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Carvings are ‘my business’: artist Nobby Clark

Acclaimed artist Arthur 'Nobby' Clark said his collection of wood carvings located at council's Bargara offices were not being preserved correctly.
Acclaimed artist Arthur 'Nobby' Clark said his collection of wood carvings located at council's Bargara offices were not being preserved correctly. Scottie Simmonds BUN090512CAR12

A BUNDABERG artist has chastised Bundaberg Regional Council for what he says is a complete mistreatment of his artwork.

Acclaimed artist Arthur 'Nobby' Clark said his collection of wood carvings located at council's Bargara offices were not being preserved correctly.

"They are sloshing oil on it every 12 months and they shouldn't be doing that," he said.

"If they want to clean it up then all they need to do is use a little white spirit."

But councillor Judy Peters rejected the claims and said council was following instructions recommended by Mr Clark when he sold council the art in 2005.

Mr Clark said maintenance currently being carried out on the Denizens of the Deep art was clogging up and eroding the texture of the wood.

"For more than 20 years I had it in my possession and all I would use is white spirit and occasionally a little bit of oil, he said.

"You would think the bloke who carved the work would obviously be the best person to offer advice on maintaining it."

Mr Clark said he was disappointed that when he approached council about this issue last year he was told "it's none of his business".

Cr Peters said while council respected Mr Clark's contributions to local art and the Bundaberg community, he no longer had a say in how they were displayed or maintained.

"When the then Bundaberg City Council purchased the works for $45,000 back in 2005, Mr Clark relinquished any ownership or right to them," she said.

"It must be pointed out that council has works from many artists, more than 460 in fact, many of which are of a higher value in our Denizens of the Deep collection and we never seem to have any issues with those artists."

Cr Peters said council performed an annual clean and oil of the Denizens of the Deep by a staff member experienced and qualified in undertaking such tasks.

Cr Peters said she met with Mr Clark last year where he gave a commitment to provide written proposals regarding options for display of the piece but council had yet to receive this.

Topics:  bundaberg reginal council



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