The Muster Point Opening - 15 September, 1999
The opening of the Muster Point was a similar cause for excitement and sadness. Excitement at the thought of seeing a wonderful metal sculpture gracing the landscape in such a majestic style and likened to a cathedral. Sadness because here again is a tombstone that states that "people once worked here - where have they gone?" I would like to see a new sort of memorial become part of Australian working community culture. Rather than erecting monuments that are really 'gravestones for remembrance', we should get into the habit of erecting them while we live and work together and link the community into it as well. This is a binding mechanism that reconnects people toward their communities and industries and prevents the loss of hope and desperate detachment that many people feel today towards their regional communites.
THE MUSTER POINT
Commencing in July 1998, Squires’ work was not complete until September 1999 – such was the time needed to win support for the project from a number of departments within BHP, onsite contractors, to gain DA and BA approval from the local council and to also fabricate what is a very large structure. Made from more than 70 tonnes of BHP steel, the eight-metre high sculpture (measuring 8m x 12m x 8m) is an imposing structure. The exterior has a stylised representation of the BHP skyline encased within the design element of a BHP maintenance shop. Inside there are a number of references to the people and place of the steelworks such that as former employees visit with their family they can take them on a tour of their working lives. It is illuminated at night. For images of The Muster Point see Julie Squires' website.
Artist – Julie Squires
The Muster Point is a 70 tonne steel sculpture with bronze cast figures + objects, found objects + components from the Steelworks, 8m x 12m x 8m, associated pathways (railways sleepers and ballast), located near entrance to steelworks site, George St & Selwyn St off Industrial Drive, Mayfield.
Newcastle Industrial Heritage Association is pleased to offer personalised guided tours of the iconic sculpture "The Muster Point".
This house-size industrial artwork was constructed as a collaboration by famous Newcastle sculptor Julie Squires and steelworkers in 1999, to mark the closure of the steelworks.
The whole structure, inside and out, has many stories to tell about the history of steelmaking in Newcastle.
Well-known retired steelworker Aubrey Brooks conducts intimate, heartfeld journeys around and within the walls of this unique place.
If you know any small group that would like to soak up some of the emotion of life at the steelworks, contact Aubrey to make a booking.
Tours are free, but Aubrey has copies of the DVD of the steelworks and books on history of the steelworks for sale.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 49845264 for more details.