Lake Macquarie City Council to unveil $150,000 'Chimera' public art sculpture at Speers Point in March

STANDING PROUD: An artist's impression of how the new $150,000 Chimera sculpture is expected to look when it's installed in March. Picture: Supplied
STANDING PROUD: An artist's impression of how the new $150,000 Chimera sculpture is expected to look when it's installed in March. Picture: Supplied

A 12m-tall public art sculpture commissioned for $150,000 will soar above the Speers Point waterfront from next month to celebrate Lake Macquarie and its significance to the community.

The sculpture, to be known as Chimera, will comprise a stainless steel tower topped with a wind vane in the form of a stylised vessel and three sails.

Lake Macquarie City Council cultural services manager Jacqui Hemsley said the sails would have a mirror finish to reflect the sky and the brilliant blue waters of the lake.

“Chimera will provide a spectacular focal point along the lake shore, between the Speers Point Amateur Sailing Club building and the public jetty,” Ms Hemsley said.

Artists Susan Milne, left, and Greg Stonehouse with Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser on location at Speers Point this week. Picture: Supplied

Artists Susan Milne, left, and Greg Stonehouse with Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser on location at Speers Point this week. Picture: Supplied

The sculpture, measuring almost 9m tip to tail, will be funded using money awarded to Lake Macquarie City Council in 2008 as part of the prestigious National Thiess Riverprize.

Council won the prize for its “outstanding” work improving Lake Macquarie’s long-term health and ecological sustainability.

Mayor Kay Fraser said it was therefore fitting for the money to be spent on a piece of public art so close to the lake’s edge.

Our city is fast becoming a destination for bold and innovative art.

- Mayor Kay Fraser

“With Lake Macquarie Art Gallery at Booragul, the CREATIVE Lake art trail, and the upcoming Speers Point Multi-Arts Space, our city is fast becoming a destination for bold and innovative art,” Cr Fraser said.

The Chimera design, by award-winning Sydney artists Susan Milne and Greg Stonehouse, was selected via an expression of interest process last year.

“The artwork is inspired by the wind shift affecting bird flight and sails, and combines various elements into a hybrid sculpture,” Mr Stonehouse said.

Ms Milne and Mr Stonehouse have already undertaken major public art installations in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

Installation of the Chimera sculpture is expected to take place in March.

Last November, an expert panel chose the winning design for the new Speers Point Multi-Arts Space which is expected to generate $1 million annually in tourism and flow-on revenue for the city.

The $2-million facility will host everything from theatre and dance to art installations and virtual reality shows.

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