Art at heart of island community

They're a creative lot on Dangar Island

Domestic travel
ALPHABET SOUP: Scrabble-like wooden letters encourage passers-by to playfully form new words. Two more letters have been added to allow more combinations.

ALPHABET SOUP: Scrabble-like wooden letters encourage passers-by to playfully form new words. Two more letters have been added to allow more combinations.

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Creative juices flow freely at this Hawkesbury River haven.

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SCRATCH beneath the surface of Dangar Island on the Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney and you'll find creativity.

Artists, poets and authors, screen writers, film-makers, ceramicists and musicians work away at their chosen field. Some are award-winning, others ordinary residents who, given the chance, just want to have a go.

About five years ago long-time resident Michael co-ordinated a sculpture walk. Initially only a few residents jumped in, but the idea soon caught on.

In the end more than 40 people of all ages created sculptures for outside their homes.

Locals took to wandering the streets to discover who had created what and to choose their favourite for the people's choice award.

Some of the original sculptures can still be found around the island.

A stegosaurus guards the road near the public wharf. A mosaic-covered watering can continually pours "water" onto the garden alongside the community hall.

On top of the hill, big Scrabble-like wooden letters spelling D-A-N-G-A-R I-S-L-A-N-D encourage passers-by to play with the letters and form new words.

Nearby, bees buzz in bushes in front of Pooh Corner where jars of "honey" hang from a branch.

Unrelated to the sculpture walk, other installations encourage a second glance.

Preloved surfboards of various heights and colours fence off a garden. An oversized egg rests on the roof of a chook pen, apparently fostering fertility.

A sign on a wooden door warns visitors to "Beware of the Rabbit" and a colourful, textured yarn bomb envelopes a pole supporting a street sign.

There's a mural painted on an old shed wall. The artists said "it was crying out for some paint". Large leaves now emerge from the black background.

Boring green wheelie bins provide a canvas for creativity. Delightful whimsical Bansky lookalike stencils adorn one set of bins. There's even a parachuting rat, the artist's trademark.

Even the community garden is unique, with rescued tinnies creatively turned into vegetable garden beds.

Creativity flourishes on Dangar Island.

Joanne Karcz writes a regular travel blog: For more of her stories visit www.travelwithjoanne.com

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