The cars that ate Ootha are set to consume Condobolin.
Quirky bush gallery Utes in the Paddock is on the move to the Central West town a little further west in a drive to draw more visitors there.
Lachlan Shire Council relocated the utes to a secure storage site in “Condo” last August, with the aim of aiming to relaunch the gallery at a 25-acre block on Gipps Way early this year.
It has taken a bit longer than expected while the council awaits the result of funding applications, but hopes are high that an announcement will be made this month.
In the meantime, exhibiting artists are giving the utes a touch up ready to entice visitors. Several have been repaired including Circle Work by John Murray, Clancy Stops the Overflow by Peter Mortimore and Dame Edna’s LooUte by local artist Karen Tooth.
Jara and Graham Pickles installed the first “uteworks” at Burrawang West station in 2008. By the time they sold the property eight or so years later, there were 20.
Mortimore said Utes in the Paddock is a talking point wherever he goes, with people “...intrigued to know how my Bundaberg Rum ute was created and positioned on a permanent lean”.
Mayor John Medcalf said big plans are afoot for the attraction.
“Signage, promotional flyers, website development and the development of collectible Utes in the Paddock merchandise (are) among the top priorities along with a program to repair and revitalise any of the uteworks, which have significantly deteriorated over the last eight years,” he said.
Condo is a pretty town on the banks of the Lachlan River, the fourth-longest river in Australia. Nearby highlights include the Wiradjuri Study Centre renowned for its range of local indigenous art, Gum Ben Lake, a popular spot for water activities including sailing, water-skiing and windsurfing and Mount Tilga, a great hike with panoramic views of the region.
And if want to see more automotive art, there are “satellite” utes on display in Forbes and Yeoval.