Dear God, What Next ?

I’ve heard it all now, an art gallery at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead is being taken to court because one of their exhibitions displayed a statue of Jesus with an erection. Holy indecency. The main argument in the prosecution is “had the statue been of Mohammad rather than Christ, there would have been a far greater outcry”. I am thinking Yes ( ain’t that right Salman ?). The culprit is controversial artist, Terence Koh, who also included Mickey Mouse and ET with erections in the exhibition (but they escaped the wrath). Hmm the maximum fine for outraging public decency is six months prison and a £5,000 fine. Gee, if that is the case imagine how many sculptors we could get off the streets!

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Dish Washing Liquid? I Think You Are Soaking in it!

The Diver in dish washing gloves ?

The Diver in dish washing gloves ?

The Diver and Guard Dogs sculpture can be found in a small street in East Perth’s Claisebrook Cove. Two things which struck me like a sledgehammer were firstly, the plaque and secondly the dish washing gloves. I am sorry, but had I not been informed, via the plaque, that The Diver and the Guard Dogs was a spoof on Nelson’s Column, I would have been left soaking in my own ignorance. Why hadn’t I figured that one out, it seems so obvious now I know ! Dear god I sometimes wonder. Secondly are they dish washing gloves on the diver ? Please, I pray this isn’t phallic symbolism. For more of an in depth low down click here The Diver and the Guard Dogs.

Bon Scott – Would You Like Fries With That ?

Having a Barramundi with Bon !

Having a Barramundi with Bon !

You know I wrote a blog entry months ago asking if anyone knew where the hell the Bon Scott statue was in Fremantle, after all the pomp and ceremony. Well, I patiently waited for an announcement of its long awaited unveiling, only to discover it has already been unveiled, at Cicerello’s . Yes, that’s right, but before you get too excited I must warn you it isn’t outside but inside (I couldn’t make this up). Hmm, I am sure Bon Scott would see the funny side of his memorial location. A “fish n chip” shop really doesn’t seem to be that fitting for a rock icon. I am not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Does this mean instead of having a beer with Bon I will have to have Barramundi ?

So, who is to blame for this injustice ? I have a sneaking suspicion local council weren’t exactly shaking all night long with the thought of Bon gracing the streets of their fair city. But in a Fish n Chips shop (no offense to Cicerellos) ! Surely one of the pubs could have plonked him near the bar ?

Blinking Billy Point

From the State that gave you Man Mountain now presents, Blinking Billy Point, a bigger and better controversial piece of public art. Yes, Tasmania or more precisely Hobart City Council have found themselves facing the wrath of angry locals, including the indigenous community after announcing a $300,000 sculpture will be erected on the Sandy Bay foreshore. The 10 m high stainless steel cylindrical creation is said to represent a lighthouse and an Aboriginal campfire at night. The Aboriginal community are up in arms because they were not consulted about it and the local residents are upset because it looks like, well, a 10m high stainless steel cylinder. So far 400 hundred names have been added to a petition circulating in the area. Stay tuned it is about to become a Blinking Sore Point.

Bon Scott Statue: The Long Wait

Why are we waiting ? It took 28 years to finally have a monument erected to ACDC, frontman, Bon Scott. We had all the hulabuloo of the unveiling at a special Acca Dacca concert, the media have continually announced that the statue would be unveiled in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour after the event, now all I want to know is where the hell is it? Are we Back in Black? It is nearly a MONTH since the “concert” and a hush has descended. AND to make matters worse I have asked just about every restaurant and ice cream parlor at the harbor where it is or where it going to be and they look at me like I just stepped off an alien spacecraft. One poor soul shook his head and said, so many people have asked me that question and I have absolutely no idea, no one has told us ANYTHING!

Get your act together Freo or get some press releases out. How on earth can we ” have a beer with Bon”?

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.

The Things They Fail To Tell You

Biggles Leap of FaithBiggles Statue, The Rocks, Sydney

I was on one of my jaunts recently and came across a pooch statue at The Rocks in Sydney. The inconspicuous statue is of a miniature Schnauzer, named Biggles. The plaque had a list of people and government bodies responsible for its commission. So, I am thinking this pooch must have done something extraordinary to have himself immortalized. So after some investigating I discovered Biggles was a local daredevil dog, often seen during the 1980’s and 1990’s, zooming through the streets of Sydney on the back of his owners motorcycle. Known for his antics like leaping from tall buildings (in a single bound) in pursuit of wayward cats, poor old Biggles was last seen leaping to his death off a cliff in Sydney Harbour. It has long been rumored the crazy mutt was chasing a rat and not a cat. There is something tragically funny in this dog tale and it reminds me of the story of Barry the St Bernard.

Barry The St Bernard

Many moons ago I did a story on old Barry. I traveled to the Cimetière des Chiens (Pet Cemetery) in Paris (I kid you not) specifically to track down the Barry monument. Barry was a rescue dog (the ones with the brandy keg around their necks) who had saved between 40-100 lives (sounds a bit of an exaggeration, but I digress). Unfortunately for Barry, the last one he rescued, killed him. Yes, I know it is an awful story but it gets even worse. In 1814 Barry was part of a rescue team sent to recapture an escapee who had fled into the snow in the mountains of Switzerland. Barry eventually found the prisoner unconscious, so like a good doggy he lay on top of him to keep him warm. When the prisoner came too, he found he had a 140kg fur coat lying on top of him and I guess he freaked out and stabbed Barry to death. Barry’s monument can be found in the Paris Pet Cemetery and his body is preserved in the Natural History Museum in Berne, Switzerland. I swear you can’t make this stuff up.

Dog Gone

Larry La TrobeIt’s 1995, Melbourne, Australia, pedestrians are making their way through the busy streets to work, its rush hour. Then somebody screams. Everyone stops and turns. Larry la Trobe is gone. The city icon, a small bronze dog, has been stolen , despite being anchored to the pavement with 30 cm bolts. A distraught City of Melbourne Council launch a ‘return Larry’ campaign, but to no avail. The dog has simply vanished.

As days fall into months the people of Melbourne realize the pooch ain’t coming back.

A sadness descends over the metropolis. Peter Kolliner, the owner of the foundry where Larry was created, casts the largest shadow of them all. So upset by the theft, he offers to recast the mutt. Pamela Irving, the sculptor, adds a few color changes, making it identifiable in case of another mishap before the new and improved Larry La Trobe is unveiled. The day was highlighted by a band playing “Larry Come Home – a dogumentary” to the tune of Advanced Australia Fair ( I kid you not). More on Larry La Trobe here.