24
Jun
10

Sculpture: ‘Drawing Water’ (2010) by Fredrick White

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My best friend, Australian sculpture Fredrick White, has been commissioned to create two public sculptures in Western Queensland. The first has been completed at Thargomindah (see Google map), a town located 1014 km west of Brisbane and was commissioned by artplusplace and Thargomindah Regional Council. In a small town of 250 people this is the town’s first public sculpture.

“The town’s one claim to fame is its artesian bore. The bore, which lies 2 km out of town on the Noccundra road, was drilled in 1891 and by 1893, having drilled to a depth of 795 metres, the water came to the surface. It was then that the town successfully attempted a unique experiment. The pressure of the bore water was used drive a generator which supplied the town’s electricity. Enthusiasts have described this as Australia’s first hydro-electricity scheme. The system operated until 1951. Today the bore still provides the town’s water supply. The water reaches the surface at 84°C.”

Text from the Sydney Morning Herald travel website

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The work ‘Drawing Water’ (2010) addresses the need for water in such an arid location and the numerous bores that are sunk around the town to draw water to the surface. The earth is reflected in the sky and the sky in the earth in the central polished stainless steel disks (as friend Perry observes, like a tunnel connecting earth and heaven). A forest of bore pipes surround the central platform. Of the work Fred says:

“Drawing Water speaks of our connection to the Earth, specifically the Great Artesian Basin and the bores that provide the only continuous source of water throughout much of inland Australia. The 52 galvanised poles symbolise not only our year round need for water but are also as a reminder of how extensively taped the artesian water is.”

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It is a wonderfully balanced and thoughtful work that has great presence and beauty.

The next commission is at Blackall in Western Queensland (see Google map). A drawing of the work ‘Lifespan’ (2010), which is 8 metres long, is at the bottom of the posting. Blackall already contains public sculptures by William Eicholtz (‘Towners Call’ – Edgar Towner V.C. Memorial (2009)) and Robert Bridgewater (‘Wool, Water and Wood’ (2008)).

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Fredrick White
‘Drawing Water’
2010

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Fredrick White
‘Drawing Water’
2010

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Fredrick White
‘Drawing Water’ (details)
2010

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Fredrick White
‘Lifespan’
2010
drawing for commission at Blackall, Queensland

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Fredrick White Sculpture website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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