Jenny Shea - People of O-Town
“I just love rust, rust is my favourite colour,” says local sculptor Jenny Shea, who you could say sees the world a little differently to most people.
“Maybe it was growing up with Mr Squiggle,” laughs Jenny. “Sometimes you just have to look at things in a different way before you can see it. I look at things and think, what could I use that for? And not necessarily something it was purposed for, but something else.”
Jenny was born and raised in Orange and today works at a local pharmacy. But outside of work, she keeps busy building and creating using items that would otherwise be discarded as waste.
“I just like to create things, and I like reusing things,” said Jenny. “My aunt calls me a bowerbird, because what other people go and throw out, I go, ‘ooh!’ What people go and buy is all new shiny stuff and nobody recycles enough. From clothes to timber, anything it all has to be new, but everything doesn’t have to be new. That’s what people don’t understand.”
Jenny has always dabbled in creative pursuits and has continually sought out new skills to bring her visions to life.
“I started out sewing and back when I left school you could do a lot of TAFE courses at night-time, so I did lead lighting, and a woodworking with power tools course, so I could build furniture and that sort of thing,” she said.
“But I really always wanted to learn how to weld. So, a couple of years ago, I did a night-time welding course with a girlfriend, so we could do some artworks.
“My first project was a ballerina called Miriam who was made out of nuts and bolts — a full-sized lady, taller than me! Now, the latest is Kevin.”
‘Kevin’ is a four-metre-long sculpture of a water dragon Jenny painstakingly constructed over the space of a year. Made from more than 4,000 individual pieces of recycled metal, ‘Kevin’ now resides in the duck pond in Cook Park.
“It just came about because I thought it would look good,” said Jenny. “I just like using my hands and making stuff. I feel really very privileged that they have let me put it here in such a beautiful heritage park.”