News

Drop bears found in Grafton

Stuart Payne - Drop Bear, Specimen 2011
Stuart Payne - Drop Bear, Specimen 2011 Simon Hughes

JUST like others "in the business", Stuart Payne admits he is terrible to watch a movie with – the prop maker/sculptor can’t resist digging his companion in the ribs when one of his models shows up on the screen.

Stuart’s South Grafton industrial shed is testimony to his two decades in the film industry which, he said, had dried up lately due to the high Australian dollar.

Among the menagerie of memorabilia is a fake Triumph motor, made of fibreglass and "ridden" by Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible II; a shield from Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader; moulds for the fake guns used in The Matrix, and; courtesy of Stuart’s brother Lachlan, who is an on-set motor mechanic, a 1939 Holden Chevrolet used in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia.

Although he started work this week on props for a new TV series called Terra Nova, the recent industry downturn has seen Stuart turn, for the first time in his career, to traditional methods of generating an income.

"I’m looking for the next commission, public work or art prize," said Stuart, whose work, Productive Landscape, was erected in River St, Maclean, earlier this year.

In his first ever gallery exhibition, Stuart spent months meticulously creating three magnificent pieces as part of Grafton Regional Gallery’s Fairytales in Fairyland exhibition, which opens on Friday.

There’s the haunting drop bear specimen in a jar, complete with an aged label and Latin name; a drop bear on a tree branch, and; the Mining Boomer – a mechanical kangaroo designed to explore and conquer an unforgiving land.

"Most pictures of drop bears had them % % as these fluffy koalas with fangs but I thought if they are this vicious carnivorous animal, they’re probably going to look pretty rough," he said.

Stuart said he was among only a handful of silicon model makers in the world. Although the end result offered incredibly life-like sculptures, the process was tedious and prone to difficulties, he said.

Stuart attended Grafton and South Grafton high schools before finishing his secondary schooling at The Southport School on the Gold Coast.

He said he took an interest in prop making while completing his degrees in Arts and Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology and has been working in the industry ever since developing skills in everything from leather work to explosives.



Your newspaper just took out three global gongs!

News Corp's Hey Mumma named best in the world!

Hostage accused to face court tomorrow

Eyewitnesses huddle together outside the scene of a hostage situation at the Hotel Cecil in Casino.

50-year-old man remains in custody

Man charged with online grooming, procuring child for sex

A man was arrested in the Coffs Harbour area on Tuesday by Strike Force Trawler detectives.

Coffs Coast arrest after investigation by Sex Crimes Squad.

Local Partners

Servant Or Slave to screen in Grafton on Sorry Day

Movie screening for National Sorry Day this week at the Saraton Theatre


Hemingway unearth another dimension to Yamba stage

UNIQUE SOUND: Hemingway will be at Yamba's Pacific Hotel next Saturday night.

Brothers' "do or die” pact to make a career out of the music

Father Riley's message for Reconciliation Week

A supplied photo made available Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009 of Bill Onus, President of the Victorian Aborigines' Advancement League (right), participating as the only Aboriginal in the march for Aboriginal Rights referendum on May 29, 1967. The photo is part of 'From Little Things Big Things Grow', an exhibition on indigenous rights which opens at the National Gallery of Australia today. (AAP Image/National Library of Australia) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

National Reconciliation Week to be held from May 27 to June 3

Love, lies and leading ladies in extraordinary free concert

DOUBLE ACT: Catherine Britt and Amber Lawrence are touring together.

Award-winning female country artists team up to tour latest music

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

Stars line up for writers festival

POPULAR: Byron Writers Festival 2016 recorded the biggest crowds in 20 years of the event.

John Safran, Deng Thiak Adut and Dava Sobel among others

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!