REPURPOSED: Scrap metal artist Dion Cross and his Murray Cod sculpture by the Balonne River. The artwork was built from scraps he had collected throughout the shire.
REPURPOSED: Scrap metal artist Dion Cross and his Murray Cod sculpture by the Balonne River. The artwork was built from scraps he had collected throughout the shire. Contributed

From trash to treasure Murray the Cod is town's new icon

MADE entirely of discarded tools, old farming equipment and scrap metal, Murray the Cod is the newest feature of St George. the work of renowned sculpture artist Dion Cross.

For the past 15 years, renowned sculpture Cross has been crafting artwork from scrap metal, something he was inspired to do by his grandfather.

"My grandfather had a private museum, and he had quite an impressive collection but he also had a lot of discarded scraps out the back, and I always thought it would be a waste to throw it out because there was some cool stuff,” he said.

"When I started to develop my skill-set, I began building sculptures from scrap metal and I started that about 15 years ago.”

Mr Cross was approached by Balonne Shire Council last year to build the riverbank's newest feature.

"I came out to talk to the community, and they were involved in coming up with the idea of what I should build, and because St George is the inland Queensland fishing capital, everyone decided on a cod,” he said.

"The concept, design and development stages have been going on for at least 12 months, and the build took me about six months.

"I sourced the scrap metal from all over, I've grown quite an impressive collection, but actually some of the scrap I had collected from the Balonne region in the six months I'd spent heading out there.

"It gives the community that sense of ownership.”

While there are too many pieces of scrap metal for Mr Cross to count, he said it was a testament to the council that they supported public art.

"I've been out to Thallon once this year and to Dirranbandi, I'm heading back to Thallon shortly for another workshop,” he said.

"When I started out making these sculptures I think I had a bit of a niche market, but it's definitely becoming more popular. If there are any other artists out there that want to work with me, I hope they contact me.

"I really hope this is something that makes St George proud.”