News & Events

Something’s fishy at Currie Park

June 25, 2018

The country gardens that make up part of Currie Park, OCAV’s Euroa village, now feature stunning garden art thanks to an artist, keen residents and an eye for recycling. The three glass panels, with an aquatic theme, were made with glass plates painted by residents under the watchful eye of artist and resident Gillian Coates.

Residents joined Gillian’s art class at the village more than a year ago and reluctantly had a go at glass painting. Most thought they ‘couldn’t paint’ and ‘weren’t artistic’ but these panels would suggest otherwise.

“People are always reluctant to have a go at painting because most have never had the chance. It’s a lot about confidence. After a while the residents who were so sure they couldn’t paint, were producing lovely work,” Gillian said.

In 12 months more than 50 plates, gathered from friends, opp shops and sales, were painted with porcelain paint by the women in the class and fired by Gillian. Some were even entered in the Euroa show and came away with the winning ribbon. Twelve plates were selected and attached to the panels creating an ocean theme of fish, bubbles and stones on the sea bed. Another interesting feature of the panels is that they are all shower doors bound for rubbish or recycling until spotted by Gillian. The shower doors had been removed during an upgrade of several Currie Park unit bathrooms. Where someone saw rubbish, Gillian saw an opportunity.

Gillian’s friend and sculptor Rosemary Evans, of Corowa, made metal frames from scrap metal to hold the glass panels. The frames have a base, which allows them to stand up in the garden, secured by rocks. The local pebbles at the bottom of each panel are local and represent a river bed.

Gillian designed the panels and attached all the various pieces once Rosemary had constructed the frames and she couldn’t be happier with the end result, which now stands near the village’s fish pond.

“I am thrilled beyond my expectations. When you think of creating something you have an idea of how you want it to turn out but that doesn’t always happen in the way you want. This is even better than I imagined and I know the women who have created the painted plates are thrilled with it,” Gillian said.

Success has bred ambition in the group and Gillian is about to start a new class focusing on mosaics. The participants will start with small pieces, but Gillian hopes they might ‘graduate’ to a larger piece, which could also be installed as part of a Currie Park garden ‘sculpture walk’.

“Some people might be daunted by mosaics, but once they start and then gain more skills, they will love it. There was one woman who started in the glass painting class who has a health issue which causes her hands to shake a lot. She produced one of the most intricate works and she loves it,” Gillian said.

“It’s official. Currie Park has an art group. They are no longer dabblers, we are an art group.”

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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