FRESH from transforming Timor Walk with a 30-metre-long mural, acclaimed Warrnambool artist David Higgins’ next work will take him to China.
Higgins has been handpicked to create a sculpture in Warrnambool’s sister city Changchun.
The Changchun Municipal Government approached Warrnambool City Council earlier this year seeking a south-west artist for inclusion in the Changchun International Sculpture Symposium.
Higgins was selected on the recommendation of WAG director John Cunningham, who said Higgins’ sculpture work used themes that were “universally identifiable”.
The Warrnambool artist will create a four-metre-high bronze sculpture that will be displayed in the sister-city sculpture garden near a tree planted by Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh in front of the main Changchun municipal building.
Higgins said he saw the work “as being a cultural bridge between the two cities”.
“It’s very exciting and I realise how important this trip will be,” he said.
“It’s important we have a co-operative relationship with the Chinese.”
Higgins put forward several ideas to the organisers of the sculpture symposium, who selected one called The Goddess Of The Southern Ocean, which the artist described as “a life-protecting warrior”.
“The maternal form of the sculpture represents joy, life and future and expresses a connection to the earth and the cycles of life and death,” he said.
The Changchun municipal government is covering the cost of the venture, which Cunningham called a rare opportunity.
“While a central focus of the relationship with Changchun is on trade and the economy, I think the addition of art makes the relationship more complete and helps build a deeper understanding between both cities,” Cunningham said.
Higgins’ work has been featured in institutions across the globe including zoological parks and gardens, museums, governments and universities.
He has also produced wildlife postage stamps and has worked for advertising agencies and publishers.