THREE chainsaw sculptures installed in Rupanyup aim to increase the town's tourism opportunities.
A total of six sculptures will be installed along Cromie Street, with an aim to attract and retain tourists who visit the town as part of the Silo Art Trail.
Rupanyup Major Events initiated the project earlier this year.
The sculptures were carved by well-known Gippsland chainsaw artist, John Brady.
Rupanyup's Carmel Healy, the woman behind the project, said each sculpture took about three weeks to complete.
Mrs Healy had the idea of installing the sculptures in Rupanyup, during her visit to Tasmania about 18 months ago.
"My husband, Mick, and I came across a little town called Legerwood. In that town, back in the 1970s, people had planted several huge trees to commemorate the seven men who didn't come back to their village,from the World War one," she said.
"By 2017, the trees were dead. Instead of burning them, they employed chainsaw artists to carve icons."
Mrs Healy said she then consulted John Brady to set the project in motion.
"I mentioned that we had wedge-tailed eagles in our area, so we settled on a flying eagle and a resting eagle," she said.
Brady, who has been creating sculptures for about 37 years, carved a goanna as the third chainsaw sculpture in the series.
"He is certainly done tremendous amount of work," she said.
"If you go past his farm in Gippsland, his biggest and latest production is a life-size carving of the horse Winx and jockey Hugh Bowman. It is just outstanding.
"He is very gifted. He just seems to be able to see the sculpture within the wood."
Two of the sculptures in the series were completed in May, with the third completed a few weeks ago.
With more than 250 shares on Facebook, the news of the sculptures was well received on social media.
"Rupanyup has some fantastic facilities, and unless people stop and get out of the car and go for a walk, they won't appreciate all that the town has the offer," Mrs Healy said.
Mrs Healy said the remaining three sculptures would be installed at a later stage - and included a woman, a retired farmer with his dog, and two children running.
Mrs Healy said the project was one-of-a-kind in the Wimmera.
"People are just delighted to see the skill of the artist in these pieces and it's unusual, too. It's not something that we see in the Wimmera because we are not in the timber industry," she said.
"They have that up at the Murray River and down in Gippsland - there are lots of these sorts of work there, but not in the middle of the Wimmera plains."
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