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RESILIENCE takes shape at the Para Men's Shed

Posted by Andrea Lewis

Over the past few months, attention has turned to the building of the scupture, our key project for Paraburdoo, with activity ramping up at the Men's Shed.

Attaching the loader tyre chains to the outer rim of the sculpture to make up the back half of the work (Photo Leanne Murphy, Paragon Photography)Attaching the loader tyre chains to the outer rim of the sculpture to make up the back half of the work (Photo Leanne Murphy, Paragon Photography)

During September and October, participants made a maquette, a mini version of the full work, which was displayed at the shopping centre and the airport. The maquette was a way for community and visitors to Paraburdoo to catch a glimpse of the full work. It also gave us a chance to experiment with cutting and polishing the very hard hematite stone being used.

The 4-metre-long piece of hematite for the upper arch has now been largely cut to shape, thanks to a dedicated group of participants putting in long, long hours on hot days to get this done.

In addition, the back half of the sculpture’s spherical cladding was completed earlier this week and the front half will be completed by the end of this week. This has involved attachment of the blasted steel plate and loader tyre chains. (See images in the Gallery below). Work on the hyperboloid shape that will for the inner ring of the sculpture, will be the next stage. The complex structure will be made up of 400 stainless steel rods placed side-by-side.

About 40 to 50 Rio Tinto staff, contractors and community members have participated in work at the Men’s Shed so far, with hundreds of hours volunteered to help build the sculpture. Many have learned new skills through their involvement. New friendships have been established and the informal team-building activity that is occuring has helped to reactivate the Men's Shed as an important community space in town.

At the installation site itself, a few kilometres from town, footings for the sculpture are being poured early next week. Groundworks for the car park will also start next week, and we are in the process of designing the beautiful digi-glass signage that will be installed at the site.

The sculpture – to be titled RESILIENCE – will be unveiled on the 18 December. The day will have two components to it: a morning event to officially unveil the work, and an evening community celebration. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Mental Health, Andrea Mitchell MLA, and Managing Director Pilbara Mines Rio Tinto, Michael Gollschewski, will officially unveil the work.

At 5.45pm, for the evening event, a bus will depart from the drive-in, taking community members to the sculpture for a short celebration. The bus will return to the drive-in for a 7pm free sausage sizzle and screening of two films: a specially created film on the development of the sculpture, and the BELONGING Paraburdoo film created earlier in the year. All events are alcohol free.

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