Gabrielle Duykers, Naracoorte Community News
After being out of order for almost a decade, the distinctive fountain afront the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery is flowing once again thanks to community efforts.
The Ibis Rising fountain was installed in 2005 and is the work of Melbourne based sculptor and potter Heather Ellis, who also produced the William Mackintosh bust in Jones Street.
However, soon after its initial installation, the sculpture was plagued with calcification due to the harsh bore water supply running through. Seeing the sculpture continue to deteriorate, the Art Gallery was forced to switch the water off indefinitely.
Last week on February 16, members of the community gathered to celebrate the resurrection of the fountain, made possible by a new water system.
Gallery chair Jeanette Vine said it was great to see the feature brought back to life.
“The fountain now has rainwater running through it which will be less damaging to the system and is activated for five hours each day,” Ms Vine said.
“We are thrilled with the result.”
Over time, the recirculating rainwater will reduce the amount of existing calcification on the sculpture.
Ms Vine thanked local volunteers and members of the community for their contributions, including Lawrence’s Irrigation which donated their labour and equipment to upgrade the lawn watering system free of charge. Naracoorte Lucindale Councillor Julie Earl was also acknowledged for her time spent planning and organising the installation of the fountain and new lawn sprinkler system.
Support for local art
The Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery is also the latest group to receive funds through The News’ Give Back program.
The not-for-profit has received $550, bringing the sum total of donations to local organisations to more than $59,000.
Art Gallery secretary Lesley Cook said the funds would go towards beautifying the front garden area.
“Because we are community-run and such a community-minded gallery, it will be lovely for people to have a nice welcoming,” Mrs Cook said.
The gallery is run by volunteers, only obtaining funding through workshops, donations, memberships, and grants.
The Art Gallery opened two new exhibitions last week, both of which will run until March 27, 2022.
A group of artists from Adelaide called the Union Street Sculptors Collective have brought their exhibition ‘Homo Faber’, which means ‘man maker’. The exhibition experiments with ways to manipulate materials such as limestone, cement, ceramic, bronze, wood, textiles and many more, showcasing the different creations that can be made from the “different languages of matter”.
The Union Street Sculptors are Renate Nisi, Victoria Beresin, Dave Parker, Julie Anne Rowe, Rayna Schofield and Vanessa Hearnden.
In the Bainger Gallery will be the ‘Through Our Eyes’ exhibition, from a group of textile artists called ‘The Tree of Us +1’. The artists are Suzanne Gummow, Jenny Bates, Maxine Fry, and Kerrie Head. This exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through their fun world of wonky houses and brightly coloured landscapes.
Two workshops will be run by Suzanne Gummow, one delving into the creation of 3D Flowers on March 2, and the other on Wonky Houses on Sunday 13 March.
The Gallery is open from 10am to 4pm Wednesday to Thursday, and 10am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.