Along Sturt’s Steps touring route, extending from near Broken Hill to Cameron Corner, are many public art works, including sculptures, murals and portraits. Some tell a story, some represent historical facts, some are just for fun. Check them out for yourself when next you visit.
Located at each of the Sturt’s Steps shelters are photo-opportunity silhouettes, metal cut-outs that represent a person or animal that is significant for that locality.
These are located at Yanco Glen, Byjerkerno, Fowlers Gap, Packsaddle, Milparinka turnoff, Yandama Creek and Border Downs.
Major sculptures created as part of Sturt’s Steps Project:
A yarning circle of large granite slabs has been placed near the Packsaddle Roadhouse. Created by Ian Marr, the slabs have been inscribed with various historical facts; the names of the men in Sturt’s expedition, the shanty towns along the coach routes and more.
Loftus Street, the main road leading into Milparinka, will be the location of a wire sculpture of Charles Sturt and his horse crafted by Brian Campbell representing the challenges that Sturt faced during the expedition.
At the Milparinka Heritage Precinct a rammed earth wall and writer’s desk and chair by Gritta Walker pay tribute to the communication challenges faced by pioneer women on the Albert Goldfields.
Indigenous artist Bonnie Quayle’s silhouette is a tribute to her matrilineal ancestral line.
A larger than life representation of the Indigenous emu of the dark sky, Kalthi has been crafted by Harrie Fasher and will fly across Milparinka’s Harry Blore Dark Sky Park. This will be installed in late 2022. Adjacent, large slate slabs by Ian Marr are inscribed with the names of children whose deaths were recorded at Milparinka from 1880 to 1920. A granite bench is located nearby, a perfect place to sit and reflect on life in Milparinka.
Also part of Sturt’s Steps project is a wire sculpture of a cameleer and camel, located outside the new Tibooburra museum. This has been constructed by Ivan Lovett.
At Fort Grey Sturt’s Steps joined with the Wild Deserts Project to produce three giant wire sculptures of mammals once extinct in the area. Recorded by Sturt in 1845 the eastern quoll, bandicoot and bilby have now been reintroduced. These were crafted by Brian Campbell and Ivan Lovett.
A large sculpture by Alison Clouston, depicts the significance of water in the landscape and the impact of the pastoralists’ fences, which altered the landscape and changed life in the Outback.
Near Milparinka artists Geoff De Main and James Giddey created a sculpture representative of the cairn built on top of near-by Mt Poole during Charles Sturt’s 1845 expedition.
Using sandstone blocks from original cottages the structure also pays tribute to the endurance of pioneering families.
At the end of the main street is the Tibooburra Pioneer Park. The main attraction in the park is a full-size 27-foot long whaleboat (a sculpture by Anthony Hamilton) perched on the top of some poles. This is a replica of the whaleboat Charles Sturt hauled across inland Australia on a wagon with the intention of using it to row around the continent’s ‘inland sea’.
A large public mural on a sandstone wall adjacent to the Two Storey Hotel depicts three miners carrying their swags on the way to, or from, the Albert Goldfields. This work was completed by Geoff DeMain and James Giddey,
At the new Sturt’s Steps Tibooburra museum will be a large wall mural undertaken by Broken Hill artists Clark Barrett. It will depict people and events from Tibooburra’s history.
Tibooburra’s Family Hotel is famously known by its murals painted by Clifton Pugh, Russell Drysdale and many others.
As part of Sturt’s Steps project, a room within the Courthouse has been devoted to original artworks by Shane Bates. Shane’s Malyangapa heritage has enabled him to interpret the moiety system of the Aboriginal culture as well as the legend of the Rainbow Serpent.
In the Sturt-Kidman Centre Clark Barrett has painted a portrait of Charles Sturt, as well as a representation of the Kidman properties and Kidman near his cattle yards.
Clark’s painting of Sturt’s saddle has been recast in metal and is a feature on the external wall of the centre.
Within the Pioneer Women’s room at Milparinka is a mural painting representing Matilda Wallace of Sturt’s Meadow, one of the first women in the area. This was created by artist Jodi Daley.
Also in Milparinka, a very large mural covering two sides of the pastoral shed depicting the history of the area from earliest times until the present. This was also painted by Jodi Daley.
Just for fun, at the junction of the White Cliffs (Henry Roberts Road) and the Silver City Highway is the tool tree…constructed from a Hill’s Hoist clothes line and a number of tools.