Funded by: Bushfire Recovery Working Group
Technique and materials Limestone and cement
Ownership Shire of Augusta Margaret River
“REFUGE” denotes the place of community congregation during the devastating fires of 2011. People sought refuge under the boat ramp while firefighters fought flames engulfing the nearby White Elephant cafe, another iconic community meeting place.
This sculpture is a monument to the past, the present and the future.
Looking back, the monument salutes the bravery and united strength of a community in the face of complete destruction. It provides a place for reflection on the devastating losses suffered at a personal, community and environmental level. These include artifacts of our own personal history but also those of our pioneering ancestors in the destruction of Wallciffe House. On an environmental level, the fires were a catastrophe that informed a greater awareness and respect for the dangers posed by irresponsible land and fire management.
In the present, the monument marks a place of daily congregation and reminds us of our inherent inter-connectedness at a community and environmental level. At this moment, nothing else matters but our connection with loved ones and the support and empathy of a strong network, to share in moments of joy, to face our fears and to shoulder the suffering.
Looking forward, the monument represents a beacon of hope, positivity, and light. The hexagonal column represents the rebuilding of homes with a greater ecologically sustainable footprint. The pillar represents working with nature and the cyclical rotational movement of the seasons. The faces correspond to the rising and setting of the sun through the seasons in alignment with the summer and winter solstices. The 4 viewing windows, orientated N, S, E, & W, frame different aspects of the coastal environment. During the equinox, the sunbeams directly down the 5th hole from above, down and inside out, illuminating the center of the vaulted pillar and highlighting the greater universal intelligence inspiring our own innate intelligence.
Gnarabup is a place of refuge for all. We seek personal refuge from our past, our present and our future but we face this united in community.