Ebbtide, Caloundra (PA247)
  • Last updated:
  • 19 Oct 2017

Artists Paul Johnson and Gail Mason worked as a team to design and develop the work 'Ebbtide' for the newly developed Bulcock Street in Caloundra. The Blacksmiths of Rosemount here on the Sunshine Coast, worked with Paul to build the work in their studio, juxtaposing the contemporary finish of brushed aluminium with the rusted surface of Corten steel.

The history of the region is closely tied to the dangers of exploration, trade and war by sea - from Cook's naming of the Glasshouse Mountains, to Flinders climbing Mt Beerburrum, to the wreck of the SS Dicky, and to the recent search for AHS Centaur. In this balustrade artwork we see silver ribs rising out of the ground like a shipwreck out of sand. Sections of riveted and rusted plates are punctuated with port holes within which we see another aspect of maritime history - sonar imaging that reveals wrecks invisible to the human eye. The computer generated images provide colourful renditions of remains on the sea floor.

The portholes also contain enigmatic relics of actual pieces recovered from the S.S. Dicky. These are embedded in resin like ancient fossils in amber. Being at a low level, they are designed to attract the attention of children and create an interest in contemporary marine archaeology.