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Taradale unveils tribute to world-class shearers

Public art tribute to the Conlan Brothers, located at the Taradale Mineral Springs Reserve.

On Tuesday 15 December, Mount Alexander Shire Council and the Taradale Community Forum unveiled a much-anticipated new public art tribute to local brothers and world champion sheep-shearers, Mark and John Conlan.

Wednesday 16 December 2020

On Tuesday 15 December, Mount Alexander Shire Council and the Taradale Community Forum unveiled a much-anticipated new public art tribute to local brothers and world champion sheep-shearers, Mark and John Conlan.

Located at Taradale Mineral Springs Reserve, the public art piece recognises the brothers’ world-famous record of shearing 426 sheep each in seven hours and fifteen minutes.

The Conlan family were early settlers in Taradale; arriving at the time of the Gold Rush.
Mark and John were brothers in a family of 11 children, who grew up in a house at the south of the town, on the flat near the old water storage well.

The pair developed a keen interest in shearing, and went on to set the World Two-stand record on 14 December 1979 for the most sheep shorn, using old-style narrow shearing combs.

Their record has since been unbeaten, and collectively, they hold championship titles in Australia and overseas.

In 2018, the Taradale Community Forum sought proposals from local artists to create the new work, with Barkers Creek-based artist Richard Yates appointed.

The new public artwork captures the Conlan brothers in the process of setting their world-record, in a plasma-cut steel image set on an artist’s easel.

Surviving brother John Conlan attended the unveiling, along with members of the Taradale Community Forum, and local community members.

Mount Alexander Shire Councillor for Coliban Ward, Christine Henderson said she is delighted to see the artwork installed.

“The Conlan brothers public art tribute is a fantastic way to celebrate our rural achievements and creative culture,” said Cr Henderson.

“Congratulations to everyone involved with this project, and thank you to Richard, for sharing your creativity with us, and the Taradale Community Forum for advocating for this meaningful piece of art."

Image: New public art tribute to the Conlan Brothers, unveiled at the Taradale Mineral Springs Reserve on Tuesday 15 December.



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