Eight sandstone seats now adorn Mullumbimby’s CBD as part of the town’s Talking Street trial. Vehicle wheel stops and tree plantings have also been added to parking spaces in Burringbar Street.
‘The idea for sandstone street furniture installations was born in a conversation when Rebekah Webster was in town discussing the upcoming commission for a sculptural seat with Steve Drake and myself,’ said Suvira McDonald from Creative Mullum INC.
‘The discussion turned to the salvaged sandstone on Rebekah’s family property at Nimbin, quarry rejects from Helidon in Queensland. The ideas quickly fired up and we decided to pitch some ideas to Council planners who have been managing the Shared Streets program, a program using grant funding to trial ways of promoting the street as more people friendly while maintaining parking access.’
‘Council staff immediately warmed to the suggestion. They carefully researched suitable sites and consulted with shopkeepers who might be affected; the responses were mixed, and determined where the placements would be. It was decided that eight sites could be worked, some on the existing garden beds and some straight onto the footpath to accommodate the customers awaiting ordered food or folks just wanting a little chat with friend or two. It is all about short term sit-spots or “perches”,’ said Suvira.
‘Stone is mostly heavily worked but in this collaboration the softened tops and raw edges were left to speak for themselves. The most beautiful objects are often so simple. It is indeed an inspired initial collaboration between a sculptor, a potter and an architect.’
Council has also trialled a new pedestrian crossing near the Commonwealth Bank, slower traffic speeds in the town centre and temporary road narrowing treatments at the Burringbar and Stuart Street intersection.
Additionally, sacred stories of local forest and coastal middens have been brought to life by Arakwal artists, Nickolla and Kaitlyn Clark. The pavement artwork is at the intersection of Burringbar and Stuart Streets.