25 June, 2024

Going from metal to Ned Kelly

Caboolture-based sculptor Luke Sheehan ventured in a new direction as he submitted an entry in the annual Roma-based Sculptures Out Back event for the second straight year.

Luke Sheehan with his eye-catching monument depicting Ned Kelly.
Luke Sheehan with his eye-catching monument depicting Ned Kelly.

The sculpture exhibition began on June 15, with Luke having made a metal monument for the first time, after many years of wood carving.

With the title ‘Such Is Life: The Legend of Ned Kelly’, Luke described his latest entry as the hardest item he had done yet, as the monument depicted the notorious bushranger on a horse, while wearing a helmet and holding a gun.

Luke said the project took him three months, with tools including a welder, a grinder, and multi-grips.

Aside from metal, other materials included glass, timber, resin and leather.

“I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out,” he said.

“I mean, how do you bend metal? “The boots were a challenge, and horse ears are really difficult.”

As for the gun, Luke said he was aided by a photo he took of his daughter holding a pistol.

Luke said he chose to make an item out of metal for a change, after he was the only one of last year’s entrants to submit a wooden item while all other entries were metal.

Luke said he really liked his item from last year, which depicted a First Nations outback warrior.

Unfortunately for Luke, he didn’t gain a placing or a prize at Roma last year or this year, despite his monument of Ned Kelly gaining favourable comments.

One of the judges said Luke’s item “was amazing and beautiful…so many people commented on it. I’m sure it will sell”.

Luke has carved numerous animals, and also a Chad Morgan sculpture, which has become a tourist attraction in Childers.

At the recent Caboolture Show, Luke took part in live demonstrations each day as he carved a kookaburra, a mast owl with a red-bellied black snake, and a bearded dragon.

Luke is also set to take part in live demonstrations in Dayboro, Kilcoy, Biloela and at the Howard Coalfest next month.

Also a personal trainer, boxing coach, musician and family man, Luke said being a sculptor “allows me to express myself, and it allows me to focus."


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