Mosaics are taking it to the streets
COMMUNITY art projects rarely attract the level of participation that the Rex Smeal Park public toilet beautification project has and members of Douglas Arts Base (DAB) are excited.
“We have had more than 100 people involved in this project, producing ceramic, glass and mosaic pieces to adorn the front of the public toilets,” Mandy Ryan, DAB committee member said, “and the result is going to be spectacular.”
Sam Matthews, mosaic tutor at DAB, was the instigator of the project. “My Saturday afternoon class said they needed a project, so we responded to the Douglas Shire Council’s call for proposals and we won,” Sam said.
The work, called Life among the Trees, features a range of local fauna and flora and a fantasy element representing tree spirits.
Sam has involved the pottery students at DAB who produced dozens of painted and glazed creatures to add to the mosaic. “We held special workshops at DAB for interested people and we had lots of inquiries from locals who wanted to be involved,” Sam said.
“The main pieces have been produced as mosaics on mesh, fused glass pieces and ceramics,” she explained.
The newly established Steiner home school students also participated by crafting ceramic leaves which will be included in the leaf litter section along the base of the work.
The initial work, preparing the various butterflies, birds, geckos and echidnas, was started in February and the installation should be completed by mid to late June.
“It will take hundreds of hours applying the background mosaic around the feature pieces but the end result, a tree which takes up the whole eastern aspect of the building, will be impressive,” Sam said.
According to Mandy Ryan, Sam has not only been the instigator of the project, but also the driver. “She is a great motivator and has worked tirelessly on this, one of the biggest projects DAB has ever undertaken,” she said.
The Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland government and Douglas Shire Council partnership, supporting local arts and culture and provided the funds for this project.
Mosaic instructor Sam Matthews is leading the project