Many years and many stories in the making, a remarkable sculpture has been installed on Gateway Island.
The sculpture is an interpretive work by members of the Wodonga Men’s Shed, a ‘Covid project’ which grew and grew as the pandemic ground on and more materials came to hand!
The work reflects on the functional beauty of bicycles and the different bikes that many of us have some connection with from childhood. It also echoes the story of the growth and demise of a small farm on Gateway Island.
Established in the early 1900’s, just above flood level and close to where the sculpture is now, a modest weatherboard house was home to a family who farmed, gardened and lived their family life until the land was resumed and house removed for the construction of the Hume Freeway in the early 2000’s.
With the house gone, the garden went wild, growing up through the household debris. One tree grew right through some treasures of the past. At least two children’s bikes were fused within the trunk, one quite old, made from riveted flat steel.
The ’bike tree’ became a feature and an oddity on the Gateway Island walking track, but one on borrowed time once the tree died and began to rot away. By 2020, the bikes, tree stumps and some foundations were all that remained of the property.
The disappearing story was enough to inspire the skilled craftsmen of the Wodonga Men’s Shed, who wove this poignant history into a new feature for the walking trail.
Parklands Rangers installed the sculpture last week, and look forward to the Men’s Shed members seeing their project tree come to fruition!
Many thanks to Wodonga Men’s Shed volunteers for their valued time and contributions to this project.