Magnificent Cloak of Hope installed at Katoomba Civic Centre
Written by Brad Diedrich on October 1, 2021
Local artist Kevina-Jo Smith’s striking knitted installation, entitled Cloak of Hope, has been draped over the northern wall of the former Katoomba Library.
The artwork features up-cycled mixed media and is a “protection symbol over our local World Heritage Listed landscape,” the artist said.
The installation is the third and final artwork that has been added to Katoomba Civic Centre recently, in the first stage of the centre’s planned revitalisation.
“Cloak of Hope is an abstract topographical covering, constructed completely by hand,” Kevina-Jo Smith said, when describing her installation. “A mix of weaving, knitting and knotting over a seven month period, using only up-cycled materials.
“Civic Place Katoomba, is a location central to our community, a thoroughfare, and a common meeting place. And with this I hope for the work to prompt meaningful, ongoing discussion with each other as local custodians, but also with visitors to our desirable destination, to protect our fragile and unique environment and to inspire true systematic change for our future,” Kevina-Jo Smith said.
The artist also has a short film and installation piece about to be exhibited in the Gangwon International Arts Festival in South Korea during September and October 2021.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill praised the artwork, and said: “This third artwork completes the first stage in our revitalisation of this town centre space. This is just the start of a process that will bring new life and vibrancy into this precinct.
“I’d like to thank the three local artists who have taken part in this project, with the three wonderful artworks. Each bring something different to the area, but are unified by theme of paying homage to the natural world.”
In August, Dharug woman and local artist Leanne Tobin installed the first artwork, entitled Yanema Waradah (Walk with Waratahs). It is an arresting array of art panels that relate to First Peoples creation and cultural stories.
Following this, Mandy Schoene-Salter painted a series of stunning murals over five columns on the lower level of the Civic Centre. The murals, entitled Luminous Presence, celebrate the abundance of Australian wildflowers.
The Katoomba Civic Centre upgrade also includes landscaping and greening, redressing of the red canopies, upgraded street furniture, and the establishment of a cowork space at the site of the old library.
It is being funded by a $750,000 grant through the Building Better Regions Fund. Council is matching this funding to a total of $1.5 million.
For more information go to: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/katoomba-civic-centre-artworks
Photo: Kevina-Jo’s artwork ‘Cloak of Hope’ at Katoomba Civic Centre. Photo by Maja Baska.