TOWN PRIDE: Dion Cross with his sculpture, A Slice of Chinchilla.
TOWN PRIDE: Dion Cross with his sculpture, A Slice of Chinchilla. Matthew Newton

Best use of our melon a fine art

A GIANT watermelon sculpture is the one thing Chinchilla needs to seize the melon title capital once and for all - and now is has one.

The Chinchilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry is working with the Western Downs Regional Council to decide on a home for local artist Dion Cross' work, A Slice of Chinchilla, after purchasing it with grant money from the Cameby Downs Mine Community Support Program.

The sculpture garnered widespread acclaim at last year's Melon Festival art competition.

CCCI manager Kimberley Lingard said the purchase was in response to a general desire among the community for Chinchilla to have a structure which distinctly represented its identity and culture.

"When we heard the melon was for sale we decided to apply for a grant and we were fortunate enough to secure sponsorship to purchase the work,” CCCI manager Kimberley Lingard said.

"We hope to place the melon in the new botanical gardens or another suitable public space where locals can enjoy it and somewhere it will become a tourist attraction.

"It enhances a sense of belonging and represents Chinchilla as being home of the watermelon. We're open to ideas from the local community as to where the melon will be placed, as we feel it is a community owned piece.”

Mr Cross said the watermelon was a Chinchilla icon and that he felt proud to showcase Chinchilla through his work.

"For it to be out there for the community to enjoy in a permanent public space - that means more to me than it being in someone's backyard. I haven't got any public work on display in Chinchilla so it will be nice to have something here.”

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