Cypress trees face the chop

Sharon Kemp | Bendigo Weekly | 11-Aug-2017

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A CONTEMPORARY Inge King statue and new deciduous trees will replace nine cypress canker trees, most in poor condition, that form an arch in front of the historic Bendigo Art Gallery building.

The City of Greater Bendigo has provided a heritage impact statement for the proposed work because of the heritage value of the building.

The statement downplays the impact of a contemporary statue, saying when the building is viewed from the footpath, “the building will sit largely above the sculpture, with only a small portion of the central glazed section obscured”.

The statute is called Crimson Mandala and has been in the gallery’s ownership since 1994. 

Inge King is considered one of Australia’s most highly-respected sculptors.

Crimson Mandala is a circled-shaped, mandala-like structure valued at $184,000.

The council’s heritage statement said the work was typical of Ms King’s “marrying of bold minimalism, finding beauty and contemplation in simple robust forms.”

“The proposed heritage site on the lawn adjacent to Bolton Court was designed to be a forecourt – or public gathering point – and the placement of the sculpture would serve to provide an object of contemplation and act as a meeting point for the View Street precinct,” the statement said.

“The installation of Crimson Mandala at the site of Bendigo’s first public gallery marries historic and modern artistic innovation; placing Bendigo in a bold tradition of public artwork seen in historic cities around the world.”

It is proposed maidenhair trees, otherwise known as gingko biloba, will replace the cypresses, which were planted in the late 1960s.

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