Fresh facelift for iconic sculpture
  • Monday 03 October 2022
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The star of Coolum’s main strip, ‘Dialogue’ by Hew Chee Fong and LM Noonan, has recently undergone artwork restoration and conservation.

The sculpture was first installed in 1997 and remains a key feature of the David Low Way Coolum shopping promenade and is also one of the oldest public artworks in the Sunshine Coast region.

The artwork restoration and conservation project was undertaken in collaboration with several contractors and the artist.

Division 9 Councillor Maria Suarez said council’s priority was public safety, however it also acknowledged the impact of restoration works on the visual appeal of the area.

“On first inspection of the artwork in April 2022, it was anticipated to be a simple restoration,” Cr Suarez said

“However, after starting, it was found that the artwork had significant internal issues that affected its structural integrity and presented a safety risk to the public.

“This caused further delays and prolonged the time it took to complete.

“As a public safety measure, the temporary fencing was required to remain in place until repair work was finished.

“We appreciate and thank the community for your patience during the restoration period and will certainly keep the local traders and general public informed of any future activity regarding public artworks in the area.”

Dialogue by Hew Chee Fong and LM Noonan

'Dialogue' is meant to act as a focal point of welcome and to denote some of the special qualities of Coolum. It is a work intentionally designed to reflect Coolum’s relaxed, fun loving and informal atmosphere. The sculpture invites touch and exploration by young and old. Children especially like the interactive elements such as the peepholes and monkey puzzle. 

Coolum's dramatic coastline and the power of nature provided the primary source of inspiration. The distinctive 'egg rocks' created through ceaseless tumbling on the beach over eons and entrapped in crevices by the same pounding nature of the waves, are expressed in a variety of ways in this large gateway installation. The spirit of the beachcomber is there as well, in the eroded sandcastle shapes and marine patterning in parts of the work. (hewcheefong-lmnoonan.blogspot.com/2015/01/dialogue.html)

For more information or to get in contact with council’s Public Art Curator, email publicart@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.