Dilapidated power poles that had been painted by local artists at the turn of the century were the catalyst for an uplifting project along the main street of historic Cobargo.
Around 35 poles in the village are sporting a mass of colour and images of hope and joy thanks to a host of local artists.
"Last year a few people thought it would be a good idea to redo the poles," said Sandra Taylor, a member of Cobargo Creators.
"Cobargo was in a very sorry state so repainting the poles would inject a bit of colour, vitality and love into the place."
Ms Taylor and two other artists with Cobargo Creators formed a committee with two artists from the Lazy Lizard Gallery.
They applied for funding from the Cobargo Community Fire Recovery Fund.
Next they approached the poles' owner, Essential Energy, for permission. Essential Energy not only agreed, but also contributed to the funding.
With the funding sorted, they approached local artists and asked them to submit sketches for proposed designs for the poles.
Around 35 artists from the area participated, including two who had painted the first poles 20 years earlier.
Taubmans and the Red Cross, through not-for-profit GIVIT, provided $1000 for paints.
One member of the committee undercoated the timber poles with white acrylic, creating a blank canvas for the artists' creations.
Ms Taylor said the project received two rounds of funding.
"We painted 20 poles in the first round," she said. "It looked so good so we wanted to go all the way down the main street and then into the showground along Bermagui Road in particular."
The artists took slightly more than a year to paint 57 poles. Others outside Cobargo School should bring the total to around 60.
"We have had nothing but support from the community," Ms Taylor said.
"People have got a great deal of joy from the project. It made everyone feel good about themselves because half the street is still gone."
Designs include historical ones, depictions of local flora and fauna, as well as local identities.
There are also humorous ones (keep an eye out for one near the village butcher!)
The mums and bubs group decorated a pole near the playground with children's handprints, while six school children studying art teamed up to paint a pole outside the School of Arts Hall.
A recurring theme is birds, Ms Taylor said.
"That speaks to their importance in the world, what we lost in the fires and how precious it was when some of them started returning.
"The silence was very loud."
The painted poles will be formally launched on Saturday, August 6, at 11am.
The committee has also created postcards, each with a few images of the poles.
The postcards have QR codes, which will lead to a website that provides information about the artist, the inspiration behind their design and a village map of where to find each pole.
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