Nature to play strong role in 500 metre-square kinetic art piece

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The Macquarie River was the inspiration behind a large-scale kinetic artwork to be installed in Dubbo’s CBD. The work was designed by Bianca Beetson, who was chosen as the winner of Dubbo Regional Council’s kinetic art competition. The artwork will go on the side of the Telstra Exchange building as part of the Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza. It will be more than 500 metres-square. While she doesn’t live in Dubbo, Dr Beetson has a strong connection to the Wiradjuri nation. “I identify as Wiradjuri and have family connections to the Dubbo Indigenous community through the Beetson/Majick family lines. I also have family living in Wellington who are descendants of my Great Aunty Topsy Taylor,” she said. “I see this as an opportunity to reconnect to country and develop ongoing reciprocal relationships with the Wiradjuri community.” ALSO MAKING NEWS: The theme for the artwork was ‘community, country, connection: finding common ground’. Dr Beetson used the theme to form the idea of asking permission to enter country. Her design is developed through cyanotyping, which uses the sun – seen as a giver of life – to develop the image. It also features kangaroo seeds, which are natives that grow along the rivers in the area, to create the pattern of the water. “The river represents the Wiradjuri people and the communities connected to and by the three rivers and its tributaries. The river also being a giver to life to the community and the central life blood of the community,” Dr Beetson said. “Without the water, we would not survive.” There were 25 submissions made for the kinetic art competition. From there, the field was narrowed down to three, before Dr Beetson’s design was chosen as the winner. Council’s cultural development coordinator Jessica Moore said each work was very unique and distinctive which made the final selection process really challenging but also exciting. The project has been funded by the NSW government. The overall Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza Project has received $5 million through the Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund. The goal of the development is to reclaim the original footprint of the Old Dubbo Gaol while celebrating the city’s Indigenous and colonial history. Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders – who was also one of the competition judges – said he thought Dr Beetson was an outstanding candidate from the very first time he saw some of her vision. She took a very unique look at the region, Mr Saunders said. The artwork is expected to be completed in early 2022. UAP will help with the construction and installation. LOVE LOCAL NEWS? SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER

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