Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Northern Illawarra there’s some ‘three dimensional graffiti’ and it’s causing quite a stir!
All the Lantana and weeds have been removed from the bushland, and in their place, there are 64 huge ‘nests’, complete with pottery eggs.
There’s even an enormous bower bird and a ‘bower’.
Under each egg is a little message, “Art in the park. Please don’t steal. ‘Banksia’. And like his British counterpart ‘Banksy’, this artist prefers to remain anonymous!
“I started by clearing the area of all the weeds,” he says,” then I took my cue from Gabi Porter at Wombarra Sculpture Garden and built a nest. When it came time to put the eggs in, I had to build up the middle to give them something to sit on, so I filled the nests with compost. Then I planted trees downhill so when it rains, the compost nutrients wash onto the Illawarra Flames and Bangalow Palms to help them to grow.”
He’s also put signs on all the beautiful trees that managed to survive the lantana invasion, so locals can fully appreciate the gorgeous walk.
‘Banksia’ says the local children love the nests. “A teacher at the pre-school tells me the children are waiting for the dinosaurs to hatch,” he laughs. “And one day I went down and there were 20 more eggs. The children had decorated their own and left them in the nests!”
Despite ‘Banksia’ calling it three-dimensional graffiti, Wollongong Council is fully supportive, and has offered resources to protect the area.
“Basically, they’re beautiful compost heaps,” says Banksia. “They are moist, so will not burn well in a bushfire, they’re putting nutrients back into the soil, and they look great. It’s a win all round!”