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Bird in Hand (11).JPG

Bird in Hand (2021)

LOCATION Straneys Bridge, corner of Lachlan Valley Way (South Condobolin Road) and Hodges Road, Jemalong

Inspired by the saying ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’, this piece represents the profound responsibility of environmental preservation, sustainability and development bestowed upon humans.


'Bird in Hand' captures the importance of the wetlands to the Australian environment. The wetlands act as a natural flood mitigators and they also recycle nutrients into the soil, filter water and most importantly provide a habitat for a diverse range of wildlife.  

This sculpture reminds viewers that we need to preserve and protect this important environment and its future, including all creatures such as native birds, as of which are in our hands.  

The 6.5 metre, 3.5 tonne piece depicting a hyper-realistic hand cradling a great white egret was made from 1600 meters of 10mm, 316 marine grade, stainless steel chain, with 38 links per meter and 4 welds per link. This equates to just over 243,000 welds, taking eight months to complete. 

About the Sculptor

Mike Van Dam (Gold Coast, QLD)

Michael Van Dam is a Queensland-based artist and welder known for creating extremely strong and durable sculptures from marine grade stainless steel chain.  

His sculptures, which take hundreds of hours to be created, are well equipped to face the rigours of outdoor display. Mike uses 316 marine grade stainless steel chain, welding every link to create a structure that’s strong and durable. Many of his works can be found at marinas and other public spaces across Australia, including Sydney Harbour. 

Originally a Sheet Metal worker by trade, Mike was inspired to try his hand at sculpting in 2010 following a visit to Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast.  

Mike’s commissions can be found all over the world in both private collections and public exhibitions.  

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