Students gain insight into the world of public art

15 March 2022

School students from Burketown' Croydon' Normanton and Georgetown were given the opportunity to let their creative juices flow when the Savannah Way Art Trail project team from CQUniversity visited them recently.

The CQUniversity team' consisting of Project Manager Patty Preece' Community Engagement and Research Assistant Wanda Bennett' Professor Bobby Harreveld and cultural consultant Nancy Bamaga visited the remote schools to provide them with an insight into the world of public art.

"We discussed public art' it's role in communities and how many public artists draw their inspiration from the environment'" Ms Bennett explained.

"The students then made their own artwork inspired by their local environment.

"The technique they used was cyanotype print making' the prints the students made were then used to create 3D artist books' which were quite sculptural. The prints were made from grasses and plants collected from the local environment."

Ms Bennett said the students loved the activities.

"All students were able to complete the activity and all ended up with an artwork that they were really proud of'" she said.

"The process of making the cyanotype prints is very 'art meets science' with really exciting' quite magic results. The students loved watching how the photographic paper reacted to the sunlight and how it changes again when you processed the prints in the water. They all signed and dated their finished works with little Savannah Way branded labels we'd printed out. I think this was a good touch to give them a lovely ownership to their work."

Students in Burketown got their hands a little dirty' creating artworks out of clay.

Savannah Way Art Trail artists Glen Manning and Kathy Daly from Manning Daly Art have been commissioned to create a series of six cohesive' large-scale permanent feature artworks in Burketown' Croydon' Normanton' Georgetown' Karumba and Doomadgee' for the Savannah Way Art Trail.

The duo were also on the community trip' where they consulted with residents' arts communities' council and Traditional Owners.

"Following on from our trip last year' our second community engagement trip for the Savannah Way Art Trail was again both inspiring and informative'" Glen said.

"Each story' photograph and anecdote helps paint a picture of what is unique about each community and their landscape."

Glen and Kathy said the councils and communities were actively engaged in the presentations' offering very positive responses' opinions and ideas about the art concept for their town.

"Fabrication of the six artworks will begin later this month after final approval from the Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Savannah Way Art Trail team'" Kathy said.

"Meeting residents' arts communities' council and Traditional Owners has been such a privilege. Gaining insights into this spectacular landscape and connecting with the people who call this home is a once in a lifetime experience."

The Savannah Way Art Trail' led by the Regional Arts Services Network (RASN)' is funded under the Year of the Outback Tourism Events Program' the RASN' the Monsoon Trough fund and the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).

RASN is an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

The RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Etheridge Shire Council' Croydon Shire Council' Carpentaria Shire Council' Burke Shire Council and Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Glen and Kathy said they hoped to have the art ready to install towards the end of the year before the wet season.

"However from what we have been told from the locals' the wet season is not that predictable."

More information about the Savannah Way Art Trail project is available at