This is a Border (Town)

21. 09. 2016

This is a Border (town) – Big deal


I have been chatting with various locals about the mysterious white kangaroos. Turns out they might be a bit of a white wash, or a white elephant. No one really has any idea why they are here or why they are important. Ergo, no one really has a strong sense of why they should represent Bordertown and no-one has a strong feeling that the white kangaroos should define the identity of the place.


The perennial regional implication is that once a community agrees on an icon someone puts their hand up to make a ‘big’ one. These big things can simultaneously broadcast identity and give tourists a reason to stop and empty a little spare change out of their wallets. Admittedly, this is somewhat of a 70’s model and many of our nations big things are in need of a facelift ( physically and culturally ). A case in point might be Larry the Lobster who lives at Robe just down the road from Bordertown.   Larry has been the focus of a crowd funding campaign over the last year to try and gather energy and resources to give him a bit of fiberglass botox. However, the $30k that was raised is just not going to cut it and Larry remains in limbo.


The District Council of Kimba is currently seeking someone to give their giant galah a makeover. I’m wondering whether we might convince them to give it a bit more of a fluorescent pink tone – something a bit more radical – let’s say desert rave chic – like burning man style – a place where big things go to be set alight and sacrificed. Perhaps we need some wicker man pagan sacrifice of our giant things to appease our giant things god, in order to bring back the talismanic power of Australian big things?

James Dodd


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Artist Residency


James Dodd, Mark de Nys, Malcolm McKinnon



About the Artist

Malcolm McKinnon

Malcolm McKinnon is an Australian artist and filmmaker working mainly in rural communities. Over the past 25 years, his work has encompassed oral history, urban planning, public and community art projects, critical writing and exhibitions. His current practice is mainly focused around documentary filmmaking and social history, motivated by an appreciation of living memory and local vernacular.

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About the Artist

James Dodd

James Dodd is an artist who has a strong interest in public space and often works on mural scale and community oriented outcomes. He has a multi-faceted visual arts practice that embraces a range of painting and sculptural approaches. He exhibits regularly across Australia and has had his work collected by major institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia. Dodd is an educator at Adelaide Central School of Art and is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide.

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About the Artist

Mark de Nys

Mark de Nys is a Limestone Coast based Visual Artist ,Educator and Musician,with a background in Engineering and Design, he has worked on large scale public artwork throughout Australia, taking energy from things never before made, re-inventing and re imagining always questioning, Why? This is a Border(town) offers the rare chance to engage with local Blokes via the Men's Shed along with industry and council members, the outcome is organic and fluid embracing Men's mental health, there may be Windmills! Hope to see you on the Journey.

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.