Tuesday, April 6, 2010

margaret river cow parade

Ah, the brilliance of the cow parade! Give a bunch of artists a blank canvas (or rather a blank cow), and set them free to create. You can find the results (all 85 of them) dotted all around the Margaret river region, in wineries, galleries, lighthouses, outside shops, all sorts of places, even the airport (yes, I know not technically the Margaret river). This is such a joyful project, full of humour, creativity and I love that these cows are all in public places. Bad cow puns abound (there's plenty you can do with 'moo', 'cow', 'herd' and 'milk') and they provided some of the inspiration for the cow designs.

Left to my own devices, I would probably have gone out of my way to see all the cows. Not wanting this as a reason for divorce I contented myself by seeing the occasional cow we stumbled across on the way somewhere, and just one or two we’ve gone out of the way to see.

What I love about this idea is that so many of the cows are so associated with ‘place’. I could write an essay here. But I love that about this regional exhibition, I learnt quite a bit more about the area. Anyway, here are some of the cows I came across.

SW Australia has a rich history of cattle farming and that came out in some of the works such as the one at Redgate Wines by artist Sue Codee who grew up on a cattle farm near Albany. It's called Cow in Transit.

Margaret River is a mecca for surfing and at least three cows paid homage to a surfing. I love this cow by Rod Egerton on top of the Settlers Tavern in Margaret River. It's called Cowabunga - Hang a Hoof!

I particularly liked this cow (Karta Warra Cow) by Matriarchal elder Ms Vivian Webb-Brockman at Moss Brothers Wines.

I admit we did go out of our way to see Jacques Cowsteau (see what I mean about bad puns!). Created by Geographe Marine Engineering, it was outside a cafe at Port Geographe Marina. Quite a lot of the dive gear looked real to me - apart from the oversized mask!

A few cows paid tribute to other artists. Dreams of the Daliesque Bovine was fabulous. Made by Suzanne Horton, it was on the main street in Augusta.

Also in Augusta was the cow below created by the AMR Shire Team. Being slightly obsessed by maps and all things aerial, this one really appealed to me. Called In the Scheme of Things, it shows a bird's eye view of some of the areas around Margaret River.

Last but by no means least, artist friend Graham Stove’s cow ‘Constance’ at Gulyuyp galleries. Love it!

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