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Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Since March, the shire has been invaded by cows – hefty, life size cows crafted from fibreglass and decorated by various artists.
I was a Cow Parade sceptic. Why take on a project that was originally created so that cows could appear on the streets of major cities? After all, we have plenty of the real things here and the idea of attracting even more tourists during the busy times of Easter and vintage seemed a bit silly. The ‘local ‘artists included famous names from hundreds of kilometres away while artists who lived here were overlooked. The cows, modelled on a Swiss variety, were made in China , so not much local input there either. It all seemed a bit silly, not to mention expensive. There was subversive talk of quarantining them for foot and mouth and of arranging a similar event with an Australian native animal and much admiration was shown for the man in Brazil who brought in some fibreglass bulls to service their cows one night.
The cows will disappear at the end of this month, to be auctioned for charity. I will miss sniggering about the reports of cows getting people arrested for vandalism or climbing the water tower, of cows being ridden, stolen or going for a swim out to the pontoon; the delight and amazement on the faces of the children who find the cow outside the chemist shop: the tourists asking ‘What is it with this cow thing?’; the comments by the retired farmer, worried that the cow might not get back up on her feet; the old ladies chatting to the cows while the Japanese tourists queue for a photo opportunity; by my being surprised to see yet another one lurking in an unlikely spot.
They are to be auctioned for charity at the end of the month; I hope some of the charity stays here. I’ll miss all the people watching!
The locations of these pictures include the local hardware, a street verge, the roof of the tavern, the water tank and my favourite, Rump on a Stump ( a spoof on a golden diver at one of the posh wineries), in a local park. Life can be silly sometimes, can't it?