New art celebrates Glasshouse Country

By Kirra Livingstone

A NEW art piece that explores and celebrates the cultural connections of the Glass House Mountains and Beerwah has been unveiled.

TORY Richards’ bronze sculpture ‘Mountain People’ is the newest addition to the Sunshine Coast Council’s Public Art Collection. It was revealed in Beerwah’s Turner Park on June 7.

The $25,000 project was funded by the Sunshine Coast Council through Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski’s discretionary fund. Ms Richards said the contemporary sculpture, which took her around five months to complete, represents the deep culture of Beerwah and the Glass House Mountains region.

“It represents the community of Beerwah, the history of Beerwah and its endeavors to blend the natural environment to the current and past community members,” she said.

“It talks about the support the community has extended to one another, and it draws on the natural textures of the landscape, including the rock face of the Glass House Mountains.

“The original idea was a photograph I took about eight years ago here, and it kept coming back to me, of the cut back custard apple trees with the stark angles set against Crookneck.” The local artist also explained the process of creating ‘Mountain People,’ which was different to her usual art practice.

“It was sculpted in oil-based clay because typically I sculpt around my work, and oil-based clay doesn’t dry out as much, so it’s easier when you have to stop and start a fair bit,” she said.

“I embedded rock from the Glasshouse quarry, Hanson’s quarry, into the surface too… but I usually do a lot of realistic portraiture …so this was a first for me and I enjoyed it immensely.”

Rick Baberowski said the new sculpture adds to the beautiful landscape of Beerwah, and identified the need for public art in Turner Park. “This remarkable bronze on basalt artwork beautifully complements the murals and public art in the surrounding township and provides one more opportunity to enjoy the parklands and invite further visitation to Beerwah,” he said.

Main image: Artist Tory Richards with her sculpture, Mountain People.