Re: Land Art Installation at "The Bridge" at Shark Creek Bridge.
My proposal for what I would like to describe as a Land Art Installation involves the RTA, The Shire Council, Historical Societies in the region and any other interested parties. I suggest we call an on-site gathering of these people to take the following proposal further.
Let me state categorically at the outset that conservation and restoration of this RTA heritage listed concrete bowstring arch road bridge and sensitive attention to its cartilage is the number one priority.
What I am proposing is to further enhance this heritage bridge by drawing attention beyond its once utilitarian value by making it an artistic, sculptural object. The integrity of the structure will not be affected as I envisage "populating" the bridge area with several objects/sculptures typical of the more peaceful time of the bridge's inauguration in 1936, just before the global turmoil that was World War 11 for example: vintage car/s of the era and concrete-cast people. The effect will be like a scene, a moment in time captured on the bridge. Landscaping the surrounding land with a low-maintenance garden would further beautify the area and draw attention to it as a valued place in the community. A small parking spot as a resting and viewing place near the bridge would encourage travellers to pause and explore.
As you can see, this project could very well involve a small number of artists and landscape architects being invited to present some drafts for display at the Regional Gallery. Perhaps even a competition could be announced via the local media. This would raise the profile of this region as a community interested in its heritage and in contemporary art.
Brilliantly and collectively developed this project could be recognised and admired far beyond our own horizon. The 24/7 passing highway audience of millions will have a glimpse of the scenario. Some will stop and investigate and soon The Bridge at Shark Creek Bridge will become a well known landmark. When this happens, the flow on will enrich the shire in more ways than one.
Let's begin by getting together and having a serious conversation about how we wish to proceed.
I look forward to hearing from you all.
Posters, Postcards, trinklets and a special website, and video will be part of the installation.
----- Original Message -----From: Grafton_Regional_Office@rta.nsw.gov.auTo: Ture SjolanderSent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 3:23 PMSubject: Shark Creek Bridge Cultural HeritageDear Mr Sjolander,Thank you for your e-mail regarding suggested changes to the old Shark Creek Bridge and its curtilege. Your interest in the bridge is appreciated and you have raised worthy issues in your representation.This structure is recognised by the RTA as having rarity value at a State level and is listed on the RTA's s170 Heritage register. The old Shark Creek bridge is one of only two concrete bowstring arch road bridges built in NSW. The strict guidelines associated with the maintenance of a heritage structure discourage changes to a structure's appearance, form or fabric. As such any proposed changes to the colour of the concrete structure would not be supported by the RTA.Your proposal has brought to our attention various matters of house-keeping at this site that will be investigated shortly with the aim of improving the appearance of the structure and the adjacent site area. Issues with vegetation control and concrete washing will be included in the scope of this proposed maintenance activity.Please note that the RTA is responsible for all decisions associated with the management of this bridge and no work can be undertaken on the bridge or its curtilege without the approval of the RTA.Yours faithfully,David BellRegional Manager