Coral art

Ex­mouth groups knit Nin­ga­loo

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

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.

Pic­ture: Ex­mouth Cul­tural Arts Cen­tre

Pauline Whyte, Bran­wen Smith, Rhonda Lord, Ch­eryl Pat­trick, Dawn Ware­ham, Ida Sigley and Kym Black­burn at the first coral cof­fee lounge.

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