BEAUTIFUL PEST: Jenny McCracken with her new permanent 3D artwork at the Delicious and Delightful Festival.
BEAUTIFUL PEST: Jenny McCracken with her new permanent 3D artwork at the Delicious and Delightful Festival. Elouise Quinlivan

Cactoblastis Caterpillar immortalised in street art

DALBY'S history has come to life with 3D street art commemorating the insect that worked to eradicate the invasive prickly pear in the mid-1920s.

Artist Jenny McCracken spent three days painting the pavement with the finishing touches made in time for the influx of the Delicious and Delightful Festival-goers.

There's an area beside the massive artwork with two foot-prints painted for viewers to get the best view of the Instagram-friendly piece, with youngsters sitting on the head or body to get a creative photo.

Mrs McCracken has created major works around the world for the past two decades, in Asia, America and Europe, covering floors, walls and recently with large-scale water towers in murals at Gulargambone and Gunnedah.

The bug now crawls along the pavement at Marble St.

"I noticed that Dalby is kind of the epicentre of what used to be the prickly pear infestation,” she said.

"There's a memorial here I found when I was doing research on the region, and I was fascinated by that. I'm really interested in our interaction with the environment and thinking about our impacts and how we affect it.”

"The introduction of the cactoblastis cactorum (moth) was a very successful correction of what had been an environmental disaster.”

She said her new work was designed to create a surreal illusion that encouraged children and adults to play and engage with public areas and artworks.

"One of the big reasons of doing these artworks is to help give towns something special, this is the first permanent floor piece of 3D I've created,” she said.

Dalby Welcoming Community chair Beth Wood said this work added a fun element to the town's walking areas.

"We wanted to have a unique point of difference with our street art and I love the concept of the 3D pavement art because the kids can engage with it, so can anyone passing through,” she said.

Mrs Wood said the work celebrated the family friendly nature of Dalby and use of outdoor spaces.

"We'd love to see more of this in the future in Dalby.”

Mrs McCracken created pavement drawings for the Delicious and Delightful Festival, encouraging kids to paint the path through the festival.


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