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project  description

The Constellations of the South sculpture project is to be sited at "The Glen", a park at the northern entry to Uralla on The New England Highway, visible to passing traffic.

The project will incorporate a 19 metre high obelisk in stainless steel, sited to the axis of the Southern Constellations at the Summer Solstice. Arranged in a parabolic arc, with the obelisk at the centre, will be 8 granite boulders, each positioned to locate selected constellations in the southern sky.

On top of the 8 boulders will sit sculptures created by various artists, who will give their interpretation of each relevant constellation. This process will be community based to give greater involvement and access to the installations.

Initially, the obelisk and 2 of the structures will be developed and each following year, an artist will be invited to design and create a sculpture with community involvement through workshops and the process of the piece’s creation.

Carl Merten (right) creates the preliminary model of the project.

The sculptures atop the 2 initial boulders are being developed by Carl Merten and Joan Relke, 2 professional sculptors living in the area. Various bronze plaques describing and dedicating each structure’s constellation will be designed and cast by the local Phoenix Foundry.

A pathway linking the whole installation will be installed and initially laid with 60mm pavers. These pavers will be gradually replaced by bronze cast plaques made at the local Phoenix Foundry and commissioned and created by the local community with supervision by a working sculpture committee to ensure consistency and the integrity of the site. These bronze inlays will be designed by the people commissioning them and may be family histories, stories, etc. They will create a long-term storyboard and historical archive for and about the community.

The project is being developed by the Uralla Arts Council with the support and participation of the Uralla Shire Council, various community and cultural groups and schools in conjunction with 2 local artists and the local Phoenix Foundry. Initial seed funding has been granted by the Armidale Third City of the Arts.

The sculpture is a permanent installation that will be developed over years, contributing to the lasting sculpture trail for the New England region. The Sculpture Trail will link the communities within the New England area by their community sculptures. Already established are the Walcha Ring Cycle, 'The Glen' Sculpture Park at Uralla, and the Armidale Creeklands, where large public sculptures designed and made by local artists are currently being completed and installed.

The Uralla component of the sculpture trail can be utilized by the region as well as the local community for events, tourism, and performance.

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4/08/09 jr