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Yowie to come out of the hills
Yowie / Bigfoot
15-02-2014
STANDING TALL: Tony Dunn with his metal and felt sculpture "Yowie" made from scrap part of the Creative Council exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

Photo: Adam Hourigan
Yowie to come out of the hills
By: Clair Morton
The Daily Examiner
Date: 8 February 2014
Online Source
TONY Dunn isn't an artist, he says, just "a plant mechanic who's got a welder and a drop-saw".
     Mr Dunn's three-metre high yowie sculpture will take pride of place at the Grafton Regional Gallery next week as part of the Creative Council exhibition.
     But the council worker, who has been a storeman at the South Grafton Depot for seven years, sees his yowie as the by-product of a great story rather than a work of it.
     What started with a rubber snake and a stuffed bear in a tree, quickly escalated to include an elaborate hayride finale at the end of the trail.
     "As the years went on all the fathers would be the main characters for the whole finale thing," he said.
     "It got bigger each year."
     A Steve Irwin tribute performance, UFO crash site and a full replication of a Michael Jackson stage show are just some of the scenes put together by Mr Dunn and his friends over the years. The yowie sculpture is the product of one such finale.
     "When the kids were about 11 or 12 years old there was a story in The Daily Examiner about a truckie who said he saw a yowie on Centenary Drive, not far from my place," he said.
     "It was a current event and gave us an idea to make a yowie."
     Mr Dunn quickly got to work on his three-metre tall creation, which was made mostly from scrap steel and felt.
     The sculpture had LED lights for eyes and legs made of PVC piping.
     On the night of the bonfire everything was in place.
     "As I'd come to the end of the ride I'd lead into each skit with a story, so the scenario that year was the tractor ran out of fuel," he said.
     "We all got off the hayride and in amongst the gum trees stood the massive yowie.
     "(One of the fathers) turned the eyes on, lifted the arms up, and let out a gut wrenching roar."
     Now that his three kids are older the tractor is in semi-retirement, but Mr Dunn still has his props and the satisfaction of creating joy.
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