LAKE Macquarie City Council has unveiled a $150,000 stainless steel sculpture at Speers Point.
The striking 12-metre tall public art piece, Chimera, comprises a tower topped with a stainless steel wind vane in the form of a stylised vessel.
The vessel is adorned with three reflective sails and hundreds of steel scales.
Award-winning Sydney artists Susan Milne and Greg Stonehouse said the sculpture was reminiscent of some of Lake Macquarie's most prominent features: boats, birds and fish.
"We wanted it to respond to the lake, the elemental aspects of the natural environment and how they always change," Ms Milne said.
She applauded council and the community for embracing public art.
"The wonderful thing about working in regional areas is that people respond really positively in most cases," Ms Milne said.
"We're really hoping the community owns the work, loves the work and sees it as part of their everyday lives."
Mayor Kay Fraser said the sculpture was funded using money awarded to Lake Macquarie City Council's Lake Macquarie Improvement Project, in 2008, as part of the prestigious National Thiess Riverprize.
"Public art can create powerful connections between communities and their places," Cr Fraser said.
"Chimera is deeply connected to the environment and celebrates the significant achievements and legacy of the Lake Macquarie Improvement Project.
"This artwork is part of council's vision to create a dynamic cultural precinct within the city, with direct links to the proposed Speers Point Multi Arts Space, the expanded Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, and the Creative Lake Arts Trail at Warners Bay."
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said the decade-long Lake Macquarie Improvement Project was fundamental in changing community perceptions about the management of the lake.
"Chimera is a reminder to us all of the significant achievements of the Lake Macquarie Improvement Project, and the role we as a community play in managing and protecting our greatest asset - the lake - for future generations," Mr Piper said.
The Chimera design was selected via an expression of interest process last year.
Ms Milne and Mr Stonehouse have also undertaken major public art installations in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.