The Great Green Snake Sculpture

Posted in Court Circular , on May 11, 2010

My first acquaintance with the great green snake of Wyargine was when I was about 5 years old.  

I was being carried on my father`s shoulders through my grandfather’s garden anticipating the delights of swimming at the beach.   This prospect was suddenly eclipsed by the sight of what, to my young eyes, appeared to be an enormous green snake.   A veritable python slithering down an angophora – shiny, sinuous against the velvety pink trunk. 

My father reassured me that the green tree snake is harmless to humans.   It vanished.  We travelled on.  I have never forgotten that moment.   On the Summer night that I am writing this I can hear the call of the mo poke, an owl, who is a long time denizon of Wyargine.  Is it a love call or is he telling me that he too remembers the great green tree snake, but possibly not with my relaxed nostalgia.    

The idea for the Greensnake / Angophora sculpture came to me as I was looking at the plan of my access way as viewed from above.  It reminded me of something and I can only describe what followed as presence of mind.  I saw superimposed on the plan the image of the great green snake on the angophora.  I realized then that the natural curve and contour of the access way provided a perfect frame for me to express the full wonder of that childhood experience in a sculpture.  I see the sculpted snake itself as comprised of native grasses –  its shape being defined by cobblestones of varying tone and colour to suggest the quality of the trunk of an angophora.   The grasses being stirred by the gentle breezes will form undulating currents to suggest the snake in motion.   It will be viewable by passers by from all directions and indeed participated in by those passing over it.   The adjacent wooden staircase leading will form a splendid viewing platform to enjoy the sculpture in its entirety.  The great green snake will become in time a part of the spirit of Wyargine.