Grange Sea Eagle sculpture rebuilt by creator Indiana James on Kangaroo Island

The Grange Sea Eagle has come home to Kangaroo Island for some much needed repairs after 12 years sitting on top of a pole on the Adelaide foreshore.

KI sculptor Indiana James is in the final stages of rebuilding his white breasted sea eagle sculpture and soon it will make the journey back to its perch.

The first he became aware that his sculpture needed help was when an Adelaide newspaper published an article asking where the sculpture had gone.

After this was pointed out to him, he contacted the City of Charles Sturt about its disappearance, and was told it had been taken down due its state of disrepair.

Eventually after three years of protracted negotiations, he won the contract to repair the sculpture.

And the good news it is soon going back up on its pole, which is actually an old jetty piling from Port Lincoln.

"I'm very grateful to get it back and to be given the opportunity to fix it because the worst thing for an artist is to have a piece in disrepair," Indiana said.

"It is also rewarding to see the public outcry when it was removed. People have clearly fallen in love with it because the council got a lot of comments when it was taken down."

Indiana also recognised the Friends of Gulf St Vincent for helping to convince the City of Charles Sturt to install the sculpture where Grange Road meets The Esplanade at Henley Beach in 2006.

It was the first of three works by Indiana installed on the Adelaide foreshore as part of the development of the walking/bicycle path along the beach from Glenelg to Largs Bay.

The other two works are his two pelicans at the Torrens Outlet, installed in 2008 and three shags at Largs Bay installed in 2012.

More recently it was City of Charles Sturt's asset manager Jim Morias who has taken the project under his wing, personally delivering the eagle to Cape Jervis ferry terminal.

Indiana also thanked SeaLink for providing the transport over the ditch to Penneshaw.

The Grange Sea Eagle was in pretty bad shape under all the bubble wrap when she arrived back in August and Indiana had a lot work to do on her before she flies back to her perch.

"I have also now included a coating of cavity wax on the frame and inside surfaces of the body panels, something I learned recently from a friend who restores cars," Indiana said.

The Grange Sea Eagle has had a few misadventures over the years, starting with damage during its unveiling when the shroud bent a wingtip feather.

Indiana was provided with a ladder held by the mayor so he could climb up and straighten the feather while hundreds watched.

A photograph of Indiana up the pole featured on the front page of The Islander newspaper the next week.

Vandals one night attempted to pull down the eagle with a vehicle, the eagle won, leaving behind a rope and a bumper bar.

Most recently, when the eagle was taken down by the council, its feet were simply cut off, despite being made with special bolts for dismantling.

Indiana is looking forward to being there to advise when the council re-installs the eagle in coming weeks, although this time he does not planning on climbing up again!


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