Boort Sculpture by the Lake 10 October

Published on 10 September 2015

TRANSFORMING scrap metal from farms into striking works of art is raising the profile of Boort as a tourist destination and feeding hope of even greater things to come.

The key strategy is the gradual construction of a metal sculpture trail around Little Lake Boort, boosted by an annual competition as part of the Boort Show and regular workshops led by an accomplished metal artist.

The show, planned for 10 October at Boort Park, will again host the Boort Sculpture by the Lake competition, offering a total of $4,000 in prize money across five categories.

Sculptures can be in any form, but must be made predominantly from metal items typically found throughout rural Australia.

Rod Poxon, secretary of the Boort Development Committee and a committee member of the Boort Business and Tourism Council, said both those organisations were behind the initiative.

“Last year’s competition was a great success, with more than 40 entries coming from as far afield as the Mornington Peninsula,” Mr Poxon said.

“Quite a few people brought their caravans and made a weekend of it, with the Boort Show on as well as an open day at the Piccolis’ Star Spanner Sculpture Garden at Barraport.

“Last year’s winner was Bendigo sculptor Darren Moresi, with a huge fish creation he made out of rusty metal.

“The competition falls within the overall sculpture strategy for Boort, but another element is a workshop program run each September.

“The result of that program last year was ‘Rusty the Redfin’, a sculpture which has now been installed at Little Lake Boort near another piece of metal art in the shape of a dragonfly.

“This year, Darren Moresi is coming to lead two weekend workshops at the Boort Men’s Shed with the aim of creating a substantial piece of metal art.

“This time we’ve decided to make a cormorant, which will then feature at Boort Sculpture by the Lake before being permanently displayed as part of the emerging metal sculpture trail here.

“The latest addition to the trail is a highly impressive spanner sculpture generously donated by John Piccoli, designed to honour his Swiss roots.

“The artworks fit in perfectly with the walking track that runs around the lake.”
The Piccolis will stage an open day at their Star Spanner Sculpture Garden, 10km from Boort, the day after the show (11 October).

“John and Sonia are now attracting more than 7000 visitors each year, which is quite remarkable considering he doesn’t advertise – he doesn’t even have signage,” Mr Poxon said.

“There are a number of competitions like ours around Australia, but if we can make Boort the metal sculpture capital of Victoria, people will come from all over Australia – and the world – to see it.”  

Competition entries are accepted until 9 October, with winners announced at the Boort Show. Fees are $20 for adults and $10 for juniors.

The Star Spanner Sculpture Garden Open Day will run from 10am to 2pm on the Sunday. Entry costs $5.