Design factors to be considered for the displays included environmental aspects, longevity of the displays, illumination properties, traffic management, public safety, and ease of installation, as the displays were installed by Council staff. With these considerations, the design process took some time.
The final designs consisted of a central display of six reindeer and five Christmas tree structures located around the city.
The reindeer display was created by Russ using hundreds of pieces of perforated mesh that was cut, rolled and welded together, then fitted to an internal frame. To ensure a long lifespan a zinc coating was applied before the whole display was powder-coated. The finished reindeer were then fitted to a weighted base by Council, to ensure stability. A wooden sleigh was also added to the display, built and painted by members of the local Men’s Shed organisation.
The five Christmas tree structures, varying in size from 2.6m to 4.5m high, were created in two different designs - Star Tower and Star Panel. Both designs shared the same base structure, central mast and feature star at the top. The Star Tower design featured a stack of three dimensional stars, while the Star Panel design featured large panels with laser-cut stars and an opal acrylic backing. The star cut-outs allowed for brilliant illumination at night.
Lighting for the structures needed to be considered carefully. With no power readily available, a solar solution had to be designed. Each structure was fitted with a small solar system that incorporated a solar cell, battery and control system. LED bud lighting was fitted into the reindeers, while LED floodlighting was utilised at the base of the tree structures. The lighting automatically switched on at dusk, effectively illuminating the festive designs and creating a sparkling holiday scene.
To view more of Russ Brebner’s unique recycled metal art sculptures visit Rusty Sculptures at www.russbrebner.com.au