Darwin artist and wood sculptor Joel Mitchell crafted the medal trays and podiums for the Arafura Games from the timber of trees felled during Cyclone Marcus.
He created the distinctive pieces to reflect and celebrate the unique nature of the Games, our region and the 41 different countries athletes will come from.
“Sculpting reclaimed timber for the medal trays podiums will add to the celebration of the games and the unique journey of all the athletes. I hope they will tell the Arafura story for years to come,” said Joel.
“I draw my inspiration from nature and natural forms and I’m passionate about conservation. I love incorporating reclaimed and recycled timber into my sculpture and revealing its inner beauty.
“Crafting the medal trays and podiums was a real pleasure. It’s a long, hard and messy process but much like the discipline required to train to be an athlete it’s far more rewarding.”
Joel, who branched out as a full-time wood sculptor 18 months ago, was keen for the texture, markings and design of each medal tray and podium to be as individual and distinctive as each of the athletes competing.
He chose Raintree for first place, Ghost Gum for second place and African Mahogany for third.
Medal recipients will step up to (instead of ‘on to’) the podium at this year’s games.
This change in design will allow for greater accessibility by all athletes participating in the multi-sport event which runs from 26 April-4 May. The largest of the podiums measure 10 metres long.