A new exhibition is preparing to take flight and soar through the doors of the JMC Ford Dealership.
Barry Smith, of Riverside, enjoys working as an artist. Currently, he is focusing on developing an exhibition of aviation sculptures to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Australia Air Force in 2021.
Inevitable Consequences - The Art of Aerodynamic Form will be comprised aviation pieces to help tell the story of the aircraft and those who flew them.
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"Aircrafts hold the symbolism of technology advancement, but also of the time frames of world events, and you can tie into the history of the airman, the battles, all of that," Smith said.
"These works not only challenge us to expand our perspective and knowledge of Australia's aviation history and heritage; it is also designed to shape a state of mind and leave all those who see the sculptures an undeniable clear orientation to remember the irrefutable bottom line, the men who fought and the sacrifices they made."
The exhibition begins with biplane training aircraft Avro 504, and moves on to the De Haviland Tiger Moth, Supermarine Spitfire, Short Sunderland, Consolidated PBY-2 Catalina, B-24 Liberator, North American/CAC Mustang P-51, Gloster Meteor, North American F-86/CAC Sabre, English Electric Canberra, Bell UH-1 Iroquois, finishing on the McDonnell F-4 Phantom.
Each of the planes were carved from Tasmanian Oak. To achieve the final effect of the glossy finish, the sculptures were sanded using increasing grades of sandpaper, and sprayed with a coat of lacquer.
The process of creating the pieces has taken Smith about 18 months, and he is still working to finish the last sculptures. Some will not be finished for opening night, and will instead be added to the exhibit later on.
The self-funded project is completely independent from other celebrations to do with the centenary. Instead, Smith said it was a look at historical events through an artists eyes.
"[The inspiration for the project] stems back to a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree. Part of that degree was symbolism, and I gravitated towards aircraft for a number of reasons," Smith said.
"Many Australians fail to realise the enormous contribution played by aircrew, ordinary men doing extraordinary acts of courage from all walks of life from all over Australia."
Smith said the aims of the exhibition were to preserve, perpetuate, enforce, emphasise, raise awareness, establish direction, educate, remember, develop a symbolic concept, and provide the display.
"I want the manifestation to be beautiful, but perfect enough to express tension, to be disturbing. To make an object expressing impending motion in a state of suspended animation," Smith said.
The exhibition is yet to open as Smith is still finalising the work. However, the show will run for eight weeks once it is launched.