Personal Art walk Amanda Boddington

[IMAGE 1] Chainsaw art by Ken Magri. [IMAGE 1] Ned Kelly statue at the Glenrowan Motel. [IMAGE 3] 'Nala' by Ross Bradbury in Hervey Bay

Whilst visiting my family on the Fraser coast, I went on an artistic journey. After sampling chainsaw artworks through Gympie, iconic bush ranger motel advertising in Glenrowan and the symbolic whale breach in Hervey bay, I lost my way but found a memory. En route through the architectural wonders of Maryborough, I stumbled upon 'Mary Poppins', an iconic sculpture created by Rhyl Hinwood in 2005, found on the corner of Kent street and Richmond Street. This particular piece evoked happy childhood memories. I remember visiting my Grandma, who has now passed, and becoming submerged in musical films from her time. Sighting a symbol of my childhood, found amongst the colonial charm of Maryborough's original port district, I reminisced about being a child once again. I experienced joy, nostalgia and lightheartedness whilst finding myself humming what was thought to be a long forgotten tune.

"Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down."
Queensland and Beyond. (2017). Bronze Mary Poppins Statue [IMAGE]. Retrieved from, www.queenslandandbeyond.com

Made entirely from bronze, this sculpture is a life size replica of the 'mythical' character Mary Poppins. It stands at 1.5 metres high and weighs 100 kilograms. The artwork was made as a tribute to Pamela Travers and her linkages of the Mary Poppins novels and the name of her home town - Maryborough. The name Mary and the connection to Maryborough became evident through Pamela's stories, and now the 'Proud Mary Association' honours anyone with the name of Mary.

Biography.com. (2017). Pamela Travers [IMAGE]. Retrieved from, biography.com

The primary goal was to erect a statue of Mary Poppins as a tribute to Pamela Travers. With this gesture, the Proud Mary Association embraced literature, celebrating the history and heritage of one of its own - a writer of her time. Prior to the sculptures erection, little was known to connect the character with the town. I believe the remake of many classical children's films had lead to the unveiling which has now granted the statue more merit. From the once small town author to now one of the most whimsical and creative minds in literature, Pamela has created generations of family entertainment and educational aspirations for young children and adults alike. Since the reveal it has generated world wide interest - now becoming a local and international tourist attraction, contributing to economic growth for the Fraser Coast and surrounding areas. In addition to the physical display of historical memorabilia, there is a Mary Poppins festival which is held on Friday June 23- Sunday July 2, to celebrate the art of story telling through multiple mediums, in the June/July school holidays. THis exposes and promotes creation of narratives, novels and many forms of story telling from pictures to plays and musical pieces.

Personally, I believe the original meaning for the artwork was to show appreciation for a local historic author. However, in todays society the contemporary context sees the artwork as a connection being made between locals and visitors from all over the world, embracing and exploring story telling. For me, the statue symbolises imagination, creativity and success in many aspects, especially expression through literature. In some cases the conversion or historical and contemporary forms of literature teaching. How to bring together two seemingly opposed sides and create a breathtakingly creative adventure for people of various age, cultural heritages, abilities and beliefs.

The bronze Mary Poppins statue is worth approximately $60 000 and has probably made those funds back tenfold through tourism.

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Created By
Amanda Boddington
Appreciate

Credits:

Created with images by Megyarsh - "Cobblestones"

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