Totem Poles

Imagine a stark, lone Cypress tree .... a blank canvas being transformed into an original masterpiece purely out of the incredible inspirations and talents of much sought after artists who generously donate their precious time, incredible imaginations and awe-inspiring talents to create truly beautiful works of art for the lucky few to own and enjoy.

Experience a sensory overload by viewing, touching, appreciating and possibly owning an extraordinary art piece, lovingly created by some of our most acclaimed local artists, some of whom have contributed to the Somers Arts Fair for many years, and other inspirational new artists who have joined us for the first time this year.

The wood for the totem poles is generously donated each year by Woody's Sawmilling and Timber Merchants

Last year's totem poles included:

'Trippy Totem' by Christabel Wigley

Mixed media - bitumen membrane, aluminium pigment, gel medium and Cypress

The totem pole Christabel has created this year was inspired by the irregular curvy form of the original timber she was given to work with. So intriguing and mysterious in its natural form, Christabel didn't want to carve it back and loose that element, so she decided to add to its contours and curves by adding waterproof padding and covering the form in a bitumen membrane, then painting it in a pigmented gel medium. "Trippy Totem" is a partially soft sculpture that looks as if it walked straight out of the enchanted forest.

'9x9' by Diana Nutting and Ant Davenport

This design is a collaboration between Diana and Ant (the master of the chain saw) who have both produced totem poles at previous Arts Fairs. Anyone who has been at previous auctions knows that both Diana and Ant’s poles are much sought after pieces.

You guessed it; it’s an honest 9 x 9 rough sawn tall rectilinear pole with a textured mid-section. 

'Digging Stick' by Kylie Armstrong with the Aboriginal Women’s Circle

A traditional tool used by Aboriginal women for gathering bush foods. Local Aboriginal women as part of a Family Violence Healing Circle sculpted and created this beautiful 'digging stick' which features traditional dot art that symbolises the women's healing circle. 

'Snakes and Ladders' by Andrew Bell

Snakes and Ladders is a collection of works combined in a single totem. Homage is paid to the simple but fun family board game with a mix of woodwork, mechanics and paint to create a lively and unique totem that delivers a different perspective with the turn of the crank handle. Many hours were spent in the production of this striking totem and many more will be spent admiring it.

'Three Peaks' by Tamarah Bruynen & Kym Munro

In their second year of collaboration, Tamarah and Kym have to be forgiven for drawing inspiration from the extended winter weather, in particular the majestic beauty of snow capped mountains. This striking triptych, simplistic in its form, combines the natural beauty of the bare cypress and the rawness of carbonised wood and it's hoped to be a calming reflection of the natural world.

'The Ethan' by Shane Beggs

Inspired by ancient Celtic mythological serpents and scorpions, this cypress pine and steel structure was created in collaboration with Westernport Laser Cutting. The pole was hand-hewed using a restored sixty year old planer that belonged to the artist’s grandfather.  Ethan means "solid and enduring" in Hebrew.

'Shooting for the Stars' by Ron Roach with the Grade 3/4H Students

Ron is a local artist that we have been privileged to have work with our year 3/4 students over the past few years, creating imaginative and bright coloured poles. Shooting for the stars has allowed the children to individually create pieces and join them together as one.

'Tree of Knowledge' by Ron Roach with the Grade 3/4P and Grade 3/4T Students

Taking inspiration from Somers Primary School's new library, this pole is a collection of brightly coloured book shaped blocks. The children have brainstormed words that describe what reading means to them, how it helps us learn, and what it provides us with. These words have been painted on the sides of the books and stacked into a tall colourful pole.

'Loose Ends' by Somers Preschool

Sustainability and recycling is the theme for this pole. This cypress pole came down in a storm at Flinders Golf Course during winter. It has been transformed by the teachers and students into a colourful pole using recycled pieces the children have collected.

If you are interested in donating your time to paint, decorate, carve or sculpt a totem pole for next year's Arts Fair, the Committee would be most pleased to hear from you - please contact for further details.


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