Sculpture Designer, Ben Beeton: “When you walk into this sculpture you represent humanity…there’s that sense of responsibility, that sense of heritage and — as the Indigenous people will tell you – that stewardship of the land.”
It is hoped the sculpture will be the first of more than 100 artworks linking ancient songlines around Australia.
The sculpture has been installed at the Twin Creeks Community Conservation Reserve, just north of the Porongurup Range.
The 3.5 metre high ‘evolutionary tree’ is a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and conservation groups.
The Genestream Sculpture is part of the newly-developed Heartland Journeys trail developed by Gondwana Link.
Menang elder Carol Petterson – one of the driving figures behind the project – said the artwork was a fitting tribute to her people’s deep connection to the land.
“It makes me feel very humble because now people are listening to our stories, people are valuing our stories,” she said.
“I’m 80 years and I want my grandchildren to know that our First Nations people walked this land with a purpose, in harmony with nature.”
Keith Bradby, CEO of Gondwana Link said it would introduce visitors to the rich biodiversity of the Great Southern and the extensive restoration and land care work being achieved.
“We want those visitors to see our home as more than just scenery,” he said.
“We want to inform them of the deeper story, we want sculptures like this to excite them and we want to build greater respect in the community for the very special part of the world that this is.”
The sculpture seeks to represent the stories of significant plants and wildlife from the area, juxtaposed with the deep time history of the region.
Ben Beeton’s SciArt of Australia
My art drops a thread through aspects of the ecology, geology and deep time history of natural systems. My process of creating art is a learning experience and I have an active interest in scientific model making. As I travelled across Australia and abroad learning from scientists, indigenous elders and conservationists about the special natural environments which they have studied and cared for, I envisaged an interactive educational website that would share their stories of country.
As a consequence I developed SciArt, a website which along with showcasing my art allows access to the knowledge shared that has inspired my art.
People studying and working to preserve environments have important messages which they want to share with the outside world. Through SciArt I give conservationists, traditional owners and scientists an opportunity to share their knowledge. Teachers have told me that their students find SciArt intriguing and that my website is a wonderful visual literacy tool.
I am very glad to see that the methodology which I have developed to create my art can be used as an educational tool. Spending time in the natural environments which are the theme of my work is a critical component of my methodology.