Caterpillar on the Moo-ve

The Groovy Caterpillar, a project led by Lynn Scott-Cumming at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, is getting ready for his day in the spotlight at GTM. IMAGE: Nathan Toll

Ever since watching Eight Legged Freaks at an age much younger than the movie recommended, the idea of giant creepy crawlies has bugged me (pun completely intended). 

However, this weekend I will be willingly sharing a room with a caterpillar measuring 10 metres long and three metres high. 

Each year, Groovin the Moo pushes the boundaries and involves the community in new exciting ways. And this year is no different, as the Townsville leg of the Festival will include a giant art installation created at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

The piece, a 120kg papier-mâché creation, will be hung in one of the Festival tents for the duration of the weekend. Artist Facilitator behind the caterpillar, Lynn Scott-Cumming, said the two-month project has involved an incredible amount of people in the community.

“We started on the first weekend in February with sessions every day from 1-4pm, and have had between 30 and 50 volunteers filling the space and helping out on some of those days. I’d say there’s been over 80 people involved in total, it’s been incredible,” said Lynn.

“We’ve gone through about 30 reams of paper – and there’s 500 pieces of paper per ream. A lot of him is made up of recycled paper, all our draft paper, and bits and pieces we’ve had lying around. We’ll also be wrapping colourful pool noodles around each of the joins to give it those extra rolls like the Hungry Caterpillar, he’s going to be fabulous.”

The final touches are being made to the Groovy Caterpillar, so that he is ready to be painted this Saturday. Anyone is invited to help paint.

Umbrella Studio Gallery Coordinator, Angela Little, said the project was a record size both for Lynn and for the gallery.

“Lynn has done some very large sculptural work before, so saying this is her biggest project is impressive,” said Angela.

“We’ve never done something of this scale before, and never done a project like this either so made sure we gave ourselves some leeway time and backup plans just in case. We have worked with Groovin the Moo before, this will actually be our third year involved. But previously it was just as a youth project, where groups made A1 posters and hung them on fencing that was covered in black to look like exhibition walls.

“That was obviously a very different project. But then this year was ramped up – they wanted something bigger, simulating the feel at those larger festivals.

“We’re seeing more support from Groovin the Moo each year, and projects like this really get the local community excited too – being able to say ‘We made this together.’ It’s adding value and respect to the arts scene, and Groovin are supporting that really well.”

The final caterpillar creation session will be held in Umbrella’s rear studio space, through their Ogden Street entrance, from 1-4pm this Saturday (25 March). Anyone is welcome to attend: be ready to paint and have fun. 

The finished product will be on display at Townsville’s Groovin the Moo on Sunday, April 30. 

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