Somewhere down the Lachlan: explore growing sculpture trail from Forbes to Condobolin

There's a growing new tourist drawcard to our region - and this school holiday period might be just the time to take a drive and explore it.

The Sculpture Down the Lachlan public art trail stretches from Forbes to Condobolin along the Lachlan Valley Way, with six large-scale works now in place.

But you can start your journey in Forbes with plenty to uncover in the town and around Lake Forbes as well.

The Lake Forbes walking track will take you from the Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre featuring Indigenous sculpture and story poles, all the way to Eternity and Shadows on the Landing near Bates' Bridge.

In the historic town centre you'll find sweet kelpie Rosa (near the Post Office) and cheeky Leroy (near the Platypus Gallery).

In Albion Park, opposite Forbes Post Office, you'll see Gillie and Marc's Pyramid and "I welcome you with love" which represents the powerful sense of belonging and the beauty of freedom that sculptor Ayad Alqaragholli has experienced in Australia.

Veranus

This lace monitor - or Gugaa in the Indigenous Wiradjuri language - stands 5.5m tall and 20 metres from tip to tail.

He was crafted from 3.5 tonnes of steel over 3500 hours by sculptor Glen Star, and he is very much at home among the eucalypts of the Gum Swamp Reserve.

Follow the brown sculpture trail signs from the Newell Highway just south of Forbes.

Road Kill

Sculptor Jimmy Rix put himself in the kangaroo's shoes when he created Road Kill.

Rix was inspired by a 2019 road trip through our region where he witnessed the impact of three years of drought in the wildlife road toll.

"I try to place myself in the kangaroo's mind and what it would do to this menace in return," Rix explains.

"It would smash it with a cricket bat, of course!"

Road Kill is the first of the large-scale sculptures you'll find shortly after turning from the Newell Highway onto the Lachlan Valley Way towards Condobolin.

AMAZING

This is where it all began.

The giant letters spelling out the word "amazing" were built by locals over a period of three years, the 'a' standing in Albion Park in the centre of town as an visual reminder of the sculpture trail dream in the mind of Forbes' Rosie Johnston.

It was installed on the stock route in 2017, handed over to the people of Forbes at an official opening by Governor General His Excellency The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (reitred).

Join hundreds of others in snapping a pic with this piece, and posting #amazingforbesnsw to social media.

Tower

Tower harks back to an earlier era, when the water tower was a key part of our landscape and local history.

This 10.5m tall structure of silvertop stringybark and bluegum is sculptor Stephen King's tribute to those who built the infrastructure we rely on.

He encourages people to walk around and through the work, exploring the shadows and spaces between.

Tower is 33km from Forbes on the Lachlan Valley Way - look out for the brown sign.

Bird in hand

No less than 1600m of stainless steel chain, connected by 243,000 welds, form this great white egret in a hyper-realistic hand.

For sculptor Mike Van Dam, it's a reminder that we need to preserve and protect this important environment: its future is in our hands.

Bird in Hand is near the intersection with Hodges Road, Jemalong.

Heart of Country

He stands proudly at six metres tall, gazing across the landscape as generations of Wiradjuri people have.

He is Heart of Country, and sculptor Damian Vick has described him as his most powerful and important of his career to date.

Vick describes the work as an attempt to acknowledge the injustices endured by the Wiradjuri people, whilst also standing as testament to the collective resilience and determination of all indigenous Australians, and their profound spiritual connection with the land.

Heart of Country is located 23km from Condobolin on the Lachlan Valley Way.

The project

The $7 million 'Boosting the Lachlan Valley Economy Art Project' also includes the construction of a new cultural and arts centre on the corner of Lachlan and Church Street (former Forbes & District Ambulance Station) and the Gum Swamp redevelopment.

For more information about the project, visit www.forbesartssociety.com