Alice Springs ~ Snapshots from the Northern Territory

The “beating heart” of Australia pulsates with creativity. From exhibitions, festival and events, there is art everywhere. Whilst some, like the ephemeral nature of flowing rivers and waterfilled claypans in Central Australia, are transitory – and the art is gone – snapped up by collectors, dismantled by the event organiser, or allowed to slowly dissolve back into the landscape.

Yet there is also permanency, if you look around, not necessarily at the creation of mother-nature in the spectacular beauty of the landscape, with its dreamtime stories of creation, there is the man-made art, fixed in place, for the heart and soul to enjoy.

Street art, a wonderful expression not just here in Alice Springs, but throughout Australia. Whilst street art does reference a certain genre, there are permanent sculptures and some that have been here so long, that one can walk by and forget.

The following image is of the original sandstone mural of Heavitree Gap by John Newland (stonemason) in 1984. The roof above the wall was damaged during a storm (22 September, 2008). Sadly over much bickering, the wall was supposed to be rebuild with the same bricks, instead it was recreated with other bricks in a sad pastiche of the original work.

The following wonderful whimsical detailed work by unknown artist, was here one day then gone the next.

The following metal sculpture of the iconic Perentie by Dan Murphy was installed at at the Undoolya Rd roundabout (26 March 2015). It was commission by the Alice Springs Town Council Public Art Advisory Committee.

Over the years, Alice Springs has hosted a number of other wonderful exhibitions at various locations including the Olive Pink Botanic Garden. Following are some photos of works that have been shown, with some works on permanent display, whilst others can only be recalled through the images captured by many cameras and mobile phones.

The following is Emu by artist Al Bethune. Made from scrap metal and found objects. Acquired in 2008 through generous donations from members of the public and on permanent display in the Olive Pink Botanic Garden.

Furry Angels by artist Jenny Taylor. Made from recycled kids gloves, and used koalas. They were on display during the 2008 Exhibition in Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs.

The amazing sculpture Comet by Dan Murphy is part of the Araluen Collection (1995). Constructed from barbed wire and galvanised metal and can be viewed at the Araluen Precinct.

Rusty The Bush Kangaroo by artist Anthony Dent. Made from scrap metal. 2008 Exhibition, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs.

Canapillar – Artist Al Bethune. Made from 44 gallon drums, cans and solar lights (2008 Exhibition, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs).

The following Yeperenye Sculpture at the Araluen Arts Centre is a collaborative public artwork by Dan Murphy and students from the Centre for Appropriate Technology’s ATWork program.

Check out some of our other images from Snapshots: Art in the Botanic Garden.