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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Foot’s artworks relocated

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AFTER 37 years, Foot’s artworks has relocated to a new, revamped location on Hamilton Island.

The moving of the artworks into the new gallery, in the resort centre, is almost complete.

Lightfoot Young, aka Foot, was sailing around the world forty years ago when he came across the Whitsundays, and he didn’t think ‘anything better was on the horizon’.

Many generations of customers from across Australia and the world have passed through Foot’s gallery retail spaces on both Hamilton Island and in Airlie Beach to purchase his marble and bronze sculptures in all sizes.

“The management [of the island] thought they could utilise the land I occupied to expand the Tavern next door, and figured I’d be better off in a more central location,” Foot said. 

“I resisted this for a long time but, in the end, I believe they were right. There was recognition of my contribution to the appeal of the island, and that is quite satisfying.”

The relocation to the new retail space has been not only a hard task, involving the making of custom timber cabinetry, sanding, and lacquering, but it has also been an emotional experience for Foot.  

“There is an incredible amount of emotional attachment to that old building,” he said.

“It was built out of a need for both workspace and show space, from whatever I could find.  

“Some of the timber has barnacles that grew on it before washing up on a beach. It’s growth over 37 years was in direct step with my growth as an artist, and I was lucky to be given the opportunity to establish it.”

During the relocation, Foot and his team faced several challenges, but finally the install and fit out has been completed at the new venue, although the largest pieces still remain in the old gallery, or they will find another home.

“Fortunately, I had the Airlie gallery as a prototype to work from,” Foot said. 

“Management liked what they saw there and I assured them I could give them a fit out that suited a premier holiday destination. 

“But, as usual, I had to do it all myself, but I had some great help. I was lucky to have a good mate, Roy Bannister, who had a large shopfitting firm in Melbourne for years, and his input was incredible.

The plan now is to continue on his path, to enjoy the new location together with the support of his partner Lisa, his team, and to make more artworks!      
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