South West Rocks Arts Council decided in 2016 to put its funds towards one significant sculptural piece on the Headland.
They approached Stephen Killick, a sculptor and artist, who works with timber and steel, and has a extensive and successful background in public art sculptural works.
He agreed to work on the project of installing a sizeable bench seat on the Headland, overlooking the boulders. This commissioned piece is to reflect the town’s maritime history.
Kempsey Shire Council donated two red cedar tree trunks which had been removed from the corner of Belgrave and John streets in Kempsey in 2014.
The timber had been lying in the Kempsey depot, with uncertain condition, but once it was milled, the perfect nature of the timber was revealed, free of knots and splits.
SWR Arts Council received supplementary funding for this grand project from the Mayoral Fund, SWR Country Club, SWR Lions and SWR Rotary.
It is hoped that the community will embrace and enjoy the choice of sculptural significance and see this as a community structure to unite the town with art and culture.
South West Rocks Arts Council began in 1983 by presenting musical evenings and drama festivals.
Some of the members were Shan Blake, Jim Holmes, Stella Matthews, Margaret Martin, Stephanie Wilkinson, Judy Longman (Murphy) Lorraine Couch, and Judy Mitchell
The initial focus was on drama competitions for local groups and schools. Concerts at Trial Bay Gaol featured Australian String Quartet, Sydney String Quartet, Sydney Dance Co and Don Burrows.
The council reformed in 2003, and began to take on new directions.
Music events began again at the Gaol, and with the success of these events and collaborating with National Parks, the stage in the Gaol was built.
“A Different Kettle of Fish” photographic exhibition ran in 2004, 2005, and 2016. This was extremely popular with the locals and created an amazing swell of oral history. Contributing to these events were the Macleay Valley Museum and Arakoon National Park teams. The group received an Australia Day Award, in 2005.
Focusing on “Making a Community,” the group applied to include a Public Art Sculptural walk in the SWR Reserve Master plan.
Membership: Susie Williams (president) Joan Crisp (secretary), Jann Kesby (treasurer), Nerida Osborne, Donna Thomas, Judy Gjedsted, and Kay Newman.
SWR Arts Council meets on the first Tuesday of the month and welcomes new members. Facebook: SWR Arts Council or firstname.lastname@example.org