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Mythical statue to become reality

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• COMING TO LIFE: L-R: Barbara Bell, Ken Taylor, Sharlene McGinniss and Peter Loy show off a life-sized cut out of Nick Cave marquette originally designed in 1995 by artist Corin Johnson.

WARRACKNABEAL Arts Council in cooperation with the British sculptor Corin Johnson, will be moving forward with the development and installation of the fabled Nick Cave statue for the benefit of the Warracknabeal community.
An agreement has been reached to proceed with works that pave the way for its eventual installation in Warracknabeal. There are many details that need to be worked through such as how the design will look, where it will go and when it will be completed, but these details will be publicised as they become available.
Nick Cave has no direct input into the project but we are certain he will have more than a passing interest in its progress.
The Mythical Statue
For many years the ‘Homecoming Project’, ‘Warracknabeal Statue’, or ‘Nick Cave Statue’ was seen as a myth and often dismissed by some locals as a fanciful idea.
Nick Cave and Corin Johnson devised the statue concept in the mid 1990s. The proposal was a response to the image of Cave as he was being portrayed by the media at the time. Shortly after, Johnson made a 300mm model of a bare chested Nick on a rearing horse.
The ‘Warracknabeal Statue’ proposal has remained in media circulation for 20 years and is revisited occasionally by the media when interviewing Cave.
The Warracknabeal Arts Council partnering with other community organisations are taking on the project to organise and install the statue to celebrate Nick Caves achievements and also link it to a Youth Arts Foundation for the benefit of locals.
The biggest single benefit to the local community will be as a tourist attraction.
Community Change and Economic benefit.
The popularity of the Silo Trail has changed the attitude toward public art in the region.
The Silo Trail is estimated to have contributed up to 20 percent to most local businesses.
The Cave statue would become part of an expanding arts trail and would become an amazing tribute to the artistic talent that is Nick Cave.
It is a bold, exciting and even a bizarre concept that will attract attention from all quarters.
The Arts Council should expect controversy, but that in turn will only increase interest in Nick Cave, the statue and Warracknabeal in Australia and around the world.
Nick Cave fans, of which there are millions around the world, are notoriously loyal and if a fan sets foot in Australia from a distant country then a visit to The Warracknabeal Statue will be on their ‘to do list’.
Corin Johnson
The artist who originally devised the concept with Cave in the mid 1990s, will work on the statue design and the moulds for the bronze casting.
He will spend time in Warracknabeal as he oversees the statue’s casting and installation.
While here he will also be available to speak to community groups and schools.
Johnson is a very accomplished English sculptor and some of his major statue commissions include Two Christian Martyrs at Westminster Abbey, the Bentley Fox sculpture, the Lady Diana memorial at Althorpe, St. Andrew sculpture for Exeter College Oxford as well as many other carvings and bronzes.
Johnson has a studio near London where the moulds will be produced which will then be transported to Australia where the final bronze will be poured.
Youth Arts Foundation
The statue will be linked to the establishment of a Youth Arts Foundation that would provide for an Artist in Residence to work with youth in Yarriambiack Shire to produce a completed work in any of the areas of the performing, written or visual arts.
These are all areas Nick Cave has excelled in professionally in his 40-year career.
Details of this initiative will also be released as they become available.
This foundation will bring an artist in residence to the Yarriambiack Shire to work with youth to produce some type of tangible artistic outcome.
For example there may be the opportunity to bring a musician to work with local youth or organisations to produce a recording or a performance, or someone who can produce a stage performance using local youth as the cast and crew.
Crowd funding
The cost of the project will be sourced through a crowd funding effort that will be launched later this year once the total cost has been calculated.
The Arts Council believe that the ‘Nick Cave Statue and Youth Arts Foundation project’ is a realistic and exciting project with amazing potential and well worthy of community support.
Nick Caves Birthday
Nick Caves Birthday is on Sept 22.
This year it falls on a Saturday and there are many Cave fans venturing to Warracknabeal for the event.
They are planning trips to silos and other tourist sites while they are here and have already begun booking accommodation and arranging family.