Standing the test of time

THE development of the Highlands is depicted in a new public artwork celebrating the Sesquicentenary of Bowral and Moss Vale.

‘Winds of Change’ comprises four poles in the parkland on the corner of Eridge Park Road and Moss Vale Road.

The project was funded from Sesquicententary project funds including income from merchandise as well as a grant of $3000 from the NSW Government Country Art Support Program.

Each pole is topped with a wind-vane elm leaf depicting the various stages of the region’s history: two cows representing grazing, a train to highlight how much the railway contributed to opening up the region, a poplar, oak tree and house depicting the residential development, and a grapevine, reflecting the newer industries.

The elm leave motif was chosen to represent the first deciduous trees planted in the area.

Designer Jane Cavanough said that since the artwork would generally be viewed when passing in a car, it had to have a bit of scale.

“It had to have a bit of bang for the buck – it can’t rely on people walking up to it to decipher it,” she said. The leaves were made from laser cut mild steel and coated with an axolotl copper finish.

“The tallowood poles were selected to complement the setting, and also because they are long-lasting,” Ms Cavanough said.

Ms Cavanough had been creating public artworks since the late 1990s and many of her works are in parks and playgrounds in Sydney and the Illawarra.

Despite liking art at school, it wasn’t until she was working as a landscape architect in the UK that the public sculpture bug bit.

“I went to a conference on environmental sculpture and then came back to study sculpture at Sydney College. It was a perfect fit – I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole as a landscape architect,” she said.

However her background has stood her good stead. “All my work has a strong environment connection,” she said.

There will soon be a plaque erected to explain the Winds of Change, however Ms Cavanough designed the piece to be self-explanatory.

“I think the poles stand on their own anyway. They are just as relevant today in the sense of place of the Highlands as they are in the development of the region,” she said.

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