Miles Streetscape

This project is a collaboration with Four Fold Studio and Vee Design.

It involves the revitalisation of the main street of Miles in Western Queensland.

Completed in mid-2022, we were able to collaborate with Four Fold to engage with community representatives in order to understand the culture and history of the town. POMO also undertook one on one interviews and community engagement with local community leaders and residents. Through this process we were able to build upon a solid foundation of community involvement and gain a deep understanding of the special historical and cultural qualities of this unique community.

This framework has allowed us to embark on a creative design process and create a number of place-specific objects and embellishments that sit neatly in the landscape of the revitalised main street. These objects each tell a different story of Miles and represent a unique part of the town’s history. The items were made by a range of creative professional including a local sculptor, two local visual artists and an artisan woodworker. Other tradespeople were also involved with POMO managing and being involved in each aspect of the delivery process from sourcing materials, selecting treatments and working hands on to help deliver one-off creative outcomes for this project.

Railway Sleeper Bench Seat

The railway through Miles played a key role in the early settlement and prosperity of Miles. Custom made seats complete with hand picked railway sleepers now tell this story. There are four seats, each one featuring a integrated information panel with information relating to the role of the railway in the town's development.

Railway Sleeper Bench Seat

Vintage rum bottle installation

During our community engagement process we came across a story from a local resident whose grandfather was a cattle drover. Droving cattle from Western Queensland into the markets at Miles would often take many days of work. At each campsite, he would stash a half full rum bottle into the fork of a tree and leaving the bottle there, he would stop on his way home to collect them and have a swig or two. Two vintage rum bottles from the same era (1940's) were sourced and integrated into the streetscape along with an explanatory panel.

Bronze calf installation

This stunning bronze calf has life-like realism and was based on the most popular breed of cow that once was farmed widely in the area around Miles. This artwork speaks to the town's agricultural history.

Timber log carving

The local community wanted to tell the stories of some of the town's most important, interesting or quirky characters. We devised a way to do this which fit into the landscape design using logs which featured a carved representation of each character's story. There are ten of these artist-carved logs, each one also featuring an information panel which links the carving to the details of the person's story.

Timber log carving

Timber log carving

Timber log carving

Timber log carving

Wayfinding sign installation featuring historical audio trail

The wayfinding sign features a historical map which pinpoints the location of a number of the town's historically significant buildings and tells their stories. On the reverse, the sign advertises the Miles Historical Audio Trail, an interactive audio experience which guides visitors around town on foot while using their smartphones to hear stories and first hand accounts of some of Miles' most interesting cultural histories. (Audio trail by SoundTrails).

Wayfinding sign installation featuring historical audio trail

Arbour panels with local botanical pattern

There are a number of panels in the arbour which feature botanical patterns inspired by a range of local flora such as the Dogwood and Desert Cassia. As the sun passes overhead the panels create a shadow on the ground which changes depending on the time of the day.

Arbour lightbox with artist made local flora design

The arbour lightbox is integrated into the arbour structure and features a painting done by a local artist inspired by the local Dogwood plant, the plant after which the town was originally named - Dogwood Crossing. The artwork was created for this application only and like all the creative work in this project is a unique artistic creation.

Sculptural fish made by local artist

One story which is often recounted by locals and appears in the town's history is the story of fishing for Murray River Cod in the local waterways. While now hard to find, the fish were once prolific providing a food source for local indigenous people and early settlers alike. This story is told artistically with three Cod sculptures in the streetscape. Each is made from reclaimed metal objects such as nuts, wrenches and mechanical parts many of which are salvaged from local farms.

Sculptural fish made by local artist

Project Outcomes

The final outcomes of the Miles Streetscape project include:

  • illuminated ceiling panels that sit in an arbour, with artwork created by a local artist which speaks to the significant flora of the area.
     
  • a free form timber table with stools which was fashioned on a hotel bar which burnt down early in the history of the town.
     
  • a vintage rum bottle installation that recounts a tale told by locals of stock drovers stashing rum bottles into trees on their way to and from town with a herd for sale at the yards.
     
  • a wall of greats which features carved elements that are connected to local historical characters. Each carving has an interpretative sign that explains the carving and its connection to a story from the town’s past.
     
  • a series of reclaimed steel fish sculptures made by a local artist that reflect the Murray River Cod of the area’s river systems.
     
  • a series of seats made from railway sleepers which connect to the town’s railway history. Each seat features a small signage panel that contains a quirky story about the town’s past.
     
  • a wayfinding sign also made from recycled railway sleepers that pinpoints the location of the town’s historically significant buildings plus gives visitors instructions as to how to undertake a audio based walking tour that talks people through the town’s history. The walking tour is an audio trail made by Soundtrails.

Arbour lightbox with artist made local flora design

Arbour lightbox with artist made local flora design

Arbour panels with local botanical pattern

Arbour panels with local botanical pattern

Bronze calf installation

Bronze calf installation

Sculptural fish made by local artist

Sourcing Stringybark logs for carving

Stringybark logs in artist's workshop

Timber selection for railway sleeper seats

Completed railway sleeper seats

Long table timber selection

Long table after preparation

Wayfinding sign in progress

Carved log in progress

Carved log in progress

Carved log in progress

Carved log in progress with botanical reference

Wayfinding sign installation featuring historical audio trail

Wayfinding sign installation featuring historical audio trail

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