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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Mysterious shiny object

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Christine Willmot, Byron Bay

Lots of people are talking about the mysterious shiny object that has landed on Ewingsdale Road – apparently from outer space! But just because it has provoked discussion doesn’t mean that it is good since most of the talk is negative.

For instance, the huge scale of the object and the material – thousands of sharp aluminum pieces that look like razor wire – overwhelm the subject matter – the image of the lighthouse. The piece becomes about the material rather than the object itself. The original photograph in The Echo in September looked intriguing, if impossible, with its shimmery cloud of birds surrounding a lighthouse. But the finished product is nothing like this; it’s just huge, amorphous, and confusing – and possibly dangerous because of the strong effects of reflected sunlight into drivers’ eyes.

One wonders if the panel based their selection on only this photograph. An innovative concept definitely, but difficult to bring into being.

And it’s hard to see exactly what values and spirit of our community it is meant to express. For such an important piece of art to stand at the entrance to the town, surely more publicity and consultation should have been allowed? The Public Art Panel after shortlisting could then have put it to the community for feedback and a rough vote. Time-consuming, yes, but perhaps better in the long run, and why rush such an important decision?

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