Ganmain Show's cutting edge on display

Some use paintbrushes and pencils to find their zen; Justin McClelland uses a chainsaw. 

It is an unusual kind of art and one new to the Riverina.

The timber sculptor made his first public debut at Ganmain Show across the weekend, chopping, cutting and scratching the wood for a crowd of onlookers. 

Mr McLelland and his partner Selina Irving joined the “bigger than average” country show on, what was a warm and sunny Saturday. 

While wood choppers and shearers sweated through heated competitions nearby, Mr McLelland “zoned out from the world”, as he slashed and chipped at his design. 

The Wagga man said the hobby was birthed from boredom. 

Now Mr McLelland is Husqvarna sponsored and keen to take his artworks across the region. 

Mr McLelland said one day he was sick of chainsawing in a straight line and decided to create pictures in wood instead. 

Having wielded a chainsaw since he was a boy, growing up in Tumbarumba, he said he could always find peace behind the bar oil, the two-stroke and the engine roar. 

“I just put my music on and I go,” Mr McLelland said.

“I just look at a picture and I try to put the picture in the wood.”

Ganmain was the first of many shows Mr McLelland will feature in across the Riverina. 

The Leeton abattoir worker said it was country shows that kept small towns alive, bringing visitors to the area and providing local residents with a much-needed change of pace. 

While some have struggled to keep gates open across the years, the Ganmain Show continues to draw a crowd.

The region’s popular event celebrated its 109th show this year, attracting close to 2000 locals and visitors. 

Show president Stephen Hatty said its success was a testament to the committee’s dedication and determination to keep it running. 

With smaller, surrounding shows struggling to survive, Mr Hatty said there was no fear for Ganmain’s future. 

He said the town aimed to keep an agricultural focus to the show, bringing in “something new” every year, while maintaining a positive friendly, family atmosphere. 

Comedian cross stuntman Epic Darren had the crowd in stitches with his mini bike display, adding to the event’s usual programme and side-show attractions.