All roads lead to Auburn

AUBURN has plans to erect a giant avant garde sculpture as a bold entrance statement.

Auburn is home to around 660 people, many of whom are both wine and art lovers alike.

Its residents included the late Alan Farwell, a popular local identity whose generous involvement in the community has now extended beyond his own life through a substantial bequest for the sole purpose of establishing a southern gateway statement for the town he loved.

So in 2017, a group of local volunteers was tasked with creating the kind of entrance statement piece of which Alan, former chair of the Independent Arts Foundation, would be proud.

Award winning Adelaide artist Craige Andrae was engaged, the local community consulted and fittingly, the result is an artistic sculptural piece that is large in scale, curiously unconventional and unmistakably Auburnesque, just like Alan.

Mr Andrae has named the commission ‘A is for Auburn’ and describes it as “…two sculptural forms that, when viewed from precisely the right point, align into view to create the capital letter A.

This moment occurs at the southern entrance to the town.

Through the use of bold colour and lighting the work will have a strong day and night impact.

The artwork signifies an attitude or intent in the town to be bold, clever, modern and sophisticated. If the artwork creates a reason to stop in Auburn and not carry on to the next town then it has done the job beyond its artistic merits.

The work is fresh and contemporary and unique in the state where many rural towns commission works which focus on rustic elements of the town’s history rather than their aspirations for the present and the future.”

Unfortunately, the cost to produce such a piece was more than the original bequest so the volunteers went to task again, applying for several grants to help fund the project.

Success finally came in February of this year in the form of a grant from the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal – Tackling Tough Times Together (FRRR-TTTT).

Graham Richards, chair, sub-committee Southern Gateway Project, said Alan was not only a great friend of the town of Auburn but also simply a great friend.

“I was with him just before he passed and it was then that he informed me of the bequest and his wishes,” Graham said.

“In true Alan style, I recall his comment was along the lines of ‘and make sure it isn’t a six-metre stainless steel wine bottle or a bunch of grapes!”

“Well, it certainly isn’t either of those.”

Now with the grant funds, original bequest and generosity from local suppliers, the work on erecting the artwork can begin in earnest.

The finished piece at this stage is now contingent on approval of the Development Application.