Community & Business

14 June, 2024

New era for iconic sculptures

ICONIC fibreglass sculptures outside the Eacham Historical Society have been given a breath of new life after the original artist’s grandson returned to the Far North to restore them.

Adam and Viv Plant have restored Viv’s iconic fibreglass sculptures.
Adam and Viv Plant have restored Viv’s iconic fibreglass sculptures.

Viv Plant’s sculptures “Nugget the Horse”, “Harry the Farmer”, and “Pooch the Dog” hold great significance in the local community and depict Malanda’s rich dairy farming culture. 

Early this year, Tablelands Regional Council approached Viv’s grandson and Brisbane-based artist Adam Plant with the opportunity to restore the sculptures to their original form. 

With his “nanny” Viv by his side to “lap me up the head if I do a bad job”, Adam accepted the job and has completely transformed the old sculptures. 

“There have been little bits of restoration work done over the years, but it was mainly just little paint touch-ups, and as time went on, the touch-ups weren’t cutting it,” he said. 

“I was able to come up and do a full restoration job, and it definitely needed it because all the fibreglass had been frayed away. I had to sand them all down and bring it back to how it looked when I was a kid.”

When Viv saw the finished product, Adam said she was very excited to see her vision relived. 

“She has been the absolute foundation of my creativity since I was young, and I remember thinking as a kid, her doing these fibreglass sculptures were great,” he said. 

“So growing up she was a huge influence with both her technical skills and her wild sense of humour – both have really rubbed off on me.”

When looking at the restored pieces, Adam said he felt proud of his achievements and hoped the community would be proud of them. 

“I am absolutely thrilled, and I think it has been wonderful to come back to Malanda... and hear people coming past while I was working to express how much these sculptures meant to them,” he said. 

“So many people know my nanny and they would come up to me and say how wonderful she is and I even gave a few of them a history lesson.

“They have made a huge impact in the area, and as a kid, I kind of grew up thinking ‘, oh, it’s just nanny’s art’, not knowing how much people truly care about these things.”

In the past, the Malanda Men’s Shed has worked with Viv to restore the Malanda Dairy Sculpture, which depicts a farmer carrying milk bottles next to a tractor. 


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