INDUSTRIAL steel cables, meant for lifting heavy machinery, are being repurposed as public art, designed to weave the Tamworth community together.
Canberra-based artist Lucy Irvine has been working in collaboration with Tamworth Regional Gallery and local production company, Andromeda Industries, to take on the challenge.
The sculpture's design is now in its final stages and is expected to be installed in its new home in Bicentennial Park in April next year.
Holding Place will reflect Tamworth's long history with textiles, and be something everyone can interact with.
Ms Irvine said it's been exciting to work with Andromeda's engineer Raymond McLaren to give his steel cables a new life.
"A lot of what I do is take industrial materials and take them through a process of transformation, so they're never hidden and they never become something else, but ... the forms they take on allow materials to be seen in different ways," she said.
"I like the thought of making sure something has that wow factor."
Ms Irvine said an important part of creating a permanent installation is to make sure there's fresh ways for people to experience it - and one plan is for the network of cables to light up in the dark.
Although the design is still being finalised, Ms Irvine said the sculpture will include the thick steel material woven into a number of columns to form an arch.
She said part of the process had been engaging with a local business to get the industrial parts and engineering expertise.
Mr McLaren is a mechanical engineer at Andromeda Industries at Moonbi, and said he had enjoyed the challenge of giving his products a new purpose.
"I thought this sounds very unusual, but not impossible," he said.
"I've never done public art before, I've done artistic works with my products over the years, but never anything large like this.
"These cables are normally used to lift very heavy machinery right across the country and they're not normally on public display."
The work as been in the pipeline for about a year and a half, and gallery director Bridget Guthrie said she's expecting the end result to really be something special.
"Public art creates a unique connection to place, it tells stories and narratives that can relate back to place and it also creates an environment where people want to live," she told the Leader.
Ms Guthrie said she was in awe of the other public works the artist has created, and Ms Irvine also lectures in the sculpture and textiles space at Australian National University.
The art work will be crafted and completed on site, to cement its place in the Tamworth community.