By Melissa Blewitt
Chainsaw artist Brandon Kroon (BK Carving) has completed a magnificent Redgum Goanna carving that will take pride of place in Condobolin.
The River Redgum log was nearly five metres in length and 1.2 metres in diameter, and now has been turned into a wonderful artwork featuring the Goanna, which is a significant totem for Wiradjuri people.
Brandon has been commissioned by Lachlan Shire Council to carve three logs that were reclaimed from the installation of the bridge to ‘The Island’ off the Lachlan Valley Way.
Council made the decision rather than to scrap the logs, to instead have them turned into works of art for future generations to enjoy and to enhance the Visitor Precinct.
It is expected the Redgum Goanna will grace the outside of Condobolin’s new Visitor Centre, which is scheduled for completion in June 2022.
The other two logs will have relief carvings in them – one with local native animals and the other will depict sports played in the local region.
All artworks will be a little different and the natural state of the logs will play a big part in what will be finally displayed. Brandon will also take into account the natural contours and any defects such as ridges and cracks, the old logs may have.
“It’s fair to say this very large, old and beautiful log was as hard, tough and stubborn as they come, every few cuts I was sharpening the chains and letting the bars cool off,” Brandon explained.
“The Goanna is such a significant icon to this area and community. My hope is that all who see it can be reminded of how lucky and proud we are to live in a country with so much wild and rare beauty.”
Brandon was contacted by Council to see if he wanted to participate in the artwork proposal.
“They [Council] proposed the idea to me as they had seen some of my public work that I had done across the state,” he said.
“They gave me a call and then we discussed the logistics of the project.
“Every job is different and every log is different, so I have enjoyed the challenge of completing Redgum Goanna.”
It took Brandon over a week to complete the Redgum Goanna, and he hopes the local community and visitors embrace the impressive artwork.
“Redgum is a really nice wood to work with. It’s harder than a lot of woods that I would normally carved but it finishes up so well. Redgum will last so long and particularly with an oil finish – it really comes out so nice,” he stated.
“The colour is amazing and vibrant. It is really satisfying work to carve out of redgum.
“I am working with very old logs, that have a lot of little cracks and little defects in them. Over many, many years the cracks have filled up with dust, so when I am carving them because they haven’t had the bark on them for so long, the chains do get blunt. Every few cuts that I do then I am sharpening my chainsaw again.
“Even though it may be sad to see the logs cut down, utilising them in this way enables future generations to enjoy them. They have not just been cut down and forgotten. They have been repurposed for the entire community to enjoy. The artwork will be unique to this town. The Goanna is Wiradjuri Totem, which is really significant to this area. The second design will different sports that are unique to this town, and the third will showcase animals that are native to this region.”
Brandon began carving seven years ago, and has loved being creative every day since.
“I gave it a try and I loved it,” he said.
“I get to see a lot of the country and no day is ever the same, which is good.
“This project will be pretty cool for the town and I hope it will be a big drawcard.”
The public can view Brandon’s progress from outside the fence where he is completing the project (Utes in the Paddock area), however, they are asked not to enter the work site.
The community and visitors can be assured that once the pieces are complete they will be moved to an area where the public can see them up close.