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Locals among finalists for solar plant prize

Thursday, 23rd March, 2017

Ex-locals Hilary Drew with her daughter Kerry having a look at the viewing platform designs which are on display at the GeoCentre until Saturday. PICTURE: Emily Roberts Ex-locals Hilary Drew with her daughter Kerry having a look at the viewing platform designs which are on display at the GeoCentre until Saturday. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By Emily Roberts

Of the four finalists in the AGL Solar Plant Viewing Platform Art and Design Competition, two come from Broken Hill.

Designers from across Australia entered the $10,000 AGL Viewing Platform Art and Design Competition and the finalists were selected from over 100 entries. 

The chosen designs for the final are those of Ben Waters from Melbourne, Timothy Bauer from country Queensland, Bryce Bessell from South Australia (a former local) and Shay Carthew of Broken Hill and his design partner Tayah Lee-Traub.

All the entries are now on display at the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum.

The Viewing Platform Art and Design Competition was launched earlier this year to celebrate the opening of AGL’s Broken Hill Solar Plant, the second largest in the country.

The finalists were given $1000 to help with travel to Broken Hill, and to further develop their designs ready for a final concept presentation to the judging panel tomorrow at the Musicians’ Club.

The winner of the $10,000 first prize will be announced at an awards ceremony on Saturday at the Geocentre. A $1000 community choice award will also be announced.

“We were really excited to be announced as finalists,” Shay said yesterday.

“To be honest there was a lot more competition than we expected from international and national participants.”

Tayah said they were overwhelmed by the diversity and the hard work that was put into each entry.

“It was good to become a finalist. It surprised us a bit.”

Shay splits his time between Perth and Broken Hill and Tayah is originally from Perth.

“We started the project by working with shapes and elements I could remember from my childhood in Broken Hill,” Shay said.

“We developed the triangular element of the structure and it made quite a nice elegant shape.

“The top viewing platform started to resemble a boomerang. We played with those angles and that became the focus point of our design.”

The couple was impressed with the competition as a whole.

“It’s great to have a foundation that provides access to competitions like this,” Shay said.

“It has helped everyone inject time into the community as well as enhancing tourism.”

Tayah said a lot of passion went into each entry.

“It’s also really good to see how proud and passionate the community is about Broken Hill and tourism.

“It’s great to be a part of it.”

AGL Head of Government and Community Relations Tony Chappel, who was a member of the judging panel, said the number and variety of submissions was remarkable.

“Artists from across the country submitted entries in a wide range of mediums including sculpture, line drawing and paint,” he said.

“The quality was incredibly high, so selecting our finalists while great fun, was very challenging.”

Entries were judged on design excellence, celebration of environmental practices, solar energy and innovation, contribution to Broken Hill’s artistic and cultural heritage, and practicality and feasibility of construction. 

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