'They stop and stare': Front yard sculpture catches Mandurah's attention

An impressive sculpture by Mandurah man James Tioro is gaining attention with the tall timber artwork on display out the front of his Meadow Springs home.

Hailing from New Zealand, Mr Tioro is hoping to bring people together and convey harmony within the community through his front yard masterpiece.

After just two hours of sketching and less than two weeks of construction, his sculpture, created from Jarrah and Marri timber over 80 years old, was complete.

Mr Tioro said he drew ideas for the design from one of his brother-in-law's creations.

"He built one for his family to bring his family back together so it was about that too," he said.

"I believe it's going to help us learn more about Indigenous culture because we will do a smoking ceremony here.

"I've included the six Indigenous seasons on the bottom and the quote 'Te Maramtanga' means enlightenment, so it's a biblical thing also.

"Depending on which way you look at it, it's two inverted wings or, turned around, it symbolises climbing through life either going under things when you don't know what's going to happen or working hard to go over something."

People drive past and stop and stare - a Zimbabwean family even came to get a photo with it.

James Tioro

But the creation did not come without its difficulties with Mr Tioro battling his own health journey while he brought his sculpture to life.

"I have been diagnosed with a big problem with my heart so I've been living day by day and I can't go back into the mines which has been pretty stressful for me," he said.

"But two recent heart attacks and vertigo hasn't prevented me from designing and fabricating this sculpture."

First showcased at this year's Fairbridge Festival, the sculpture is now catching the eyes of passer-by's at Mr Tioro's home in Meadow Springs.

"It's been sitting in my shed since Fairbridge so I took it out and it took me three days by myself to put it together out the front, it's very heavy," he said.

"I want it down at the foreshore because that's where it should be - not at my place.

"People drive past and stop and stare - a Zimbabwean family even came to get a photo with it.

"I want people to come and check it out so it gains momentum because I'd actually like to get the community to sign a petition telling the council they love it and support me."

Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Mr Tioro said he has big plans for his masterpiece, including hopefully getting permission to place it in a central location for the community to enjoy and learn from.

"I want to apply for proper funding because it's not going to be cheap but there are plenty of things I want to add to it and, if I do expand it, I would put a bigger drawing to council," he said.

"I want to add some seats, change a bit of the design, put totem poles around the perimetre and get local Aboriginal people to come and put a design on it.

"Eventually the names of the seasons will be lit up at night and I'm going to put the rainbow colours lit up throughout the sculpture to represent harmony.

"This is about the story that is there for the community to share - we can use this for Welcome to Country ceremonies at events like Anzac Day, NAIDOC Week, Waitangi Day and if any other schools want to come and use it, we can bring the schools in and get the elders to teach them some culture and dancing."

Mr Tioro would like to thank "the lovely ladies at Mayday" for funding the timber for the sculpture as well as Bunnings, Transcoat Engineering and Signs Mandurah for all their help.

Mr Tioro's sculpture can be viewed in the front yard of his home on Camden Way, Meadow Springs.