ARTY LURE: Artist Yanni Van Zijl has floated an idea for a world class sculpture park tapping into indigenous culture.
ARTY LURE: Artist Yanni Van Zijl has floated an idea for a world class sculpture park tapping into indigenous culture. Peter Gardiner

Call for an enviro sculpture park on lake shores

A LOCAL artist believes Noosa should create a world class environmental sculpture park with a strong indigenous cultural connection.

Yanni Van Zijl has put forward her vision as part of the feedback to Noosa Council as it prepares its arts, culture and heritage plan.

"This concept fits the Biosphere reserve status,” she said.

"Here is an idea for a socio-culturally sustainable eco-tourism art industry that could have world class status if done well.

"One only needs to see the economic stats on MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Tassie to see the spin off.”

She said MONA attracted 338,000 interstate and international visitors adding an estimated $760million to the state's economy.

And the Bendigo Gallery in Victoria has helped boost the local economy by hosting exceptional exhibitions on the belief "if you do something exceptional, you become a destination”.

Ms Van Zijl said the Grace Kelly exhibition attracted 152,000 visitors and pumped $16million into the local community, while the Marilyn Monroe showing had 140,000 visitors worth about $13million.

Ms Van Zijl's outdoor sculpture park and a new regional gallery would ideally be set in wallum on the banks of Lake Weyba but she concedes that another site may have to be considered in light of future rising sea level flood predictions.

Her working title for the gallery is S-P-A-C-E (Sculpture, Place, Art, Culture, Environment).

"The banks of Lake Weyba are a cultural rich site for the Kabi Kabi, a perfect site for a cultural education centre,” she said.

"Imagine this in the shape of a magnificent stingray which abound in Lake Weyba. This would be a sculpture in itself.”

Her concept includes an undulating shade shelter, a place for the Kabi Kabi to share stories, sing, dance and educate people about the environment.

"There are over 200 documented (Kabi Kabi) sites within the shire and nowhere is their story evident,” she said.

She said there is a growing movement across the world to take art pieces out of sterile walled environments into a natural environment.

Ms Van Zijl's suggestions include:

Bike paths through wallum from sculpture to sculpture.

The art gallery and cultural centre to form part of a koala/wildlife corridor.

She said Kruller Muller museum in Holland has a park like this where 1000 white bicycles are available to tour the parkland museum.

Her gallery vision includes a sustainable restaurant "highlighting our local grown produce and selling local artisans work”.

Ms Van Zijl said these concepts were supported last year's cultural and heritage plan community workshop.

"I am hoping to create a movement or body of people to help push this idea as it will require outside investment and the ideas are far too grand for council to achieve alone,” she said.

"This large scale project requires a steering committee, a financial committee, philanthropic, government and local support.

"It can be developed in stages and highlights the importance of culture and creativity, not just as an economic driver through cultural tourism and creative innovation, but the importance of a vibrant cultural life for the health and well being and sustainability of community.”

Peter Gardiner


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