A remarkable collaboration with ties to Danish royalty has arisen from the ashes of the 2019-2020 black summer bushfires, which are set to forever connect the small towns of the western foothills of the snow-capped mountains.
It was in Tumbarumba Goldfields and Creekscape on Friday December 10, where a unique crowd gathered in cool and humid conditions to witness the unveiling of a unique sculpture collection, the first in a series of works of art destined to become a major attraction in the Snowies.
Danish Ambassador to Australia Pernille Dahler Kardel did the honors at the unveiling, which officially unveiled three sculptures donated to the residents of Snowy Valleys by the Danish Friendship Society of Denmark, Australia and New- Zealand in a gesture of international friendship in response to the Black Summer.
Facilitated by the famous Sculpture by the Sea, and thanks to a generous donation from the Friendship Society, the gifted sculptures in the collection include a piece by Danish sculptor Keld Moseholm called Together we are strong, another called Pipes and fittings … many cubes by Perth artist Jennifer Cochrane, and Habitat by Marcus Tatton, a New Zealand artist based in Tasmania.
All three sculptures will be part of the upcoming Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, a major new series of sculpture collections in several towns and wineries in the Snowy Valleys funded by the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund to be launched in 2022.
Designed in consultation with the Snowy Valleys Council, an appointed local community advisory group and the larger Snowy Valleys community, the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail will stretch 100 km from Adelong to Tooma.
The advisory group is made up of Angela Pearce from Adelong, Robyn Sweeney from Batlow, Laura Fraumeni from Tumbarumba, Jeff Sheather from Tooma and Andrew Rae from Snowy Valleys Council, who work alongside local project coordinator Angela Lyons from Laurel Hill and the staff of Sculpture by the Sea. In Sydney.
Moseholm, Cochrane and Tatton were selected as artists for the collection to represent Denmark, Australia and New Zealand, as each of them had also exhibited at âSculpture by the Sea, Aarhusâ in Denmark.
The Aarhus Exhibition was initiated by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark after their visit to Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi.
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The royal couple presented the idea of ââSculpture by the Sea to the city of Aarhus and became the exhibition patron for the four biennial Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus exhibitions from 2009 to 2015, which were as popular as the Sydney and Perth exhibitions, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors over four weeks.
It was around this time that the Friendship Society developed a strong bond with Sculpture by the Sea in Australia, and after witnessing the devastating impact of the Black Summer bushfires, contacted the non-profit organization to find out how she could support one of the communities in Australia that have suffered greatly from the fires.
As Sculpture by the Sea was already well advanced in its planning with the local community to create the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, the two organizations came up with the idea of ââthe sculpture collection as a gift to locals to help bring relief. joy, as well as cultural and economic benefits for the Snowies.
In keeping with the role of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary in promoting cultural and social ties between Denmark and Australia, they have been informed of the donation of the collection and warmly support the Society’s initiative. friendship.
This includes, in the near future, the Danish Ambassador to Australia writing to each of the 2,246 students of the 13 schools of the Snowy Valleys about the gift from the Denmark collection and conveying the greetings of the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess to the students. .
Denmark-Australia-New Zealand Friendship Society President Hanne Bache said Moseholm’s sculpture, Together we are strong, was a symbol of what the Friendship Society is.
âFor more than 50 years, we have strived to strengthen the links between the three countries, the exchange of art and culture being one of our main areas of intervention,â she said.
âIn the world we are far from each other, but in our minds and hearts we are very close. So when devastating bushfires raged across Australia, we wanted to reach out to help. That’s what friends are for.
âMay the Sculpture Trail help Snowy Valleys through the healing process and bring about a prosperous future. “
Sculpture by the Sea’s founding CEO and artistic director David Handley said the generous donation of the three sculptures celebrates two decades of cultural ties between Denmark and Australia through Sculpture by the Sea.
âIt is with immense gratitude that we thank the Friendship Society of Denmark, Australia and New Zealand for this wonderful gesture of international friendship,â he said.
âWe were touched and honored to facilitate this donation and [are humbled by] the enthusiastic response of everyone we’ve met so far in the Snowy Valleys to the idea of ââworld-class sculptures in the public spaces of their hometowns.
Building on the Sculptor Outreach Program at your Sculpture by the Sea school – which has seen over 550 students from nine Snowy Valleys schools participate in artist-led sculpture workshops since late 2020 – the collection and the upcoming Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail will provide an educational and cultural opportunity for students across the region to develop a first-hand understanding of sculpture and meet artists from around the world.
It is anticipated that the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail will also contribute to the social and economic recovery of the Snowy Valleys by providing new reasons for people to visit the area, which will provide business and social benefits through cultural tourism.
Further details on the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail will be announced ahead of its official opening in 2022.