The Milbi Magic community mosaic at Bargara has been officially unveiled to reveal its Fish Tales Wall.
It took two years, 200 volunteers, 100,000 tiles and more than 6000 hours to create the bright and engaging artwork at Crawford Park.
Facilitated by local artist Paul Perry, the 33-panel Milbi Magic community mosaic is the Bundaberg Region’s newest public artwork.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated everyone who was involved with the project.
“Council was pleased to support this fantastic initiative, which brought the community together during a difficult year and enhanced our beautiful beachfront here at Bargara,” he said.
Paul said the mosaic has been a collaborative effort from volunteers, local schools and indigenous groups who all contributed thousands of man hours.
Onlookers can spend hours gazing at the oceanic marvel and reading the individual fish tales of how each tiled masterpiece was created.
Paul said the mosaic celebrates the history, diversity and beauty of the Bundaberg Region.
“We live in one of the most beautiful places along the Queensland coast, and we’ve got the Southern Great Barrier Reef and the wall is really meant to celebrate that,” he said.
A magnificent mosaic loggerhead turtle greets passers-by as they reach the coastal park.
Using the QR code, the public can delve into the Fish Tales from each creator giving an insight of what it meant to take part in the community-led project.
Whether it’s a love of the ocean, like for diver Glen Burfiit who created the Spotty Octopus, or the passion for art like Mick Brennan who created Moray Eel, or maybe it was a chance to leave a legacy of a loved-one like Lyn Barton who created Skipper Fish – a tale about her mother-in-law Margaret; there's a story behind each mosaic creation.
Individual fish tales
Glen Burfitt: Spotty Octopus
“I’ve been diving for a long time, since I was just a lad
For me it’s not just a passing fad
Navy diving, oceanariums, underwater construction and other jobs like this
When not in the water it’s something I miss
I‘ve encountered many thousand creatures living in the sea
But there is one that’s most dearest to me
An amazing animal with two hearts and nine brains
Like the squid and cuttlefish, Cephalapoda is its family name
Around three hundred species – a list that is long
He and his garden even get mentioned in a Beatles’ song
As big as fifty kilos or fit in a thimble that is small
This animal can contort its shape or roll into a ball
A creature that can disappear in a cloud of ink
This is an adaptation that’s so clever don’t you think
One of his family has flashing blue rings of dread
To warn you one bite and in minutes you are dead
So here’s to the octopus from beneath the waves
From rock pools to the deepest of caves”
Lyn Barton: Skipper Fish
Remembering my mother-in-law Margaret Clare Barton, born 17 June 1920 passed away 9 January 2019, aged 98 years.
In making my Skipper Fish I used the left-over saucers from my mother-in-law's rarely used Royal Doulton tea set that came out for special occasions with the beautifully embroidered table cloth but I believe that Margaret would have been happier with her enamel mug of tea sitting around a campfire. I first knew Margaret as “Skipper Lady” the sea ranger guide leader of RTS Arunta in Epping NSW when I joined the girl guide senior section Sea Ranger Unit. Margaret had a huge influence on many young women though her many years involvement in the girl guide movement. She taught us many things, how to row heavy wooden boats and make them glide across the water and feather our oars, how to win races and work with all our strength, how to sing silly songs and remember the words for the rest of our lives and to be game to do things we never thought possible and have fun while doing it … working together, being part of a team. The best grounding for a teenager to go out into the world and succeed to the best of her ability and believe in oneself …. I thank her. But I bet when she invited me to join the RTS Arunta crew in 1969 she would have never believed that I would be in her family for the rest of her …. Long live the good memories AR-RUN-TA Arunta!
Morays are the secret reef hunters. With their heads poking out of their lair they are always looking for their next meal. They are a special member of our Woongarra Rocky Reef. It's wonderful to see them represented in the Milbi Magic mosaic project.