Aboriginal artist talks plans for skate park

A WORLD leader in skate park design and an avant-garde Aboriginal artist will join forces on an elaborate new skating facility in Coledale.

ART FROM THE EDGE: World-renowned Aboriginal artist Reko Rennie will be in Tamworth this week to discuss design plans for the Coledale skate park. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

ART FROM THE EDGE: World-renowned Aboriginal artist Reko Rennie will be in Tamworth this week to discuss design plans for the Coledale skate park. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

Construction company Convic, which has built hundreds of skate parks in Australia and a $25 million park in China, will meet with artist Reko Rennie in Coledale today to discuss preliminary plans for the park.

The facility, to sit alongside the soon-to-be-built Coledale Youth Centre at Centenary Park, is expected to be worth more than $500,000 when it is finally completed.

Interested residents are being urged to attend The Youthie on Monday for two special workshops to discuss design plans for the park.

Tamworth Regional Council’s youth services co-ordinator Steve Blanch said it was a “coup” to have Convic and Rennie on board.

“This would be the first Aboriginal-designed skate park in the world and Reko Rennie is an internationally renowned artist,” Mr Blanch said.

“To be able to bring together Reko’s conceptual designs and Convic’s skill and experience is amazing.

“But this is really about getting an understanding of what the community wants from the park.”

Rennie, whose indigenous heritage lies with the Kamilaroi people, is known for his large-scale and off-beat work, fusing geometric shapes with contemporary themes.

The design work will be funded by a $100,000 council grant, which was allocated three years ago.

“The money was allocated but never spent because it didn’t make sense to build it before the youth centre was built,” Mr Blanch said.

He said the skate park would be a staged development, with grants and other funding streams not yet locked in for its completion.

The $3.5 million Coledale Youth Centre is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Today’s workshops will be held at The Youthie from 12pm to 4pm and 5pm to 7pm.

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