Library sculpture splurge shelved

TAMWORTH Regional Council will not be rushing out and splurging more than $40,000 on a sculpture by acclaimed local artist Stephen King.

TALL ORDER: A proposal to make Stephen King’s eye-catching sculpture a permanent part of Tamworth Regional Council’s collection has been rejected. Photo: Gareth Gardner 130814GGI02

TALL ORDER: A proposal to make Stephen King’s eye-catching sculpture a permanent part of Tamworth Regional Council’s collection has been rejected. Photo: Gareth Gardner 130814GGI02

Instead, it will call for expressions of interest from sculptors, artists and galleries to fill the prime space outside the gallery and library.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, councillors had the option to approve a plan to purchase Mr King’s iconic work, Stargazer III, for $44,000.

The award-winning Walcha artist’s towering 6m-high piece has been on display in the gallery’s forecourt since May.

However, councillor James Treloar won support for his argument that council should not spend such a significant sum without exploring other options.

“I am no expert in the arts and I would have no idea whether a purchase of that magnitude is a good investment or a poor investment,” he said.

“Until I have some understanding of what’s out there in the marketplace, I would be loath to simply go down the path of one magnificent sculpture when I think it would be wise to at least get expressions of interest.”

Cr Treloar said the new approach did not mean the council would not eventually settle on Stargazer III as the best option for the space.

“Because it is such a significant public space, we should actually be seeking expressions of interest in terms of what the community may like, or what a sculptor might like to prepare on our behalf,” he said.

“It’s an area where potentially there could be a sculpture that is not only a piece to look at, it could be an active piece where people could climb and play on it.”

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