Issue 6 - July 6, 2009 enews homee

Special birthday gift brings smiles to Alice art lovers

CDU Lecturer Henry Smith with his sculpture,
Carbon Copy

By Jason McIntosh

The Alice Springs based Araluen Cultural Precinct received a special present for its recent 25th anniversary: a striking art piece from lecturer Henry Smith.

Friends of Araluen, a volunteer association that supports the precinct, bought the work from the CDU lecturer as a fitting tribute to the centre’s success.

Mr Smith spent many hours grinding, welding and filing his art piece into a sculptured, three and a half meter high plane of polished metal ribs.

Titled Carbon Copy, it represents the loss of trees to burning and was part of a larger exhibition that paid homage to trees.

Mr Smith said the work was based around a 300-year-old river red gum from the Todd River in Alice Springs.

“It’s about how we are losing beautiful trees because our environment is drying out,” he said. “I really love and appreciate trees and the environment.”

The words “In loving memory of river red gum born and died Todd River” are inscribed at the base of the work.

The artwork first sparked interest last July when Mr Smith exhibited his works at the centre. Director of the Araluen Cultural Precinct, Tim Rollason said he was delighted to have the work exhibited.

“It is truly wonderful work, but with a sad element because it represents the trees that are disappearing out of the river,” he said.

Mr Smith, who works part-time at CDU, was a freelance artist for many years, completing sculptural works for art houses and props for televisions commercials.