16 May 2024

Aqualand donates sculpture to Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail

As Principal Sponsor of Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, we’re delighted to gift the artwork, ‘Folly Interstice’ by Tony Davis of WA, which received the 2022 Aqualand Sculpture Award, for public placement at the Sculpture Forest in the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail in Southern NSW. 

The sculpture was recently installed for permanent public display at Laurel Hill, in Bago State Forest, which was once home to the beloved Sugar Pine Forest. The Sculpture Forest has been developed by Sculpture by the Sea, in partnership with Forestry Corporation NSW and the local community, in response to the Black Summer bush fires of 2019 – 2020, when almost all pine trees at Laurel Hill and across the Snowy Valleys were destroyed. This included the loss of the beloved Sugar Pines Walk and Pine Cathedral experience. 

Tony Davis (WA) with Councilor James Hayes OAM, ‘Folly Interstice’, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, Sugar Pines at Laurel Hill. Photo John Riddell.

The Sculpture Forest includes three very different sites, providing visitors with a range of experiences:  

  • The recovering forest at Laurel Hill, next to Batlow Road, on the Snowy Valleys Way, between Batlow and Tumbarumba, with two large sculpture installations 
  • Pilot Hill Arboretum, 5km away, with three sculptures sited among the historic plantings of a diverse range of trees dating back to the early 1900s, including a sculpture by Batlow local Robyn Veneer Sweeney 
  • The 1.5km Alpine Ash Walk, that starts at the Pilot Hill Arboretum with an initial eight sculptures on the stunning native forest walk, that loops back to the arboretum and car park.  

The Sculpture Forest provides an entirely new dimension to the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, which now includes over 50 sculptures across 150km in the towns of Adelong, Batlow, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Talbingo, the hamlet of Tooma, and the three Tumbarumba region vineyards with cellar doors.   

Norton Flavel, ‘And Another’, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, Tumbarumba 2022. Photo John Riddell

Situated on the Snowy Valleys Way, the stunning back road between Sydney and Melbourne, the Sculpture Forest adds another reason to visit the Snowy Valleys with its celebrated local food, award-wining vineyard cellar doors, cideries, breweries, distilleries, trout fishing and walking and biking trails.  

The Sugar Pines at Laurel Hill, originally planted in 1928, held a story of the Snowy Valleys’ rich history in forestry and pioneering. Creating the Sculpture Forest amongst the restoration of the Sugar Pines is of immeasurable importance for the Snowy Valleys community, re-invigorating a sense of place and intended to become a source of local pride, and an important boost for local tourism and hospitality businesses.  

Tania Spencer, ‘Gumnut Cap Trio’, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, Adelong. Photo Fiona Dalessandro

An initial 13 sculptures have been installed at the three Sculpture Forest sites, including international artists Václav Fiala (Czech Republic), Sean Henry (England), Shen Lieyi (China) and Steinunn Thorarinsdottir (Iceland), as well as New South Wales artists Andrew Townsend and Suzie Bleach (South Coast), Dale Miles (Loftus), Lorraine Connelly-Northey (Holbrook), Philip Spelman (Queanbeyan), Stephen King (Walcha), Robyn Sweeney (Batlow), and Akira Kamada (South Coast), alongside interstate artists Tony Davis (WA) and Clancy Warner (SA). Several more sculptures by Australian and international artists will be installed later this year and next year.  

We remain immensely proud of our ongoing involvement with Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi and hope our donation assists in the long-term economic recovery of this beautiful region of NSW. 

Learn more about Snowy Valley’s Sculpture Trail, the artists, sculptures and map at https://sculpturebythesea.com/snowyvalleys/