Kiama's rusty Daisy cow to be cloned

Daisy the Decorated Dairy Cow's internal wire framework has rusted away.
Daisy the Decorated Dairy Cow's internal wire framework has rusted away.

She has a biography and a Twitter account, features on websites of the National Library of Australia and Australian Traveller magazine and even has her own Kiama council policy.

But after 22 years of loyal service to Kiama, the original Daisy the Decorated Dairy Cow is set to be replaced with a fibreglass re-creation of herself.

Tomorrow night, Kiama's councillors will vote on a staff recommendation to spend $10,000 remaking Daisy into a fibreglass sculpture.

Daisy was created in October 1991 by sculptor Ernesto Murgo based on a cow named Meadowhaven Daisy the 47th, which was part of the Walsh Australian Illawarra Shorthorn herd at Jamberoo.

Daisy has since been housed and displayed at the Old Fire Station Community Arts Centre in Terralong Street.

Originally made from wire and papier mache, Daisy was later coated in plaster and sisal to protect her original frame.

She has been repainted many times to help promote various causes and currently bears the colours of the Cancer Council to promote the Relay for Life.

A few years ago local sculptor Anita Larkin was commissioned by Kiama council to do some repair work on Daisy, where it was established that Daisy's internal wire framework had rusted away.

Daisy has since sustained numerous cracks in her feet and shoulders from carrying the weight of her body and exhibitors have been advised to limit her movement around the Old Fire Station.

Last year council staff sought views from artists on how Daisy might best be repaired, but the news was not good.

"It has been advised that Daisy is beyond repair without major structural work being undertaken and that ideally Daisy should be recast in fibreglass to ensure durability and movability," a council report to be presented tomorrow night said.

"After further consultation with Anita Larkin, it has been recommended that a mould of our original Daisy could be cast and that a 'new' Daisy could be made in fibreglass.

"Costs associated with such a venture would be approximately $10,000."

In 2008 the high-profile Daisy courted controversy when she was enlisted to help curb a worrying spike in chlamydia among young people in the Kiama area.


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