INVASTION OF THE SPIDER CRABS – RYE MOSAIC PROJECT

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What: The Rye Beach Community Action Group initiated a community art project that would contribute to enlivening and complementing the community built playground on Rye foreshore.

A Shire Creative Community Grant of $4000 helped ‘kick off’ the project. The remainder of the funds were raised by the Action and Playground groups.

Key drivers of the project were; Mechelle Cheers from the Rye Community Group Alliance, Michael Wittingslow, Rye Beach Community Action Group and Miranda Gillespie from the Rye Playground Build.

Artist Simon Normand & students from Rye Primary School worked with around 60 children to develop themes and give the mosaic shape & form.

Simon was an artist-in-residence at the boat keeper’s cottage at Police Point Shire Park, Portsea where he drew inspiration for the Moonah frieze that sits at the top of the mosaic.resulting in a beautiful mosaic mural titled: The invasion of the Spider Crabs.

The circular mosaics within the mural were done by the following students: Ocearna Barker, Will Cannan, Kaley Cridland, Billie Diamond, Bailey Dowling, Jemma Fanshaw, Toby Fuggle, Riley Gill, Caitlyn Humphrey, Taylor Jordan, Jesse Davidson Lopo, Ashley MacDonald, Imogen Scott, Andrew Stout, Keely Swayn, Faizah Twil,

Lionel Lauch gave the Acknowledgement to Country and performed a smoking ceremony. The Mayor, Cr Graham Pittock cut the ribbon and declared the spider crabs have arrived!  Why, spider crabs?

The annual migration of spider crabs that come in on mass from Bass Strait to the Rye pier is well known to local divers and underwater photographers.  Some years there are literally 1000s that come under and around the pier forming what looks like a rugby scrum. No one is too sure why the crabs do this but it has been suggested it is to moult (and the scrum protects them). They are a bit thin for eating but do look like small crabs on stilts. The spider crabs seemed an obvious choice for an art project!

Where: Rye Foreshore

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