Gateway Sculpture – Community Arts Project

The 2020 bushfires were a tremendous shock that impacted so many in our beautiful region.

The Gateway is a sculpture composed of three four sided, twisting, flame-like spires over three meters tall, symbolising a gateway with multiple entrances. It represents the people from many walks of life within our community. We all come from different backgrounds and our paths lead to different directions.

Artist In Residence Shoalhaven

Community Arts Project

Development Status: Pilot

Dates: 2021–2022

Project Leads:

Dora Rognvaldsdottir

The 2020 bushfires were a tremendous shock that impacted so many in our beautiful region.

The Gateway is a sculpture composed of three four sided, twisting, flame-like spires over three meters tall, symbolising a gateway with multiple entrances. It represents the people from many walks of life within our community. We all come from different backgrounds and our paths lead to different directions.

The contemplative area between the spires is a beautiful intimate space where people can feel at one with the sculpture. The artist Dora Rognvaldsdottir is deeply involved in community and healing powers of art and creation, with the local community, a sculpture to mark that terrible time and also to act as a focus for communities to come together, contribute and create an artwork that all can be proud of.

The three spires, made of fabricated core ten steel, are designed to form a smooth rust finish that will protect the steel from deterioration and makes a striking visual statement. The bases speak of people, places and experiences during the fires, through laser cut images worked from photographs taken during the bushfires and generously shared with us by members of the community. Each spire is also a tribute to all the lost native fauna and flora. This is where the main part of community involvement is reflected.

When finished and completed, this public sculpture will be the largest in the Shoalhaven region both in size and community participation. This has come about largely because of the enthusiasm of the community to become involved with the project, with participants ranging in age from 5 to 94 years of age.

The AIR team

In 2020, a team of educational change-makers started thinking big about how to embed authentic creative arts programs into local primary schools in a way that both promoted creative career pathways and valued creative professionals from the community. 

They are:

  • Dr Lynda Kelly, Researcher & Managing Director of LyndaKellyNetworks;
  • Jenny Thompson, Community Representative for the Shoalhaven City Arts Board, and;
  • Ann Stafford, Community Artist Advocate.

For these three women it is all about the kids! 

The AIR team has recruited and embedded professional artists from the South Coast community into primary and preschools across four key disciplines: visual arts, drama, music and dance. 

The project comes at a time when creative expression is both more important than ever — after a traumatic year of bushfire, flood, and pandemic — and most compromised in the educational context by COVID lockdowns.

The AIR project is generously funded by Shoalhaven City Council and the Department of Education in the region of the Shoalhaven, and proudly auspiced by Southland Creative Inc.

We acknowledge and pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Elders, and custodians across Australia, whose customs and cultures continue to inspire and connect us.

Please note, sections of our website may contains images, video, audio, and writings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed. We acknowledge them for the indelible mark they have left on our mission.