A firestorm of controversy or a welcome of sorts?

Sculpture Trail

As I mentioned in a previous post, Together We Are Strong, our town saw the the generous donation of three artworks for a new sculpture trail which will be opening in April 2022.

These donations were in response to the Black Summer Fires of December 2019/January 2020.

together we are strong
together we are strong

Gifted to the people of the Snowy Valleys by the Friendship Society of Denmark, Australia and New Zealand as part of the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail. Unveiled by H.E. Pernille Dahler Kardel, Danish Ambassador to Australia on 10 December 2021.

In that post late last year, I promised to feature the other sculptures which leads us to today’s post.

Habitat by Marcus Tatton

chimney stack
chimney stack

Marcus Tatton is a New Zealand born artist who lives in Tasmania.

Far from his usual life among the wild, virgin woodscapes of Tasmania and due to COVID restrictions, Marcus found himself near Yass with chainsaw creating the work from fallen grey, yellow box and red river gum trees sourced from the Riverina.

“It’s what I do – I carve from those areas that have been logged, burnt and are being resown. I access the wood before it rots,” he said.

Usually in rugged, isolated circumstances, Marcus explores the relationship between the natural and man-made environments, how humans interact with nature and the effect they have on the landscape.

His impressive body of work – using natural and industrial waste material constructions, cast concrete and fabricated steel projects – has evolved over some 32 years, both nationally and internationally. Source

chimney sculpture
chimney sculpture plaque

“We felt after the fires that creating sculpture would be a good way to invigorate the community, to bring people back into the area which was otherwise fraught with rebuilding and healing,” Marcus explained.

“To bring a woodstacked sculpture into this community too early – I had a feeling it would not be accepted at all – to create a ruin of a broken chimney – but since the fires the Tumbarumba community have rallied back and they thought this was a poignant statement – almost a memorial or monument to the fires,” he said.

Source – About Regional

This interview with the artist is interesting.

Local Reaction

To be honest it’s been a mixed reaction from locals. Despite the fires being 2 years ago it is still too soon for some to have a wooden chimney sculpture in the local park.

Some have questioned the selection of the artwork, and others have welcomed it along with the premise of the upcoming Sculpture Trail as adding to our area’s appeal.

I like the idea of the sculpture trail but yet I can understand the feelings of those with concerns about the choice. I think there was more to it as a perceived lack of communication was also an issue.

You can read more about the new sculpture trail which will be opening in May 2022 here.

Changes to Wordless Wednesday

I have been doing Wordless Wednesday posts (or attempting to do them) for quite some time now and at one stage even changed the name to Worth a Word Wednesdays on the suggestion from Suz, my NZ blogging friend.

But for this year I’ve decided to change it up a bit, post only when I have something to say on a Wednesday and use the Wake up and be Amazing, it’s Wednesday as inspiration.

You see I like words too much, and yes I know the photo can tell a story but sometimes I want to add words, lots of words, so it moves away from being Wordless Wednesday. I’ll still use the hashtag and tags in my posts just so I keep track of all the posts I write in that category but I’ll try to feature more amazing news!

Wakeup Wednesday 2022
Wakeup Wednesday 2022

All my Wordless Wednesday posts can be found by clicking this link

I’m also sharing this post with Marsha’s Photographing PublicArt Challenge (PPAC #31) as it definitely fits the bill as public art!

Anyway, I’d like to know what you think of this sculpture?

Deb 🙂

Coming up

The first What’s on Your Bookshelf Challenge for 2022 will be going live on Friday 21 January at 9am (AEDT) and Thursday pm in the Northern Hemisphere. This will be in the form of a linkup to ensure we don’t miss any posts. Feel free to join us and tell us what you’ve been reading.

What's on your bookshelf co-host badge
What’s on your bookshelf co-host

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Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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24 Replies to “A firestorm of controversy or a welcome of sorts?”

  1. I think in time this sculpture will be appreciated by all as it is a link to such a time of terrible loss which should be remembered. However, I can understand how it might still be raw for many. I like words too, Deb so good for you mixing it up in 2022 with your Wake Up and Be Amazing on Wednesday theme. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you’re probably right Sue things will settle down soon. Yes I’m all for mixing it up every now and again with my posts and love the idea of being amazing on Wednesdays or everyday if you can manage it, like you 🙂


  2. A chimney constructed out of chopped up trees may be a bit much, but it starts a conversation, doesn’t it? Controversial isn’t always a bad thing 🙂

    BTW, love your word of the year. Gift can mean so many things, not all of them wrapped 🙂

    Also, “WAKE UP AND BE AMAZING. IT’S WEDNESDAY” jumps right off the screen. Love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hiya Deb, I love sculpture walks, and when it isn’t something new, an issue when introduced into a community! We have a few ongoing problems in various parts of New Zealand regarding sculptures. Perhaps it would’ve been more appropriate to use local artists and utilise those affected by the fires to have created the artwork in your local situation. Not everyone will ever be satisfied, no matter how well thought out it is. I do love the three figures holding onto each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Suz, yes all new things seem to go through a period of being controversial, so I’m sure this will die down in time. You’re right not everyone will ever be satisfied. I too love the 3 fat little people helping each other out – it’s my favourite of the 3 sculptures.


    1. Yes Donna, it will be forgotten soon as people move on I’m sure. it gives the town another reason for people to hang around and check out the sculpture trail so it will be good for the area in the loing run.


  4. I love this chimney sculpture ut I can understand why there is some division. The great thing about art is the discussion that it opens up. The chimney will endure and in time, I’m sure the community will come to feel ownership of it when the pain isn’t quite so raw. Perhaps the sculpture is helping with the pain for some. I cou;dn’t help wondering if there is a connection between the Snowy area and Denmark.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right Jen, the discussion it has started is a great way for people to come to terms with it. No real connection apart from maybe the Snowy Hydro Scheme nearby but the organisation was looking for some way of helping those affected by the fires and this idea came up, so we were just lucky to be chosen I think.


    1. Yes to thinking outside the box Ali! It’s garnered a few comments but has opened up discussions too. It is very impressive and I thought having Emilia in the photo gives it a bit of perspective.


  5. As one who was not personally affected by the fire I think the sculpture is brilliant. However I can understand those who are still grieving could find it challenging to accept. Hopefully all can come to see the beauty of the piece and the others too. Lovely gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Both photos definitely fit the PPAC requirements, Deb. I was also interested that you were doing Wordless Wednesday and now it has a new name. I like it better than Wordless. I will definitely double dip with my WQW posts on Wednesdays as it is a perfect match. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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