New ute turning heads

By Olivia Duffey

Deniliquin has a new attraction enticing locals and visitors alike to make a stop in George St, with the installation of the ‘Reutilise’ sculpture this week.

Made from recycled metals by Deniliquin artist Stuart Taylor, the amazing sculpture replaces the mosaic TransmUTE which has been on display adjacent the Visitor Information Centre for 10 years.

The TransmUTE was the work of a group of dedicated local artists and became an icon.

TransmUTE is now headed for the new ute museum at the Deni Ute Muster site, which is expected to be completed in late 2020.

The life-size Holden ute replica in its place was commissioned under a joint project between Edward River Council and The Long Paddock. 

It is Mr Taylor’s largest piece of work, and highlights his signature style of repurposed scrap metal.

‘‘The sculpture took about three months to build and I also made a smaller model which is on display at the Peppin Heritage Centre,’’ Mr Taylor said.

‘‘It is made from recycled scrap metal gathered from farms around the local area.

‘‘I have used lots of old tools such as spanners, hammers and bolt cutters, plus rabbit traps, mower parts and broken wrought iron decoration from old houses.

‘‘It was a huge challenge both physically and creatively, and I have learnt a lot that I can apply to future works, but I think  people are happy that the old mosaic Ute has been replaced by something similar.’’ 

Deputy Mayor Pat Fogarty said while it was sad to see the TransmUTE taken away, it was time for something new to be added to the area.

‘‘The mosaic ute was created back in 2005, so the time is right for it to take on a new life in an indoor setting to enhance its longevity,’’ Cr Fogarty said. 

‘‘Because of this, it became apparent that Deniliquin needed a new sculpture to take its place. We asked Stuart to create something amazing that will entice people to stop and further explore the Long Paddock touring route.

‘‘The new ute looks fantastic and I look forward to having it in Deniliquin for many years to come. 

‘‘It further enhances Deniliquin’s reputation as the Ute Capital of the World.’’ 

Long Paddock project manager Alison McLean said an official launch would be held in December.