Three good reasons why public art shouldn’t be yellow

Big Banana

Yellow Submarine

Yellow Peril

Need I say More…The Big Banana, the Yellow Submarine and the Yellow Peril are three really good reasons for a sculptor never to choose that hue (ever). The Big Banana was shunted around the State of Western Australia before eventually becoming the lame icon for Carnarvon (the banana capital of WA), the Yellow Submarine became a piece of public art because nobody else knew what to call it and the Yellow Peril (god bless) created one of the greatest public art outcries in modern history. So horrified were the Melbournites, that the Yellow Peril was dismantled in the middle of the night and removed to a park, where it became an instant hit with the homeless.



  1. Lucas said,

    April 6, 2008 at 3:56 am

    There is a good book about the history of Ron Robertson-Swann’s Vault (aka the Yellow Peril):

    Wallis, Geoffrey J. Peril in the square. Melbourne: Indra, 2004 – 2006

    It’s an interesting read, it goes through all the politics of the sculpture. Aesthetics and politics often seem to clash in public sculpture, eh!

    The sculpture, in my opinion, is actually quite a stunning architectural folly, and is much happier in its new home outside the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

  2. publicartaroundtheworld said,

    April 9, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Hi Lucas,
    Guess what ? I own that book. In fact I ended up buying the tatty old display copy as all the rest were sold out (new ones now in stock I believe). I must say it is a fascinating read and you are right, it is much better placed outside the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. One thing to note, however, notice how many “:do not park” signs surround the sculpture now. When it was in the park it was not only used as a homeless shelter but also somewhere to park the car. The other fascinating thing was, when it was removed from the City Square people began to miss it ! Humans are so fickle !

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