The latest installation along the Sculpture Down the Lachlan (SDL) trail encourages viewers to draw meaning from their own experience. Wandering by Southern Highlands sculptor David Ball was officially unveiled today, 6.5 kilometres outside of Condobolin along the Lachlan Valley Way towards Forbes.
Unlike the other sculptures that feature along the SDL trail, Wandering does not have a narrative. While the abstract piece was made in reference to the picturesque landscape in which it sits, it invites the viewer to create a narrative for themselves.
“You can see this sculpture like a piece of music – it’s suggestive,” David explained.
“It’s about the viewer walking through it, walking around it, and experiencing what it does for them. For some people it may mean a lot, for others it may mean nothing at all.”
“For me personally, I see it as being about the geology of the area – the curving lines are of the life that surrounds the river. I’d like to think that it connects well with where it is, and hopefully viewers can see it in harmony or co-existence with the landscape.”
Wandering is the largest commission of David’s career to-date. The sculpture comprises of four pieces, each taking six to eight weeks to construct. Combined, the piece weighs 18 tonne and is made of 100 sheets of corten steel.
“Working in the broad landscape, you have to work on a scale that it demands,” David added.
Forbes Arts Society Chairperson Trudy Mallick said one of the benefits of exhibiting art in this way is that it exposes new audiences to Australian sculpture.
“The beauty of this trail is that we are seeing people engage with art that wouldn’t typically. Even more so, it’s been wonderful to see the farming communities of Forbes and Condobolin embrace the SDL concept wholeheartedly and become sculpture ambassadors.”
Lachlan Shire Mayor, Cr John Medcalf OAM said “The residents of Lachlan Shire are very pleased to accept the Wandering sculpture into our community.”
“It is fantastic that Lachlan Shire has been able to partner with the Forbes Art Society and Forbes Shire Council to develop the ever-evolving Sculpture Down the Lachlan Trail. Stretching from Condobolin to Forbes, the trail provides an opportunity to tell community stories in a creative form and has already delivered significant benefits for our communities. Unique projects like this just don’t happen, and I would also like to thank the other partners such as the State Government and Evolution Mining who have made significant financial contributions to this initiative,” Mayor Medcalf added.
The Sculpture Down the Lachlan extension is part of the $7.2 million ‘Boosting the Lachlan Valley Economy Art Project’, funded by the NSW Government’s Restart NSW program through the Regional Growth, Environment and Tourism Development Fund, the Forbes Arts Society (FAS), Forbes Shire Council (FSC), Lachlan Shire Councils and Evolution Mining.
The Hon Sam Farraway MLC said the unveiling of the new sculpture on the Lachlan trail would provide onlookers with a unique experience, while adding to the region’s growing reputation as an arts and cultural destination.
“The ‘Wandering’ sculpture is a fantastic addition to the Lachlan trail, providing visitors with the unique experience of being able to judge for themselves the meaning of the artwork, and I urge locals and visitors alike to take in this new addition for themselves,” Mr Farraway said.
The project aims to foster visual arts throughout the Forbes Shire, grow the visitor economy and promote the Lachlan Valley region as a premier tourism destination. The project also includes the redevelopment of Gum Swamp and the development of a new Cultural and Arts Centre in Forbes.
Image: ‘Wandering’ by David Ball was unveiled today, 6.5km from Condobolin along the Lachlan Valley Way.