Unless you live in South Australia you probably have little idea what I am referring to when I talk about Stobie Pole Art. This ingenious pole was built to suit the South Australian surroundings; few tall straight trees and an abundance of termites. James Stobie, an engineer and inventor came up with the design when wooden poles purchased from interstate at considerable expense deteriorated rapidly. They consist of two steel “I” beams that are joined together with wire with concrete poured into the middle. The result is a rectangular pole with a flat concrete face on two sides.
It was not long before these poles began to become decorated, because let’s face it they are ugly. The first recorded stobie pole decoration was in Prospect in 1982 when artist in residence Anne Newmarch began a project to paint them. Here is the original article on Anne.
The trend grew from strength to strength with many poles being decorated throughout the years in many other suburbs.
The best part about painting on these poles is that it is legal in most suburbs as long as the appropriate forms have been submitted. In the coming weeks I will be showcasing more poles from around the state and going through the process involved with painting a pole.
The following poles are located around the Brompton area and West Croydon, just over South Rd.