Red Ridge Blackall-Tambo


In the presence of community, family, friends and representatives from Red Ridge, Red Ridge Foundation, the Barcoo Retirement Village, Barcoo Aged Care and Churches of Christ Care, our Chair Peter Skewes proudly unveiled the McLean Brothers bust.

"It was a great honour to officially unveil the busts of the two men who meant so very much to me personally," said Peter Skewes, Treasurer Barcoo Retirement Village. "A fine piece of artwork that represents two distinguished pioneers and the brothers' great act of kindness is a legacy that has touched many families and friends."

A network for support and action.

Red Ridge's role in developing arts projects in partnership with community strengthens the generosity, spirit and pride of giving that makes people proud to live in Blackall. Creative projects such as this are a reflection of who we are and what we care about.

The busts were the product of many months of work by accomplished artist William Eicholtz. His art has paid tribute to local philanthropists Gordon and Lex McLean as healthy young men who made their mark on the land.


About The Lost Art, Blackall

A regional partnership between Red Ridge and RAPAD Employment Services Queensland (RESQ) has enabled job seekers and people with special needs to discover the arts–specifically, the practical traditions of leathercrafting. A group of twelve men shared their traditional bush skills; in turn, these skills are now used to develop anything from hand plaited kangaroo leather gifts, key rings, belts and whips.

This regional partnership builds local communities.

Reviving the art of leather has led to the group self-naming their workshop as 'The Lost Art'. The Lost Art now strives towards creating and developing a local and tourism market for their art, promoting the traditions west Queensland in doing so. With the vision to move toward in terms of social enterprise, Red Ridge and RESQ are driving employment diversity that builds local capacity and opportunities.

A lasting legacy.

In creating workshops like the The Lost Art, we are enabling communities to develop a self-help model by providing creative engagement, social networking and a safe environment for expression. The outcome is a sustainable future in local souvenir production and a steady development in local tourism.

Craft Production

The Lost Art is a social enterprise that actively supports job seekers, promoting social inclusion for disadvantaged groups and education in traditional bush leatherworking. The Lost Art is proud to present its line of hand made products made by its local volunteers, with all profits used to fund further local projects. Through the sales of The Lost Art's crafts, we can develop our regional communities social and artistic wellness further into the future. From us at Red Ridge and The Lost Art community, thank you for supporting our trade and our culture through the purchasing of our crafts.

The Lost Art gang

Creative belts made with the Lost Art


The Red Ridge Creative Circle is a group of women who meet regularly (usually weekly but sometimes more often) to share their creative skills and learn new ones.

Since its inception in 2012, our Ladies Creative Circle group has been involved in making large numbers of items to enhance our skills and support various causes. Within the circle participants use and share their skills and encourage others to accept the creativity challenge. The group realises the fact that every person is creative in some way and many never realise that potential.

Bringing crafts out of the closet.

The Creative Circle empowers women by providing opportunities to build positive personal relationships that leads to the building of a strong community of women. The support systems that it creates allow women to value and use their own unique talents and abilities that results ultimately in social change within communities.

Breaking down barriers and isolation.

The creative circle also provides the opportunity for social interaction and it has built friendships and also provided people new to the town with an opportunity to meet others. There is no pressure with regard to times or projects. Members come and go as they please and can choose to do their own projects, group projects or just socialise.

"Our Circle provides valuable opportunities for social interaction and building friendships."
-Lynne Harlow, Artist.

A great group of women

Some of the work of the Creative Ladies Circle

Community Mural

Red Ridge through the Red Ridge Foundation – and with a generous donation from Owen and June Stockwell – was pleased to support the Blackall State School with a mural representing native flora and fauna.

The Community Mural supported Blackall State School to transform a hard space into a creative space. The idea to enclose the western end of an undercover sports area for the students meant that the western sun would not become a visual hazard when playing sport. The brick wall provided an ideal canvas for Red Ridge to beautify with a colourful mural. Work took place over nine days with visiting artist Arthur Conlon, local artist Bob Wilson and community helpers, including Tony Kiernan and Kevin Holdbrook (affectionately known as Saucy).

Creating lasting community assets.

The concept and ideas unfolded from a blank canvas to a large work that brings life to the community and brightens a space that faces the public pathways. The vibrant mural features cut out artworks including a magnificent eagle, butterflies and dragonflies. These serve to enhance the mural by bringing the building space into the artwork.

Connecting communities, ages and regions.

A successful in-school program allowed students the opportunity to engage with Arthur Conlon. Students of all ages and grades had a stimulating, fun and inspiring day as they learnt new skills and different art styles.

"This is a great way to interpret and share local history, and native flora and fauna."
Owen Stockwell

Working on the mural

Savouring the great work

Shadow Puppet Theatre

A two-week artists in residency with Tamar Kirby in an open space studio supported the Blackall community to capture local stories using shadow puppetry. Four local stories were recorded and forty shadow puppets were made to complement each story.

Bringing generations together.

With support from the local Men's Shed a stage set was designed and built for a community performance at the Blackall Woolscour. Working with young and old participants through the workshop was fantastic and articipants just kept on making puppets and scene sets. Young people experienced the arts in a way they never have done before and elderly were socially connected.

"We came for one day and stayed for two weeks."
-Workshop participant

Demonstrating Shadow Puppetry