For some years, dairy farmers in NSW have been running a project aimed at supporting their industry by selling fibre glass cows that can be painted and displayed outside premises around the town.  Manning district dairy farmers joined this project last year and we have started to see colourful cows around town, much like the painted koalas in Port Macquarie and the Hastings, and at Taree station.

Manning Uniting Church Council decided to buy our own cow as a community service project and install it outside the Red Dove Café. It was picked it up from Nicholson’s dairy farm in December, and Kerry MacAulay agreed to design a paint scheme for it and do the painting.

Kerry has now completed this project and Connie the Cow is now on display outside the Red Dove, along with the street library and the Orange Sky Laundry pod – all means of connecting with our community. 

These are Kerry’s comments on her design process:

“I have been inspired by the Manning Uniting Church vision of connecting in the design of the cow. I chose to write the word ‘connecting’ as part of the design rather than including other symbols. The two front legs represent trees with branches spreading out over the hills and valleys of the Manning. I was reminded of Jesus declaring ‘I am the tree and you are the branches.’”

“The colours I have chosen are representative of the grass and trees, the earth, the sky, the beach, the river, the mountains and the ocean: the natural world of the Manning Valley.”

“I have deliberately left some flaws and imperfections on the surface of the cow. To me, this is a sign that the work is handmade. It also reminds me that none of us is perfect, but is none-the-less valuable, and our flaws are part of our uniqueness and beauty.”

“When I first painted the cow’s hooves, I was thinking of the ubiquitous blackbutt tree, but the blackened hooves also remind me of the aftermath of bushfires.”

“Apart from these ideas, I leave it up to every viewer to imagine whatever they choose about what the cow represents to them.”

John Dun


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