Southern Tablelands Officially One of Australia’s Best Street Art Experiences
A sculpture trail linking three Southern Tablelands towns has been named one of the best street art experiences in the nation after being selected as a finalist in the 2019 Australian Street Art Awards.
The Great Southern Line ANZAC Story has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Monument or Memorial” category, with the winners to be announced at an Awards ceremony on 6 November 2019.
Through sculptures at Goulburn, Moss Vale and Picton railway stations, the art project shares with visitors and locals a little-known side to the role played by railway workers on the Great Southern Line who enlisted in World War 1.
Conceived by Southern Tablelands Arts, history expert Dr Mary Hutchison worked with the community to identify stories of wartime local heroes before artist Tracy Luff created the sculptures.
Australian Street Art Awards Director, Liz Rivers, said “The Awards educate travellers about the magnificent array of publicly-accessible art that can be found in every corner of the country, while showcasing destinations like the Southern Tablelands that are using publicly-accessible art to transform their streets and landscapes.
“Australia has a long history of creating sculptures, monuments and other art that is captivating to visitors. However, there’s never been a way of rewarding and supporting places that created these art-related experiences for visitors. The Australian Street Art Awards remedies that shortcoming,” she said.
With rigorous judging by tourism and event industry leaders from around Australia and second-tier auditing, the Great Southern Line ANZAC Story’s finalist berth has the credence of the art tourism sector.
Judging focussed on the way the artwork has been used to attract visitors and bring the local community together. In the case of this trail, the judges said that has been achieved in a remarkably sensitive and appropriate way: “The previously overlooked story of young railway workers enlisting in war, surviving its horrors and returning to recommence their railway jobs is a very moving one.
“These Southern Tablelands artworks are contributing significantly to making Australia a more vibrant, creative and interesting country – somewhere that international visitors, as well as domestic travellers, will want to explore,” the judges said.
More international tourists engage in arts than visit wineries, casinos, or attend organised sports events, according to the Australia Council for the Arts’ International Art Tourism: Connecting Cultures 2018 Report. The study also found that art tourists are more likely to travel to regional areas, with 42% venturing beyond capital cities.
The Awards dinner is being held on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 6 November, immediately following Australia’s first arts tourism summit, The Art of Attraction.