This was a request to do for Warragul Regional Colleges centenary. It hangs just above the entrance to the admin area. The dancing man is a wonderful symbol. It was designed for the regional college when the High and Tech schools amalgamated and isn�t so much a man but a pathway leading to the light on the hill..that is �the school on the hill�. It�s a wonderful combination of positive and negative spaces and it suggests a joyful person as much as a pathway. Hopefully the two combine and certainly many people say that their school years are the most happiest and formative.
I had the brief to use the symbol to create a sculpture for the schools centenary and after a bit of general discussion with the Principal it was decided that rather than a towering outdoor sculpture a more intimate, human scale piece be created to fit within the space it now occupies.
I kept reasonably well to the proportions and as I mainly use recycled materials in my work, I looked for pieces that would reflect the story of education on the site. I had pieces associated with horses ( Haymes and shoes) and I thought they sort of referred to the agricultural nature of the origins of the school as well as some of the ways of transport that various students would have used. There are also some engineering parts which refer to the Tech school aspect and of course there are other school based elements such as part of a locker door, a lock, some school implements including things from Home eco to suggest the female component.
To a degree I was limited in my approach by wanting to only use what I could weld to make the sculpture longlasting and fairly robust. Hence there are no pencils, computers blackboards, etc etc.. Still ,the piece is only meant to be a symbol not a complete whole school and I have tried to create a balanced and positive form.
As a retired teacher, I value state education and as my children went to this school I have a range of links myself to this place. Some of the teachers I worked with also had a history with WRC and perhaps as a former technology teacher, it is fitting that this piece not only uses some of the skills I taught but also perhaps suggests another �dancing man� who was a technology teacher here for many years, Roy McPherson.
I also think that education takes a raw material and makes it into something with a form and perhaps this piece also has aspects of this in it as well.
May the school prosper and may the dancing man always reflect the joy that WRC�s students gain from learning.