Artists find inspiration in mountain of debris

Creativity: Artist Tony Owens says the debris washed up on Town Beach is inspiration just waiting to happen. Pic:Ivan Sajko
Creativity: Artist Tony Owens says the debris washed up on Town Beach is inspiration just waiting to happen. Pic:Ivan Sajko

For artists and hobbyists, the mountain of debris washed up on Town Beach can only mean one thing: creativity.

Port Macquarie’s Maree Watkins and her sister Lindy McKinnon were on Monday among a host of artists and hobbyists trawling through the pile of wood of varying shapes and sizes, sourcing inspiration for their next project.

“I’m looking for unusual pieces, something unique,” said Mrs Watlkins.

“There is such a lot of stuff to go through but looking around you just never know what you are going to find.

“Some pieces (of wood) can be polished while other pieces make really good wood sculptures for the garden or home.

“You just have to use your imagination and work with the wood that you pick up.”

Mrs Watkins says she is normally a painter but likes to experiment to create and work with the wood.

Belgium’s Jill De Graaf is half way through a 12 month stay in Port Macquarie and ‘couldn’t believe’ the amount of wood washed up on the beach.

“We just don’t see this in Belgium,” she said. “We were driving past but I just had to stop and take a look.

“I’ve found a few pieces that I will give to a friend who makes beautiful artworks by weaving wool into the wood.

“This is a real little treasure trove, isn’t it. There’s just so many things to look at.”

Another artist Tony Owens was busy stockpiling a collection of driftwood and debris on the retaining wall.

He was looking to create a coffee table and was sawing pieces to suit his needs. But that wasn’t his only inspiration.

“I make sculptures, marine life hangings, snakes or whatever I can,” he said.

The former landscaper and designer says he was motivated to ‘create things’ after his retirement.

“You just want to change things up, don’t you,” he said.

“I’m looking for different shapes, unique pieces that can be transformed.”

One piece of work can take up to 10 to 12 hours to finish with some of his completed works targeting the Sydney market.

“I’m specifically looking for suitable pieces as backbones for my next fish wall hanging,” he added.

Mr Owens’ marine life wall hangings are on display at Sea Salt at the marina, and he was planning to create more works to turnover that display.

Find that inspiration: Sisters Lindy McKinnon and Maree Watkins were gathering pieces of wood from the debris on Town Beach on Monday. Pic: Ivan Sajko

Find that inspiration: Sisters Lindy McKinnon and Maree Watkins were gathering pieces of wood from the debris on Town Beach on Monday. Pic: Ivan Sajko

This story Artists’ treasure trove washed up on beach first appeared on Port Macquarie News.