Neerim South begins artistic transformation

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Kimberley Thomson

After receiving a Regional Arts Victoria grant, the township of Neerim South is set to embark on an artistic transformation.

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After receiving a Regional Arts Victoria grant, the township of Neerim South is set to embark on an artistic transformation.

For a town with a population of only 600 people, a $350,000 arts grant is a pretty big coup. Neerim South, located in West Gippsland, is one of five towns to receive a Regional Arts Victoria grant for 2013. The funding will enable the community to undertake several arts projects. It is hoped that upon completion these initiatives will help stimulate economic growth within the town and surrounding areas.

The visual centrepiece of the town’s artistic transformation will be the ‘Neerim Bower’. The roadside sculpture will stretch over the road that welcomes visitors to Neerim South. Its soaring shape is inspired by birds that populate the local wetlands.

A statement from the project’s organisers explains: ‘Many of the local small businesses struggle economically. There is a need to enhance the shopping precinct so locals and visitors shop here. Timber, quarry and milk trucks along with cars pass through the town without stopping. We believe the public art installations will ‘stop them in their tracks’.'

It is also hoped that people's sentiments will become entwined with the sculpture.

About the author

Kimberley Thomson is a Melbourne-based writer. Follow her on twitter: @2bottleThomson