Chainsaw artist starts work on Burdekin cane cutter monument

Chainsaw artist Matty G is preparing his tools to create a life-sized cane cutter statue after displaying his skills before audiences at the Sweet Days Hot Nights festival.

He’s since returned to his home in Noosa to create a new, commissioned piece from an approximately four tonne log of wood, currently being transported by crane to the new carving arena he’s created in his home.

Matty G says he’s looking forward to creating the piece, which will be moved to the Burdekin on completion, after getting to know more about the community and its cane cutting history.

“We came up to do the show to get to know and spend some time with the community. I spent a lot of time with some of the cane farmers,” said Matty G.

“I spent some time touring a cane farm in the north of the Burdekin with one of the families, just listening to it all because I found it so fascinating. I got to meet Doug ‘Chippo,’ and the fact that there are gentlemen like him around in the community is great.

“This is about the past, and for me, it’s about all those men that have done this hard work. I’ve spoken to a lot of people about their families and the history of what their dad and their grandfather did and the grandfather before that,” says Matty.

He says that the statue will speak to what the cane cutting community is about, capturing some of that history in the wood.

“When I create my carving, it has to communicate the energy of a man cutting that cane. A lot of thought does go into the man’s stance, his muscles, all those things these guys are experiencing. I do want to create something beautiful and put my all into it,” said Matty.

“It’ll be life-size, and he’s going to also be very athletic, a real Australiana. I would love it to have that energy around it because it’s a pretty tough physical activity.”

He says he’s in the process of sketching a potential plan for the statue and has been studying The Cane Cutters, an Australian film from 1948 detailing the daily life of cutters in North Queensland.

“Once I have this picture in my mind I can start the carve. From there I’m thinking the right friend might have to be asked to model briefly to achieve the required feeling for the monument

“I am working with timber and do have to step back a lot to take a look at the caving. The main thing is that I enjoy making it,” he said.

Matty G and his team will also be creating a film that portrays the carving process of the sculpture before it’s delivered back to the Burdekin.

“The festival was great. I did get to learn a lot about the community and its values,” he said.

About the author

Marina is an experienced journalist who has reported from different countries around the world, with a particular interest in local features that impact a community. Making the move last year from Sydney, she has been with Burdekin Local News since its beginnings and enjoys covering health stories, ... more