Courtesy of Kiama Municipal Council;
Kiama’s Daisy the Decorated Dairy Cow
Daisy the Cow has been an institution within the Kiama community since 1991, she is located at the Old Fire Station Community Arts Centre in Terralong St, Kiama and is situated ‘out on show’ whenever an exhibition is open at the Centre.
Daisy’s coat of paint is changed throughout the year by local residents and artists giving her a life and personality all her own. She is frequently photographed by locals and tourists alike and can be seen around the world via the internet.
Council has published a Biography of Daisy’s life featuring many of her painted incarnations. The book is available for purchase for $15.00 at Kiama Library. Also available for purchase at the Library are postcards of some of Daisy’s favourite painted designs.
- The idea for Daisy the Decorated Dairy Cow was conceived by Graheme Kime the then Cultural Arts Officer with Kiama Council.
- Daisy was ‘born’ in 1991 and is modelled on a real cow named, Meadowhaven Daisy the 47th.
- Meadowhaven Daisy 47th was an Illawarra Short Horn. This breed sprang from breeding programs of dairy cattle in the Illawarra which included genes from the Ayrshire and Shorthorn cattle. It has been said that the forbears of the Illawarra breed were shoved off ships and had to swim for it to 7 Mile Beach, Gerroa.
- Illawarra is an Aboriginal word that means ‘High Place by the Sea’.
- Meadowhaven Daisy 47th was bred and owned by local farmer Tom Walsh.
- The artist who sculptured Daisy was Ernesto Murgo, a local Italian born sculptor. Council later bought Daisy from Ernesto after receiving a grant from the Australia Council, when Ernesto decided he wanted to send Daisy to the ‘knackery’.
- Daisy is made of; wire for bones and paper mache for flesh. However, she has since had a tougher hide provided for her by being coated in plaster and sisal.
- Daisy’s artwork is generally not planned and local artists and community groups paint her as they see fit. However, Daisy does now have some guidelines for her artwork which determine the type of artwork that she can display.
- There was another model of a Kiama cow before Daisy, she was made for the Springtime Festival in 1957. That cow was also modelled on an Illawarra Shorthorn, who was called Lemongrove Margaret the 6th from the farm of C.R Chittick .
- Daisy is stored at night in the Old Fire Station, but by day, she is proudly displayed out on the street in front of the Old Fire Station. .