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27 Feb 2019


The name Nellie Bly may not ring a bell to most people, but Southern Highlands based artist Heidi McGeoch considers her the muse behind her Sculpture at Scenic World 2019 piece, Iron Clad.

Best known as a journalist in the late 1880s, Nellie Bly was a pioneer of investigative journalism with her exposé on a New York mental asylum and her Around the World in Eighty Days inspired trip across the globe that she completed in a record breaking 72 days.

Bly went on to inherit the Iron Clad Manufacturing Company from her late husband. It was during this time at the helm of Iron Clad that Bly supported the invention of the metal 44 gallon drum, a design that revolutionised the industry and is still used to this day.

It’s these same 44 gallon drums that Heidi McGeoch used to create her site specific piece for Sculpture at Scenic World after discovering how durable, stackable, and portable they were.

Even though her background is in ceramics and costume design, Heidi is no stranger to working with metal. After starting a family and moving to Wagga Wagga, Heidi started to create metal necessities for her remote property including fences, gates and even a hand made four post bed for her daughter.

Heidi has used her metal fabrication skills to create a series of sculptures from these recycled metal drums, including Iron Clad which will feature the drums stacked upright in various heights and combinations with universal symbols and patterns cut into their sides.

Heidi wants Iron Clad to inspire visitors to Sculpture at Scenic World to engineer and design for the future, keeping the idea of longevity in mind, just like the piece’s namesake Nellie Bly did.

Iron Clad will be on display at Sculpture at Scenic World which will transform the ancient rainforest to an open air gallery from April 12 – May 12, 2019.

Showcasing 25 works from 29 artists along Scenic World’s elevated boardwalk, the exhibition will also feature an extensive public program including Sculpture Otherwise, an indoor exhibition of smaller works at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.