Published on 17 January 2023

From Stobie to stunning

Add colour and life to your street by turning your Stobie pole into a work of art.

Dream up a design, anything from a simple pattern to an intricate masterpiece, then create it with paint, mosaics, stencils or another medium.

Your art can be a unique, individual piece or you can work with your neighbours to create a theme for the whole street.

“Stobie pole art adds to our sense of place, connection and vibrancy,” said Chris Martin, Community Connections Coordinator at the City of Onkaparinga.

“The council encourages Stobie pole art as a way to reflect our diverse and colourful community.”

Old Noarlunga mosaic artist Sandy Taylor said the inspiration for her Stobie pole came from Aboriginal desert art, the night sky, and images of space and aliens.

“It’s constellations in the sky speaking to people on earth. If there’s a message, it’s ‘Make the planet better’,” she said.

The eclectic design features gums nuts, flying saucers, alien faces and circles representing people gathering together. It combines mosaic pieces of varying shapes and sizes into a vivid blue sky reaching down to a bleached earth.

Sandy said the feedback from neighbours has been wonderful.

“One of the ladies asked if I can do the whole street, even the whole neighbourhood,” she said.

“Everyone’s got design talent. You don’t have to be an artist to make great art on your Stobie pole and make your street come alive.”

Before you install your art, you must get permission from SA Power Networks and the council. You will need to submit a draft of your design and show that your immediate neighbours support the project.

Permission is vital as some poles and sites are unsuitable for installations due to safety hazards or because of the signage or infrastructure they support. Artworks must not exceed the height of two metres and must not include advertising or branding material.

Art such as mosaics have to be applied to back boards and attached to the pole using a binding agent such as liquid nails. Back boards must be the same shape as the pole.

Stobie poles were invented by South Australian engineer James Stobie in 1924 and are a uniquely South Australian icon. Your art can make Stobie poles even more iconic.

To apply to make your Stobie pole a work of art, go to SA Power Networks and the City of Onkaparinga.

Pictures: From studio to street: Sandy with her mosaic creations

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