In just six years, prolific artist Milynda Rogers has transformed an off-the-beaten-track in the central west of Queensland into a road-trip destination for art lovers.

Story + Photos Don Fuchs

Around a bend in the unsealed Jericho–Aramac Road lies a flat-topped rocky promontory. With the white morning sun still low in the sky, its reddish sandstone is in deep shadow. On top of the promontory, right above the road, a figure on a horse immediately captures attention. In an iconic stance, hat pulled low, a gun slung across his shoulder, the figure stares out from his vantage point into the heat-shimmering expanse.

This is the Returned Soldier and, despite its realism, it isn’t an actual rider but a life-sized sculpture. “I wanted him to have the correct uniform,” its creator, artist Milynda Rogers says. “I wanted the gun more like an army gun, not a rifle.” It’s her obsession with detail that gives this sculpture, made from barbed wire and scrap metal, its illusion of reality.    

Returned Soldier is one of 37 sculptures spread over a distance of 200 kilometres along mostly unsealed roads in Queensland’s drought-ravaged central west. Dubbed the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail (LDST), it begins in Aramac, 68km north of Barcaldine. From there it forms a generous triangle through cattle country. It may well be that the LDST is one of the longest outdoor art displays in the world. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #123

Outback Magazine: February/March 2019