Chimera to shine above Speers Point

An artists impression of the sculpture

A striking 12m-tall public art sculpture will soar above the Speers Point waterfront from next month to celebrate Lake Macquarie and its significance to the community.

The $150,000 commission, to be known as Chimera, will comprise a stainless steel tower topped with a wind vane in the form of a stylised vessel and three sails.

Lake Macquarie City Council Cultural Services Manager Jacqui Hemsley said the sails would have a mirror finish to reflect the sky and the brilliant blue waters of the lake.

“Chimera will provide a spectacular focal point along the lake shore, between the Speers Point Amateur Sailing Club building and the public jetty,” Ms Hemsley said.

The sculpture, measuring almost 9m tip to tail, will be funded using money awarded to Lake Macquarie City Council in 2008 as part of the prestigious National Thiess Riverprize.

Council won the prize for its “outstanding” work improving Lake Macquarie’s long-term health and ecological sustainability.

Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Kay Fraser, said it was therefore fitting for the money to be spent on a piece of public art so close to the lake’s edge.

“With Lake Macquarie Art Gallery at Booragul, the CREATIVE Lake art trail and the upcoming Speers Point Multi-Arts Space, our City is fast becoming a destination for bold and innovative art,” Cr Fraser said.

The Chimera design, by award-winning Sydney artists Susan Milne and Greg Stonehouse, was selected via an expression of interest process last year.

“The artwork is inspired by the wind shift affecting bird flight and sails, and combines various elements into a hybrid sculpture,” Stonehouse said.

Milne and Stonehouse have already undertaken major public art installations in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

Installation of the Chimera sculpture is expected to take place in March.