Hop­ing for tower art

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS - By Alana Chris­tensen ■ Do you have a silo or wa­ter tower you would like to see trans­formed into a piece of art? We’d love to hear from you. Phone Alana Chris­tensen on 5820 3237 or email alana. chris­tensen@shep­p­news.com.au

Two mo­ti­vated Nu­murkah lo­cals are hop­ing that an am­bi­tious project can trans­form the lo­cal wa­ter tower into a piece of art in a bid to pay homage to the town’s his­tory and boost tourism.

Marie Tut­tle and He­lena Cor­nelia came up with the idea sev­eral months ago and are hop­ing that with com­mu­nity sup­port their vi­sion can be re­alised.

The pair has reached out to a num­ber of or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing Goul­burn Val­ley Wa­ter, which owns the wa­ter tower, as well as lo­cal politi­cians in an at­tempt to drum up sup­port for the project.

The town’s wa­ter tower, which is lo­cated on MacKil­lop Way, is cur­rently fenced off, and Ms Cor­nelia la­bels it ‘‘an eye­sore’’.

She said she believed the idea had the po­ten­tial to rein­vig­o­rate the tower and believed it could ben­e­fit the whole com­mu­nity.

‘‘I think the con­cept is a great idea and has the po­ten­tial to be more than just dec­o­ra­tive. It can also help tourism and make an eye­sore a bit more of an at­trac­tion,’’ she said.

‘‘We’d be want­ing to give the artist some in­spi­ra­tion and pro­vide them with some things that are syn­ony­mous to this area.’’

The duo is hop­ing to recog­nise the town’s sig­nif­i­cant his­tory through the art­work, and ideas in­clude a recog­ni­tion of Aus­tralian armed forces, agri­cul­ture, and Aus­tralian nun Mary MacKil­lop who was canon­ised by the Catholic church in 2010.

Ms Tut­tle said a por­trait of Saint Mary MacKil­lop would be a fit­ting trib­ute to the town’s his­tory, given she opened the first Vic­to­rian Sis­ters of Joseph school in Nu­murkah in Jan­uary 1890.

‘‘Peo­ple in Aus­tralia would come any­where to see Mary MacKil­lop,’’ she said.

Ms Tut­tle and Ms Cor­nelia are hop­ing to en­cour­age the com­mu­nity to al­low the tower to be trans­formed, in­clud­ing en­gag­ing lo­cal business peo­ple and at-risk youth to trans­form their vi­sion into re­al­ity.

A spokesper­son for Goul­burn Val­ley Wa­ter, which owns and op­er­ates the wa­ter tower, said the wa­ter au­thor­ity would con­sider al­low­ing the tower to be painted but would first need to ex­am­ine a pro­posal cov­er­ing a num­ber of as­pects in­clud­ing the art­work op­tions, size and ori­en­ta­tion, fund­ing sources, com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and ap­proval, and main­te­nance plan.

Needs a facelift . . . The wa­ter tower on MacKil­lop Way.

Seek­ing sup­port . . . He­lena Cor­nelia (left) and Marie Tut­tle hope to get com­mu­nity sup­port to paint the Nu­murkah wa­ter tower.

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