In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a giant, inflatable love heart in the centre of Bendigo.
Since Friday, the Rosalind Park sculpture has looked out over Charing Cross from where the Bendigo Christmas tree and Siward Johnson’s Forever Marilyn were previously installed.
The winged design, called Heart, is the work of Bendigo-based artist Racquel Kerr and is one of three dozen central Victorian arts projects to receive funding from the Regional Centre for Culture.
The year-long arts initiative of the state government begins at 6pm tomorrow in Rosalind Park with its Love Letter to the Heart of Victoria community event.
Ms Kerr, 25, said the heart design took inspiration from the history and stories of her people, the Dja Dja Wurrung.
The winged design recalls Bunjil, the wedge-tailed eagle creator god revered by the region’s Indigenous community.
Ms Kerr said Bunjil was a fitting reference at the start of a festival about creativity.
It's one of our main creation stories for Dja Dja Wurrung people. It is fitting to use the creation story.Bendigo artist Racquel Kerr
Lines stitched into the wings represent the waterways, trading routes and songlines shared by the Dja Dja Wurrung. The spaces between those lines are mountains and other significant meeting places on the central Victorian landscape.
The motif is becoming a popular one across Bendigo, having featured on Eaglehawk football jumpers during last year’s Indigenous round.
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Letters from central Victorians posted in the red mailbox beside the sculpture will also feature in the installation, laid out like a river running towards the heart.
Fellow artist Felipe Reynolds was charged with the responsibility of constructing the love heart. Most recently he has made inflatable creations for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the NRL grand final.
The sculpture will remain in place until after Valentine’s Day celebrations in Rosalind Park.
It will temporarily be deflated to make room for the Commonwealth Games civic reception, which will also be held on the piazza tomorrow.
The sculpture will then travel throughout central Victoria, following the trail of arts events included in the Regional Centre for Culture.