Issue 4
Monday, 03 June 2019
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Darwin-based sculptor and CDU Arts alumnus Joel Mitchell and Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks on a bench seat based on the seedpod of a native wattle tree
Darwin-based sculptor and CDU Arts alumnus Joel Mitchell and Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks on a bench seat based on the seedpod of a native wattle tree

Cyclone marked by mahogany sculptures

Two symbolic reclaimed-timber sculptures have been installed at Casuarina campus, carved from the trunk of a huge African mahogany tree that fell on the grounds during Cyclone Marcus in March 2018.

A bench seat based on the seedpod of a native wattle tree and an interpretation of a green ant nest, often made of swamp bloodwood leaves, were unveiled on 15 May 2019.

CDU Art Curator Kellie Joswig said the works, by Darwin-based sculptor and CDU Arts alumnus Joel Mitchell, celebrated native species found on the campus and represented new generations and community cohesion.

“These two works are wonderful large-scale representations of relatively insignificant features of the Top End bush,” Ms Joswig said.

“The artist has cleverly used an iconic but introduced species of timber to do this, and in turn gives it new and enduring life.

“These works are a tribute to the majestic African mahogany, but they also remind us that our region is both beautiful and vulnerable.”

More than 250 trees – many of them massive fast-growing African mahoganies that had been planted after Cyclone Tracy in 1974 – were blown down on Casuarina campus when Cyclone Marcus struck Darwin on 17 March 2018.

The Office of Facilities Management initiated the sculpture project at the request of Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks, when the extensive cyclone clean-up was complete.

The sculptures have been installed in the Mal Nairn Auditorium foyer.