Hello koala trail has local input

THE Hello Koalas project, which is developing a "sculpture trail" of 50 artistically decorated koala sculptures through the Hastings region, is sending one of its "blank" koala figures to Wauchope for the Lasiandra Festival.

Local inspiration: A Hello Koala sculpture with a Lasiandra Festival "look" created for the project by a Melbourne artist.

Local inspiration: A Hello Koala sculpture with a Lasiandra Festival "look" created for the project by a Melbourne artist.

The metre-high unadorned white fibreglass koala will be displayed in the Co-op Department Store window to publicise the project and perhaps inspire local groups or businesses to sponsor a painted koala for the local area, project manager Linda Hall said.

Locally the Forestry Corporation of NSW has chosen a beautiful forest design to be painted by Hastings artist Pauline Roods, Ms Hall said.

"We currently have 30 sponsors secured and another 10 pending," Ms Hall said, "so we are hoping to secure a few from Wauchope to ensure we have sculptures in some gorgeous public locations around the Wauchope township."

The group will produce 200,000 trail guides, as well as a smartphone app to profile each sculpture and each sponsor of the project.

For more information go to www.hellokoalas.com

The project's organiser, Arts and Health Australia, commissioned Melbourne-based 3D artist Ben Walsh to decorate the koala with a Lasiandra Festival theme, to "showcase what is possible", and it is hoping to eventually have a local Wauchope artist paint a Lasiandra design on the sculpture.

When the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail is launched in September this year, it will be the longest running sculpture trail globally, organisers say, staying in place for a minimum of 15 months but quite possibly as a permanent fixture.

The group has received 150 artistic submissions from local, regional, national and two international artists. Fifty artists will be matched with 50 sponsors to develop their own design idea.