Harvest celebrations, plastic fish and flood wall art all funded

A giant fish made from marine plastic, a Sugarcane Harvest Celebration event and a flood wall art installation were just some of the projects getting a leg-up at today’s council meeting.

More than $62,000 worth of Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grants were awarded to 12 applicants.

RADF Committee chair Cr Fran Mann said there were some exciting projects approved in the latest round.

“Local artist David Day, who specialises in marine debris art, has received an $8200 grant to create a large-scale fish sculpture that can be transported to Melbourne for an exciting exhibition at the Melbourne Zoo,” Cr Mann said.

Mr Day will hold a build event in Mackay to display the work and “educate, inspire thought and raise awareness of marine conservation” prior to transporting the work to Melbourne.

“By having a showing in Mackay, it will give residents a chance to see this level of work before it is displayed in front of hundreds of thousands of people in Melbourne,” Mr Day said.

Cr Mann said she was excited to see a culmination of the Watershed Land Art Project, a three-year engagement between artists and the community at the Beacon at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens.

“It’s great to be able to assist Lucas Ihlein, Kim Williams and Starrett VeaVea with a grant towards the project at the Beacon called ‘New ways, old ways: culture in agriculture’,” Cr Mann said.

“This project is a demonstration of the positive benefits of regenerative agriculture, as well as a celebration of our communities’ important cultural connections to sugarcane farming,” she said.

Cr Mann said this phase of the project would focus on the connection between Mackay’s Australian South Sea Islander (ASSI) heritage and cane farming.

“What’s great about this project is it aims to upskill younger members of the ASSI community to give them the tools to record their own history and heritage,” she said.

“The project will include two video storytelling workshops for young Australian South Sea Islander people, during which they will learn skills to film and produce a simple video documentary about their elders' involvement in the sugarcane industry.

“These videos will then be shown at a harvest celebration, which will involve the sharing of historical connections between the ASSI, Maltese, Italian and Aboriginal communities.”

New ways, old ways: culture in agriculture received $8290 in RADF funding.

Also receiving funding, to a total of $13,230, is the next element of the Finch Hatton Art Trail, a flood wall art instillation featuring the artworks of local school children.

Cr Mann said the 800m flood wall at the entrance to the Finch Hatton Showgrounds had recently been painted by council.

She said part of the wall would now be decorated with hexagonal frames showcasing children’s artwork in a beehive configuration.

“The addition of the Finch Hatton State School children's artwork to the area near the entry to the Showgrounds will give them a sense of pride and belonging for years to come and will really brighten up the area.”

Also receiving funding were:

  • Jan Ward to attend a three-day class to learn multi-plate colour etching - $1455
  • Azure Glass to send two artists to a mould-making workshop in Buderim - $2000
  • Valley Spinners and craft group for Jamboree 2019, a weekend of craft and skill sharing - $1060
  • Judy Rose for an artist in residence collaboration with Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed, which will create a gazebo made of terracotta, glazed and mosaic pots - $2766
  • Jessica Sanga for a children’s bilingual picture book featuring Solomon Islands languages -$8430
  • Crossroad Arts Inc for Loose Ends, an evening of quirky acts, from cabaret to poetry, from performers with and without disability - $8050
  • Mackay Creatives for a three-day skill development workshop (painting with acrylics) with world-renowned tutors Barry and Lucy McCann - $3500
  • George Street Neighbourhood Centre for art workshops at CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) Women's Club - $2123
  • Pioneer Division Handcraft and Cultural Committee for members to attend the State Handcraft School in Maryborough - $3160

About RADF

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Queensland Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said investing in creative and cultural experiences through RADF strengthened regional communities, boosted cultural tourism, and enhanced the quality of life in rural and remote towns and cities.

“RADF is a unique partnership between the Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council to support local talent, unite communities and celebrate the arts across the state,” Ms Enoch said.

“The Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland, is contributing $2.08 million in 2018-19 in partnership with 58 councils state-wide to help deliver cultural experiences which align with local priorities,” she said.