Pig’s Bum

Pig’s bum, pig’s ass, pig’s arse. No matter which way you look at it; it’s a pig’s arse – Oliver’s bronze one, to be precise. In case you can’t work out what you are looking at. Let me assure you that this is nothing more, or nothing less, than one of four porcine sculptures. Once upon a time there were four little pigs who lived in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.  They were:

  • Horatio – who knew how to sit
  • Truffles – who stood on all fours,
  • Augusta -who could do similar; and hold her head high; and then
  • Oliver – the forager, who loved to investigate the Mall’s bin offerings. He was a true snout.

Since 1999, this parcel of bronze sculpture pigs have lived in the Mall and are known as ‘A Day Out‘ by sculptor, Marguerite Derricourt. South African born Derricourt migrated to Sydney and demonstrates an affinity with animals in her numerous public artworks. In this case, she was partly inspired by the famous bronze wild boar of Florence, ‘Il Porcellino’ (Italian for “piglet”) .  A similar version sits in Sydney outside the front of the Sydney Hospital in Macquarie Street.

In Adelaide there was some initial concern about the potential health risks posed by children riding on the pigs, and also the protruding tail of one of them. A modification to Oliver’s tail (featured above) removed that particular hazard. But parents and children alike continue to enjoy sitting on and touching the pigs on their day out.

“Pig’s bum” or “Pig’s arse” is often used in the Aussie vernacular which means either No or No Way, or used to indicate that the previous comment was a lie, a fib, someone telling “Porkies”. Of course Porkies is Cockney rhyming slang for lie (pork pie). Perhaps that’s how Aussies developed that phrase – as they sometimes like to move thing’s arse-about!

It’s time this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.

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