Author and illustrator Trish Donald has taken inspiration from the community stories she recorded for a project funded with a $1000 microgrant she received from Create NSW, and the Beetle Hunt out at Blue Hole was born.
"My proposal was to have conversations with six people from the New England region regarding their experiences of the New England Summer, in particular, the sounds and smells," said Ms Donald.
"I then wanted to create a piece of artwork based on a theme that emerged and place it back into the landscape from where one of the stories was set."
In her interviews with the community, Ms Donald discovered there were shared memories of Christmas Beetles in the summer.
Inspired by these stories, she created a 'Beetle Hunt' hiding dozens of rock 'beetles' around the Blue Hole picnic area - with permission from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
"Conversations took place in homes, cafes, workplaces, and on bush walks," Ms Donald said.
"They happened formally and informally.
"It was delightful how eager people were to share their experiences with me and be part of the project."
The rocks have all been washed, painted, and decorated with a Christmas Beetle sticker that Ms Donald created, with a QR code on the back.
"We hope that folk visiting the Blue Hole who find a beetle rock will follow the QR code link to read and share the stories that I have recorded from the community and participate in the Beetle Hunt by leaving their story for me to share on the New England Writers' Centre's website," Ms Donald said.
The Beetle Hunt out at the Blue Hole began last Friday and will run until Saturday, May 29.
"Hide them again or take them home as a trophy," said Ms Donald.
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