Path with a story to read


The path leading to the Town Library had its baptism on Harmony Day, last Friday. The dousing with water of this latest piece of public art had more than a ritual significance, for the path is intended to come to life with rain. As we can wait a long time for a desert downpour, the process was hastened with a few sloshes of water.
The concrete path, designed by Elliat Rich (below), was stencilled with a water resistant product so that when wet the path would reveal its ‘story’. In other words it was designed to be ‘read’, fitting when leading to a library.
The story told is likewise fitting: the 200+ stencils contributed by library patrons reflect their diversity. There’s everything – from a kangaroo to a ballerina, from a simple spiral to the Eiffel Tower.
The path is also textured with folded sheets of paper – suggestive of both origami shapes and a writer’s discarded drafts – another visual cue to the path’s destination.
Rich thanked the Town Council’s Public Art Advisory Committee for backing a “high experimental” idea, allowing her to pioneer a new technique. She said it was “80% where it should be”. Tests of the water resistant product in Adelaide had a better result, with the hidden images emerging after dousing “as if by magic”. In Alice, for reasons not fully understood, the images remain there in ghostly form when the path is dry. – Kieran Finnane
Below: Close up of the Story Read by Rain path.


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