Tim Coldwell tosses a bolt of old canvas painted a faded green and gold on to a benchtop. He turns it to expose the stitching. It is supported along the seams by a strip of what turns out to be a car seatbelt.
He doesn't say it, but there is careful pride in the casual way he displays this odd remnant. Indeed, carefully framed behind glass on a wall nearby is another gaily painted canvas fragment.
Here, then, are the remains of what was the first Circus Oz big-top, preserved as testament to one of the most enduring and widely loved excursions into the fantastic in the history of Australian arts.
The canvas patches are 40 years old.
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