Mo­saics are tak­ing it to the streets

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - REAL ESTATE - Moya Stevens

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.

Picture: MOYA STEVENS

Mo­saic in­struc­tor Sam Matthews is lead­ing the project

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