THE Winchelsea entrance sculpture project will go ahead as planned, despite a personal tragedy affecting one of the major stakeholders.
Last week, the Surf Coast Shire stated its officers had been working with artist Ben Storch on a plan to deliver the project following the passing of Ben’s project partner Matthew Harding earlier this year.
The council has resolved to deliver the project according to the original design – with sculptures installed on the eastern and western entrances to the town.
The shire has committed that the funds required to finish the project are available, and anticipates that both sculptures will be constructed and installed by April 2019.
The work will continue under Mr Storch’s direction to ensure the artistic integrity of the sculpture project.
Winchelsea ward Councillors Carol McGregor and Heather Wellington, who are members of the project reference group, were pleased to see the project would continue in its original form.
“This has been a very difficult time and of course a key focus has been respecting the wishes of Mr Harding’s family and likewise Ben,” Cr McGregor said.
“We have also sought to understand the best way to proceed from a logistical point of view.
“The two artists brought different skills to the projects so one of the considerations has been to determine how best to manage the metal fabrication from this point.
“It’s likely the council will seek the services of a metal fabricator to work under Ben’s direction.”
Cr Wellington said the delivery of the project would leave an important legacy.
“Installing the sculptures as originally conceived is a way that we can honour Matthew’s legacy.
“I’m sure the Winchelsea community will be pleased to hear the project is continuing and will understand the delay.
“The sculpture designs are beautiful and once installed will make compelling landmarks that reflect the character of the township and the aesthetic qualities of the landscape,” Cr Wellington said.