The Common & Terrazzo
The Oberon Common is a special place for the town of Oberon, with its leafy trees, chain of ponds complete with some very friendly ducks, barbecue and picnic areas.
It is made even more special by the huge efforts of the Oberon Arts Council to make the Common a place that represents the history and people of Oberon.
One of the most impressive projects at the Common is the Terrazzo Tapestries. The Terrazzo is based on the needlework tapestries designed by artist Kim Woods Rabbidge in 1988. The eight tapestries depicted various images from Oberon, including landmarks and buildings, and were stitched by over 70 needleworkers in time for the Bicentennial celebrations.
In 2008 the Arts Council recreated the tapestries as terrazzo panels to be laid as beautiful flooring for the rotunda at the Common. The panels were designed by artist Gabriella Hegyes. The eight panels were worked on by men, women and children in the Oberon community over seven weeks and now are a magnificent marble floor of the rotunda, depicting images such as Oberon’s farming landscape, pine forests, timber mill, Jenolan Caves and Oberon Dam. Many community groups and businesses contributed towards the completion of the terrazzo, and now the rotunda is a favourite stopping spot for visitors with its impressive marble floor. The Terrazzo tapestries even won the Programs, Projects and Partnerships section at the Local Government Cultural Awards in 2009
The Diprotodon youth mural mosaic is a project worked on by the young members of the community. The mural represents the bones of the Diprotodon which was found at Jenolan Caves, complete with pre-history flora and fauna. The project was coordinated by designer Selena Seifert and was pieced together as glass mosaics by Oberon’s youth. The mural is now on the wall of the Oberon Visitor Information Centre.
Oberon’s history is also ever present at the Oberon Common, with the addition of the beautiful Heritage Walls, which were opened in 2011 during the Opening of the Artworks celebrations, where hundreds of locals and visitors came to see the varied finished artworks at the Common. The walls were brought about by the Arts Council in conjunction with artists Gabriella Hegyes and Victoria Theyers, and are striking shelter walls and seating, with a timeline of embossed relief tiles depicting the history of the Oberon area, acknowledging Aboriginal heritage, pioneer families, Jenolan Caves, tourism and the farm and forest country. Many locals and groups contributed towards the creation of the walls, from businesses donating labour and services to locals helping emboss the tiles during workshops.
Local families and groups are also remembered and recognized on the Family Heritage Pavers based around the Walls. These pavers recognise pioneering families, business houses, community groups, and even recent settlers to the area.