Cape Paterson artist Joe Donohue is delighted with the positive feedback he has been getting as his new installation takes place in the centre of town at Cape.


MAYBE it’s the transverse frame of a ship.

Or, as one passer-by offered last Friday, the inside of a fish.

Whatever you think it might be, local artist Joe Donohue welcomes all feedback and community engagement.

And he’s delighted to say that since the weather steel ribs started to take shape, on the foreshore side of Surf Beach Road, just opposite the shops, this week, he’s received only complimentary remarks.

“They all seem to like it which is nice,” said Joe.

“Well, what is it supposed to be, and does it have a name?” asked the Sentinel-Times.

“Not sure about the inside of a fish, but the frame of a ship is OK. It’s whatever you see really. That’s the idea of it.

“Today with the sun on it and a beautiful blue sky, you can see how the light and shade work on it, but last Sunday, it was pretty wild down here, as a local you know how it can get, and it looked pretty amazing then too, working with the elements.

“I’m pretty pleased with how it’s coming up but more importantly, it has created a lot of interest and all of it positive I’m pleased to say,” said Joe, himself a proud Cape Paterson resident.

The outdoor installation has the coastal bush and changing sky as its background with the sloping, rusted steel beams working fantastically well with the natural colours.

It’s not a confronting piece in conflict with its surroundings as these outdoor sculptures often are. With its curves and colours it’s more soothing, able to blend in with the coastal vistas but at the same time, calling for a response.

Commissioned by the Bass Coast Shire Council, it has already been dubbed one of the best art installations in the state, and a real asset to the town, visible to all who drive by or stop for a visit.

The shire is delighted with the way the piece is coming together.

“This exciting and new artwork is now being installed and expected to be completed by the end of July 2021, subject to contractor availability, weather and COVID restrictions. This $50,000 project was funded through Council’s Capital works program 2019/20.

“Time” (working title) was commissioned by Council as part of its annual public art commissioning program, guided by the Sites and Themes Plan, which designated this year’s location to be Cape Paterson. The work was selected by a Selection Panel made up of local community members, Councillors and members of the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. The EOI for the Cape Paterson Public Art Commission was open to suitably experienced artists.

“Local artist Joe Donohue was successful in securing the commission ahead of a competitive field. The work places an array of corten steel rib-like forms into the Cape Paterson foreshore reserve. The work is elegantly aligned with the desire to provide a place statement, a symbolic identity.

“Suitably abstract, it is not intended to be considered as one particular theme or viewed from one particular direction or angle. It is deliberately open for interpretation. Perhaps described as a grove or an abstract nest. Individual ribs recognised in the Lomandra and poa grass strands indigenous to the area. An architectural bower, a nostalgic nod to the tea tree lined tracks that wind along the foreshore, their ropey tunnelled paths patched and knotted with light and shade. The intention is to harness that sentimental embrace.

“This new artwork is to be located on the foreshore area beside the shared pathway and adjacent to the shopping precinct along Surf Beach Road, Cape Paterson.”

So, what do you think about the shire’s new art installation at Cape Paterson?