Geraldton council to consider installing two spheres to replace damaged Horizon sculpture

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
The Horizon sculpture on the Beresford foreshore.
Camera IconThe Horizon sculpture on the Beresford foreshore. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian

Could Geraldton end up with two Horizon sculpture balls?

The shattered artwork is so beloved the council may consider installing another similar sculpture at a different location in addition to the replacement piece which is proposed for the Beresford foreshore.

It comes as police confirm the cause of the shock explosion — Geraldton’s recent hot weather.

The council will on Tuesday vote on how to proceed with replacing the public artwork, which initially cost $100,000 to install in 2019.

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It was revealed at this week’s council agenda forum that insurance would cover $90,000 of the replacement sculpture, putting the out-of-pocket figure at about $10,000.

The council was told artist Lucy Humphrey had a ball about 30cm smaller in diameter to the original Horizon ready for shipping from Sydney, with the estimated cost of this piece to be $100,000.

But there could be additional costs associated with earthworks needed to make the smaller piece fit the existing plinth.

It is understood Ms Humphrey has yet to present the council with a quote for the fabrication of a ball the same size as the original piece.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn questioned if the executive would support purchasing the existing ball as an “interim measure” and later use the insurance payout to acquire a newly-fabricated Horizon replica.

Mr Van Styn suggested one sculpture could be installed at the Beresford foreshore while Drummond Cove or Point Moore could be considered as locations for the second piece.

Chief executive Ross McKim said it was up to the council to decide if it wanted to acquire two acrylic balls, but the motion would likely not be recommended by the executive.

“I would think you would only want one of these and then if you were going to invest further into public art, then you would be looking at something different,” he said.

The council will also discuss the possibility of installing CCTV cameras at the foreshore when the replacement piece is acquired.

In his motion to the council, Mr Van Styn said hot weather and structural weakness caused by recent vandalism likely contributed to the sculpture shattering.

Police reviewed security camera footage provided by residents and businesses after Horizon was destroyed on December 4.

This week, Geraldton Police officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Chris Martin said police had investigated the sudden explosion.

“I’m confident in saying it was just a natural consequence of the hot Geraldton sun,” he said.

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