|wide brown land. Marcus Tatton, Chris Viney and Futago. 2010. Steel.|
This is one of the main reasons I wanted to go to the National Arboretum yesterday - to get a better look at the 'wide brown land' sculpture. It's derived from Dorothea Mackellar's poem "My Country" (originally titled "Core of My Heart"), which she wrote at the age of 19, in 1904 (although there were a few revisions between then and its first publication in 1908.
The sculpture is based on Dorothea's handwriting, which can be seen in the manuscript held by the State Library of NSW. It's by a team from Tasmania, and was originally going to be on a much smaller scale at Garran shops, before ArtsACT requested the larger version for the arboretum. And it's very large: 3.2 metres high x 35 metres long.
The second stanza of the poem reads:
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains
Of ragged mountain ranges
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror --
The wide brown land for me!