New tortoise sculpture coming to the shores of Lake Towerrinning

Campbell WilliamsonNarrogin Observer
The long knecked tortoise sculpture to feature at the Lake.
Camera IconThe long knecked tortoise sculpture to feature at the Lake.

Carved from a single block of jarrah with the finesse of a chainsaw, a new tortoise sculpture is coming to the shores of Lake Towerrinning in the Shire of West Arthur.

A semi-freshwater lake with sandy beaches, Lake Towerrinning is a favourite spot for campers, water skiiers and birdwatchers.

But it is also a favourite for long neck tortoises and kids — with the new sculpture to be installed at a children’s playground in coming weeks.

Made by award-winning sculptor Darrel Radcliffe, the man behind Albany’s famous sculpture drive, the work features a long-necked tortoise with her offspring and captures the animal’s significance to the region.

Mr Radcliffe said it was the character of his creations that kept him coming back.

“Everything’s got to have a bit of a story, a bit of personality to it, which I try and get in the face,” he said.

“You can see that it’s thinking, you can see that it’s got a bit of attitude.

“I like doing the detail, it’s just like doodling as you do with a pencil, I do it with a chainsaw.”

After honing his craft for 15 years, the mesmerising creation came to life in just 10 days.

“(The Shire) asked for a long-necked tortoise which is local to the lake there and I thought you’ve got to have it big, it’s nearly five feet long, the turtle itself,” he said.

“Then I got a bit carried away and got five babies behind it and some gum leaves and lily fronds.

“It’s a family-oriented one with a caring type feel about it.

“It’s a local woodland with local flora and fauna and everything as one.

“It fits in to the lake and it has a bit of a story.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails