10 June 2016
A new public artwork, celebrating Gippsland's magnificent Mountain Ash trees, has been unveiled in Warragul's Civic Park.
The sculpture, The Archaeology of Time, was created by Victorian artist James Geurts.
The sculpture was inspired by the late 19th Century tale of a Mountain Ash tree from Thorpdale. Regarded as the 'tallest tree in the world', it was chopped down in 1884 – and was found to be 114.3 metres tall.
James' artwork is reminiscent of an archaeological dig site. An excavation eight metres wide, with circumference of 35 metres, represents the footprint of the historical tree. By using a 3D scan of the base of a similar Mountain Ash tree, James was able to create topographical layers from white concrete, which have been set into the ground. By night, the sculpture is illuminated; a glowing hollow within Civic Park, that suggests the former tree rising up again from the land.
James, who lives in Melbourne and the Netherlands, graduated with a Masters of Art from RMIT in 2009. His work, which includes large-scale, site specific projects and gallery works, has shown across Australia and internationally.
The Archaeology of Time was funded by the Creative Victoria Public Sculpture Fund, with support also provided by the Baw Baw Shire Council and the Warragul Rotary Club.
The project acknowledges the Kurnai and Gunai nations; the past and present custodians of the site of the sculpture.