Robot sculptures visit Lismore CBD for youth art exhibit

Cake Industries art duo Dean Petersen and Jesse Stevens On the floor: collaborating young artists - Phoebe Waters, Frewoini Baume, Ari Keca, Jack Spink , Elessar McMahon.
Cake Industries art duo Dean Petersen and Jesse Stevens On the floor: collaborating young artists - Phoebe Waters, Frewoini Baume, Ari Keca, Jack Spink , Elessar McMahon. Contributed

AFTER a year in the making, two robotic sculptures made by young Lismore artists hit the streets in the CBD on Saturday, for the first public exhibit of Protest Move-ment.

Victorian artists Jesse Stevens and Dean Petersen of Cake Industries collaborated with 10 budding artists over four workshops to create two moving installations, which tell the story of Lismore's unique activist culture.

Workshop participants used mechatronics, robotics, carpentry, 3D printing and recycling to create two anthropomorphic and autonomous remote-controlled sculptural works.

The Community Sculpture reflects on the devastating March-2017 floods using the town's signature heart motif, while the timber Environment Sculpture links to the region's history of environmental activism.

Mr Stevens said protesting was chosen as a theme due to the region's unique history of social movements, including the anti-Coal Seam Gas Bentley Blockade and anti-deforestation protests.

"Protesting is culturally relevant," Mr Stevens said.

"Northern Rivers was one of the one of the first parts of Australia to begin the peaceful and positive protest movement, following the Nimbin's Aquarius Festival in the 1970s.

"This project is about the symbology of protesting and the positives of it, rather than anger or frustration.

"It about the community coming together and how these kids have been a part of that, growing up."

A group of ten youth involved in the workshop worked on the sculptures in addition to their normal school work.

Elessar McMahon, 17, a home-schooler, said exposure to robotics and electronics was a major draw card for him.

"Pretty much everything I've done here is new, so it's been really interesting," Elessar said.

"We used motors, hubs, speaker wires, and a 3D printer to create its moving hands in the Community Sculpture, and a wide variety of woodwork tools to build the flags in the Environment Sculpture."

Ari Keca, 12, formerly of Lismore Public School, said the project blended his interests in architecture and electronics.

"We used engines and tables, I learnt how to use a jig saw and cable and soldering," Ari said.

"Seeing them all come together at the end was amazing."

Phoebe Waters, 14, of Trinity Catholic College developed artistic skills during the making of the Community Sculpture by researching and interpreting the impacts of the flood, on the community.

"We made (the sculpture) so it was an icon, a remembrance of how the community came together and formed a big bond," Phoebe said.

Frewoini Baume, 16, of Trinity Catholic College, said pupils were "excited and nervous" to finally showcase their work.

"At the beginning for the week we didn't think we were going to get these finished and there was a panic," Frewoni said.

Jack Spink, 12, said he "wouldn't mind been an engineer" following the project, which encouraged pupils to think of engineering as creative art form.

The Lismore Regional Gallery community art project was in partnership with Youth Connections Clubhouse and funded by the Australia Council for the Arts.

Topics:  protest move-ment the nimbin 'aquarius festival' was a counter-cultu

Crews continue to battle Kings Forest blaze

Meg Perkins sent in this shot of the Kings Forest fire, as seen from Casuarina Way.

Firefighters are still battling a blaze on the Far North Coast

Book your holidays: Splendour dates confirmed

FUN: The crowd goes wild for Dune Rats at the main stage on the second day of Splendour in the Grass 2017.

One very popular band has pretty much said they're coming

Lismore Laughs line up unveiled

HE'S BACK: Merrick Watts is coming to Lismore in March.

Three shows will be performed in this year's comedy festival

Local Partners