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An innovative sculpture that forms the backdrop for a nightly son et lumière show in Eidsvold has won a national art tourism award.

The Language of the Land sculpture, nominated by North Burnett Regional Council and designed by Illuminart, received the Gold Award for the Best Landmark Sculpture at the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards, announced on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast last night.

The North Burnett sculpture nudged out West Wyalong Chainsaw Art, a 3D Wedge Tailed Eagle and Mallee Fowl sculpture by Brandon Koon which took out the Silver Award, and Bronze Award winner, Australovenator Dinosaur Family nominated by Livingstone Shine Council on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast.

The Australian Street Art Awards encourages Australians to explore the world-class street and public art that is safely accessible all year round and found in every corner of the country.

With rigorous judging by tourism leaders from across Australia and abroad, plus second-tier auditing and due diligence, North Burnett Regional Council’s win has the credence of the art tourism sector.

The judges said, “This unusual sculpture is contributing significantly to making Australia a more vibrant, creative and interesting country – somewhere visitors will want to explore more keenly”.

Arts tourists from within Australia are high-value visitors – they stay 42.8% longer and spend 55.9% more when travelling than domestic tourists overall, according to the Australia Council for the Arts’ Domestic Art Tourism: Connecting the Country 2020 Report.

Awards Director, Liz Rivers, added “Australia has a long history of creating superlative public art that captivates visitors. Until these Awards were launched in 2019 though there had never been a way of rewarding and supporting places like Eidsvold that created these art-related experiences for travellers”.

“The Australian Street Art Awards remedied that shortcoming,” she said. “Public art has now come into its own with the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirming there is less risk of coronavirus infection in open outdoor settings. That makes trips to see outdoor murals, sculptures, monuments and mega pieces like silo art the perfect holiday thrill,” Ms Rivers said.

In commenting on the North Burnett Regional Council’s Gold Award win, the judges said that North Burnett Regional Council has been bold and demonstrated courage in choosing a contemporary art form that is no longer restricted by traditional sculptural concepts.

“It’s ingenious to use the solid and static sections of this five-panel sculpture as the canvas for the nightly light and sound show, while the empty spaces that form patterns on each panel encourage visitors to explore the region’s fauna, landscape and land uses in a very exciting and unique way,” the judges said.

Read more about the unique sculpture and the daily son et lumiere here: RM Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre | North Burnett Regional Council