The Hub and community have successfully secured more than $55,000 from Border Trust, Victoria Government's Regional Arts Fund, Towong Shire's Bushfire Recovery Fund, Jingellic RFS and private donors, for the showground revamp.
A new entrance way will be created by Upper Murray stonemason Tor Hogan from "rocks spewed off Mount Burrowa in the aftermath of the fires".
Mrs Newnham called for residents to donate metal objects from their properties.
She said Mr Whitehead needs to be particular with the pieces he chosen in order to create such realistic human forms, but he aims to include some fire affected metal to further connect the community to the sculpture.
It's anticipated he will begin work on the sculpture in late May or early June.
Part of the funding is being used to offer Upper Murray residents scholarships to attend workshops with Mr Whitehead.
"The gates will be created in a similar fashion [to the sculpture] and we've actually got a couple of local artists who will work on the gates," she said.
"From the funding we were provided with we've also created three scholarships so local artists can go to Andrew Whitehead's workshops... they're going to be mentored by Andrew Whitehead through the scholarship and then they're going to come back and put their new found learnings to work and help to create a collaborative artefact by creating the gates for us.
"It's all a really exciting project."
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