Exmouth groups knit Ningaloo
Keen Exmouth knitters are going the whole nine yarns in creating a large knitted coral feature for the opening of the Ningaloo Centre next year.
The Exmouth Cultural Arts Centre has started the project, in which a 2.5m-long, 1m wide, 1m high coral sculpture will be built using free-form knitting.
Yarn art project co-ordinator Christie Wareham-Norfolk said the idea came to her when she started this style of knitting a few years ago and quickly found her works looked very similar to the coral found on the Ningaloo Coast.
Mrs Wareham-Norfolk said when she raised the idea with the Shire of Exmouth and the local Department of Parks and Wildlife office, they were keen to run with it.
“I didn’t want it to be just a temporary thing because the amount of time and effort that goes into creating a coral reef will be huge so I was keen to see this become a long-lasting public art project,” she said.
“So the idea is we have our reef finished and on display for one or two months at the Ningaloo Centre, then it will go to a permanent home at Parks and Wildlife’s Milyering Discovery Centre.”
The project is being funded by Country Arts WA’s regional arts legacy grant and, as is the case with many grassroots ideas in Exmouth, it has not taken long for other community groups to get involved.
The Exmouth Men’s Shed has volunteered to build the base for the artwork to sit on and the local seniors’ club is also getting heavily involved.
Shire of Exmouth president Turk Shales said the art project would highlight the Ningaloo Centre’s core functions.
“Our outstanding natural environment offers inspiration to our community and visitors alike, and this art project reflects that,” he said.
“I have seen many art forms showcasing the Ningaloo Reef, like photography, film or painting, but a knitted reef will clearly be something different and I look forward to ... the end result.”
Mrs Wareham-Norfolk said the work would be a matter of pride for the community.
“I wanted it to be open to as many people as possible so we can involve young school-age children right through to seniors, men, women, and people of all different abilities,” she said.
Backdrops with information on reef protection and information will be installed alongside the knitted reef.
Anyone wanting to put their mark on the project can visit the Exmouth Cultural Arts Centre Facebook page or email yarnproject@out look.com.
Pauline Whyte, Branwen Smith, Rhonda Lord, Cheryl Pattrick, Dawn Wareham, Ida Sigley and Kym Blackburn at the first coral coffee lounge.