The Bad

The following items I am listing are those that are bad. They do not show any particularly artistic value.

shrimpThe “Big Prawn,” of Ballina, in Queensland. It was first established in 1989 and sat upon local shop roofing. Sadly, now the building has been demolished.  However, the new owners of the site, have stated that it is their desire to retain and revamp “The Prawn” as part of its new redevelopment and that takes more brawn than prawn! Here’s the original post.

big-mangoFor those of you who are interested in knowing more about this ‘monument’, the “Big Mango” stands on the Bruce Highway in northern Queensland not far from Australia’s mango producing capital of Bowen. Built as a tourist attraction in 2002, it weighs 10 tonnes and stands 3-storey’s high. I apologize if there is some blurriness in my image, but at the time, on holiday a couple of years ago I wanted to stop to take a photo, but my despondent driver had other ideas and lead-footed the hire-car to get past it as quickly as we could. For further information, see my original post.


gundagaiThe “Big” Items. Australia has an over-abundance of “big” items that are so bad, so kitsch, that they have become back-packer ‘must-do’s. This one has recently celebrated a major anniversary – “The Dog on the Tuckerbox – 9 miles from Gundagai“.


waxworksI remember as a very young child going to see the Kings Cross Wax Works at the Village Centre, Kings Cross, Sydney. The Village Centre, which is long gone, was between Springfield Plaza and Llankelly Place.  The Waxworks museum, although small by international comparisons, contained pertinent, controversial and frightening (e.g. Chamber of Horrors) attractions which entertained all until it closed in 1986, and its neighboring precinct waned in parallel with the declining fortunes of Kings Cross –  such were the subject of the time. However, this area seems to be waxing once more, but its days of the waxwork glory will shine no more. For further information click here.

antler-blingCar-antlers over the Christmas festive season, do not add to the experience. They are kitsch/bad. More commentary is available on my ‘Oh Deer!‘ post. The kits, complete with resplendent red nose to put on the front grille of your car are available at any $2 shops. (That should say it all!) – mass-produced and cheap. But what is it with these $2 shops? Why are they so fascinating. Some are the size of mini-emporia.  The variety of ‘stuff’ is immense. My final words of advice are – ‘If you can’t find it – it probably doesn’t exist‘.


The gloved oneI guess this comes from the file ‘101 uses for a rubber glove’.





florenceNow, what would you be thinking a collective name might be for those who collect matchboxes? How about Phillumenists?  The term, is derived from phil=loving + lumen-Latin for light. Here are some examples of matchbox covers from various parts of the world. Moving down to Italy, these extremely exquisite gold-tipped elegant matches are from Florence.  They come in a circular box containing a number of matches. (Although, I’m not about to count them); and the outer box is inscribed Botticelli’s paintings,and contains four head & shoulders sections of famous Botticelli paintings, such as the Venus de Milo. For more information see the original post.

fridge magnetsYou bet I’m stuck on you! This threesome remind me of a modern-day three wise monkeys – Fridge magnets  -Whether you like them or not, they’re everywhere. I wonder if anyone has ever thought of doing a fridge magnet census.  Collecting magnets is a hobby, with some collectors specializing in magnets from cities, countries, or local landmarks. There are fridge magnet word packages where you can use sets of magnetised words to put together and make sentences, messages or poetry. This technique reminds me of the ‘fishbowling’ or ‘cut-up’ technique used in poetry. For an example of what I mean, check out my ‘Cut-Ups’ page where I have given an example of my ‘fishbowling’ poetry. For further information see my original post.

frigidAs a teenager you learn new words, or new meanings for existing words. As a really mean example, a person may be referred to as ‘frigid’ – meaning they are really cold (in any sense of the term).  So recently, going through a country museum, seeing this particular piece, made me rethink the original ‘slur’ against someone who was referred to as ‘frigid’. Here’s what I learned: The Frigid (as pictured above), was an ice cream maker. For further information, see my post.

tinnie boatFor those of you who like a beer, sport and like to be on the water, here’s a great way to combine all of your favorite pastimes into one – (Yeah, drinking is probably a sport for some). You could try your luck at the annual Beer Can Boat Regatta. Now that I’ve got your interest, all you need to do is head ‘DownUnder’  to the Australian outback north. It is here that the annual festival known as the Darwin Beer Can Regatta has been held since 1974 at Mindil Beach, Darwin. The event is affectionately known as the Henley-on-Mindil. Further information is available with this post.

mulga woodMulga-Wood -has been used extensively for Australian souvenir and gift-ware throughout the middle of the 20th century and is largely considered ‘kitsch’.  Its height of popularity probably began in the Inter-war Years and continued through to the 1960s and 1970s.  Mulga or true mulga is a shrub or small tree, native to arid outback areas of Australia.  (acacia aneura). The Aboriginal people have long used mulga for digging sticks and woomeras (boomerangs) due to its strength.  This photo shows some examples of use for mulga-wood. For further information, see my original post.

brickIf a stone gathers no moss, how come bricks can? And if stones can look really ordinary and boring, how come moss covered bricks can look and smell so cool? Check my post.



Gnome From HomeAnother questionable observation was this particular placement of a gnome. Gnome-gnapping has been happening for many years, and when I went down a quiet city lane looking for street art, I didn’t expect to see Happy, Grumpy or whoever he is, balancing on a ledge high up on a wall, where someone must have had to climb a ladder to put him there. Oh well, “hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go“. By the way, how come they always sing this song in panto as they are coming home from work?


poodleThe Pink Poodle Motel neon sign. The infamous ‘Pink Poodle’ Surfers Paradise neon-sign landmark from the former Pink Poodle Motel lives on despite the fall of the wrecker’s ball some years ago. The Gold Coast City Council has listed the sign on a heritage register.

The strutting pink poodle became a neon-lit lure for tourists, especially honeymooners, when the motel opened in 1967 and was synonymous with the Gold Coast’s racy and colourful image. Unfortunately, the motel was demolished in 2004 and replaced by a 15-storey Mantra Wings resort. In fact, the motel  inspired Courier-Mail journalist Matthew Condon’s 1995 novel, A Night at the Pink Poodle.

2 Responses to The Bad

  1. wendyhallart says:

    When David Attenborough finds Gnomes on Galapogos, I’ll agree that it’s definitely art.

Leave a Reply