Famous fish to ‘swim’ again
FISH Creek’s famous fish is in desperate need of rejuvenation.
Years of being perched atop the Fish Creek Hotel have taken their toll on the now mangy mullet.
Venus Bay artist Colin Suggett said the sculpture was originally made for an outdoor exhibition in the quarries of Mount Gambier in South Australia.
“I made the piece over there on site and then it was on show for about a month in The Quarries – An Archaeology exhibition,” he said.
“After the show, I brought it back to Gippsland and sold it to the publican at Fish Creek.”
The fish was first built for the exhibition in 1988 and installed on the pub in 1989. The mullet’s been there for nearly 25 years.
The fish, which Colin said was modelled on a mullet, is made of aluminium, galvanised metal and fibre glass on a light steel frame.
“It was really made just to last for the exhibition so I am amazed it has sat there for so long and weathered so well,” he said.
“I have had a good look at it recently and the light frame work will need replacing and the whole thing needs restoring.”
Colin said the fish was always supposed to be a piece of sculpture and he wanted it to be seen that way on the top of the pub.
“Some people thought it should be more like an advertising sign, stuck upright or on the side of the hotel but that was the last thing we wanted,” he said.
“The idea was it was supposed to look like it had dropped out of the sky onto the corner of the hotel.”
The fish has appeared in a few magazines over the years and has become something of an icon in the small town.
“In some ways it fits into the great Australian interest in big things, but I don’t see it strictly in those terms. I see it more as an art piece than the other big things,” he said.
“But is has definitely become a bit of an iconic image and something to look out in Fish Creek.”
Colin expects the fish will take around two months to rebuild.
Kerry Spokes from Prom Coast Arts Council said fixing the fish has been one of her pet projects for a number of years.
“To have the fish repaired and replaced on the roof in a more permanent way is expected to cost between $3500 and $5000,” she said.
“Colin Suggett has generously offered to carry out the repair work and will be able to make it a lot more solid.”
Simon Peavey from the Fish Creek
Hotel is looking forward to the fish taking on a new life.
“There is a lot of love for it, but there are bits missing and it has caused a little bit of damage to the top of the building,” he said.
“Being privately owned, it is difficult to get a grant of any sort to help with the costs, so under the auspices of the Prom Coast Arts Council we have started a fundraiser.”
Tins are now in Fish Creek businesses for donations towards the renovation and already many locals and tourists have contributed to the Stun the Mullet Fund.
“People love the idea of the fish on the roof, so it will definitely be going back there,” Mr Peavey said.
“For the sake of the fish’s longevity, it has reached the point where it needs to be fixed, which should happen this year.”
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