Article by Lynnath Beckley – Navigator of Geoff Bishop’s King 40, CHECKMATE
An old main sail at UK Sailmakers in Fremantle went from almost taking up space in a landfill to the ‘star of the show’ for the 400th anniversary of charting of the Cape Leeuwin. From recycled sails to great art. Cape Leeuwin, at the southwest corner of Australia is one of the five great capes of the Southern Ocean and resident Augusta artist Jo Hayes (www.picoluv.com) magically transformed the old sail donated by UK’s Geoff Bishop. Hayes painted a massive image of the Cape Leeuwin headland (without the present-day light house!) and surrounding rocks, waves and ocean. The lower left corner depicts the telescope of a 1622 Dutch sailor gazing at the headland, the evocative scene was extremely impressive.
From Recycled Sails to Art
On the day of celebrations (30 October 2022) the large, recycled sail (14m luff length!) was hung up in the local hall and provided a great focal point for a wide range of activities. These included a welcome to country by a Wadandi traditional owner, a speech and plaque unveiling by the Dutch Ambassador to Australia and a wonderful “paint by numbers” exercise by the local community. Ranging from small children to their grandmothers, local residents carefully painted brightly coloured fish and birds to Jo’s design that were later affixed to the sail. After the celebrations, the painted sail was sealed and bolted onto the side of a commercial building in the main street of the small coastal town of Augusta as a remarkable “ephemeral wall”.
No doubt, this splendid recycled sail will turn heads when the many tourists arrive for their austral summer holidays at one of the world’s Great Capes!