Sculpture & Street Furniture

Sculpture can be odd at the best of times, and sometimes it’s hard to work out which is sculpture and which is street furniture.irish letterbox Street furniture is the collective term for pieces of equipment installed on streets and roads for various purposes. These include: bollards, posts, benches, traffic barriers, post (or mail) boxes (like this green Irish one on the left), phone boxes (telephone booths), streetlamps, fire hydrants, traffic lights, traffic signs, bus stops, tram stops, taxi stands, public lavatories, litter-bins, fountains, watering troughs and  memorials. Sculpture can take many forms. Here are some examples:

 ballroom BallRoom by Patrick Dougherty, took more than 3 weeks to build with the help of 70 volunteers. Patrick, a US artist, bends, and weaves bracken to create natural escapist artwork. Over the last 25 years, he has built over 230 works which have been shown internationally, from the U.S., U.K. Japan, Belgium, etc.  This installation uses woven willow saplings, sourced from a local firm which has been supplying willow to make cricket bats for over 100 years. Here’s my original post.
 topiary Topiary is considered an art form and I guess they are living sculptures. Somewhere in the UK I found this topiary zoo. I’m thinking…whoever created these has way too much time to spare. See my Where is Edward Scissorhands when you want him? page.
 yellow peril The Vault by Ron Robertson-Swann is also known more affectionately as ‘The Yellow Peril“. ‘The Vault’ moved a few times around town, and became scrawled with graffiti; and ultimately used as both a play structure, skateboard ramp and shelter for the homeless. It’s third and final move has placed it in ‘dormancy’ and out of controversial criticism. At this resting place, may she remain ‘mellow yellow’. Here’s my original post.
 Dean Bowen - Big Little Man The Big Little Man (1999) sounds like a typical oxymoron, however, in this case, he is a whimsical bronze sculpture by Dean Bowen. It provokes interaction and discussion as he appears as both larger and smaller than life at the same time; as if all the fun contained in a child’s drawing has been scaled-up. This sculpture was launched in Petrie Plaza, Canberra, on 4th April, 2008, by Jon Stanhope, MLA Chief Minister of the ACT, and Minister for the Arts. For further information see my original post.
 fairy tree1 The Fairies Tree is a red gum carving by Ola Cohn, MBE, ARCA which stands in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens. Born in Bendigo in 1892, Ola excelled in art an early age. She studied at Melbourne’s Swinburne Technical College before winning a scholarship to study under acclaimed sculptor Henry Moore at London’s Royal College of Art. She returned and established a studio in Collins Street in 1931. She was inspired by Ivor Innes’ Elfin Oak in London’s Kensington Gardens. For further information: Click here.
 larry latrobe Larry LaTrobe by Pamela Irving. Larry is a bronze sculpture ca 1992-1996. He is still alive and resembles a life-size dingo-like dog in bronze. The first “Larry” launched in 1992, disappeared in August 1995.  He was never found. His most ardent admirer, Peter Killiner who owned the foundry where he was cast; offered to produce another one. During the cold winter season, Larry is sometimes adorned with a guerrilla-knitted scarf to keep him warm. I can’t help think back to when he “disappeared” and how everyone at the time must have cried out “Has anyone here seen Larry” which so, reminds me of the catch-cry of Terry Gilliam’s movie Brazil (1985),Has anyone here seen Lowry?” which actually refers to a marvelous painter and for further details see this link.
 norseman The Norseman Horse – a bronze statue after whom the town in remote Western Australia is named. Once upon a time, a gold prospector travelled along with his horse named Hardy Norseman and by chance the horse unearthed a gold nugget with his hooves. This legendary horse was seen as the most successful four-legged gold-seeker of the west at the time.
 Eagle  Eagle, a 25 meter-high sculpture by Bruce Armstrong has been keeping a watchful eye from his perch in Wurundjeri Way, in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne for over a decade. Majestic in his stature, the timber, aluminium and glass statue represents the spirit creator of the Kulin nations which include the Wurundjeri people.  However, just when you thought that “the eagle had landed,” it would appear that this 20-tonne “big bird” has been issued with an eviction notice. For further information, click here.
 James-Joyce This is the James Joyce statue which sits on North Earl Street, Dublin. Each year on 16th June, “Joyceans”, celebrate “Bloomsday”.  His most difficult but prosaic work which is the basis of “Bloomsday” celebrations is  his ‘stream of consciousness work’ “Ulysses”, published in 1922 ; which references and parallels much of Homer’s “Odyssey.” For more information see my original post.
 cheesestick1condom As visitors travel along the main motorway from the Melbourne International Airport heading into the CBD, they’re confronted by a 70-metre yellow steel beam cantilevered  at a precarious angle across 8 lanes of freeway traffic and an assemblage of thirty-nine 30-metre high red sticks. Officially these are named the ‘Melbourne International Gateway’, but the locals have taken to calling these The Cheese-stick, the ribs and the Condom. For further information Here’s the original post.
 horatio 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.  For further information see my post.
 boar I don’t really want to (boar) the pants of you, but, this particular black boar sits in front of the Sydney Hospital in Macquarie Street. The hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Australia, dating back to 1788.  The Boar, “Il Porcellino” (Italian for “piglet”) is actually a bronze copy of the Florentine boar and was donated to the Sydney Hospital in 1962. For further information, click here.
 tubs This War Memorial featured in BBC TV comedy series “The League of Gentlemen” which resides in Hadfield, Derbyshire. To see more about the cult status of the show check out my Hadfield Memorial post.
 puparazzi These are called ‘Paparazzi Dogs’ but I reckon they are a pack of puparazzi’s. If you want to find them, it’s too late.  These life-size sculptures are by international award-winning artists Marc and Gillie Schattner.  The Schattner’s dream is to bring art out of the galleries and museums and into the public realm. Here is my original post.
 plop art Have these added to the general plopulation? ‘Plop Art’ or, as sometimes referred to: ‘Plonk Art’ is a pejorative slang term for public art; which is usually large, abstract, modernist or contemporary (and mostly sculpture) made for Government or Corporate plazas, or spaces in front of office buildings, skyscraper atria, parks, and other public venues. The three plops featured above, (to me), fit the category of plop art, because they look as though they have been “plopped” on that spot, in total abandonment. According to Wikipedia, the term “Plop Art” was coined by architect James Wines in 1969.
 centaur by wendy reiss Wendy Reiss is a Melbourne ceramic artist, designer, drawer and painter. She gives classes in ceramic sculpture from her home studio in Carrum. She is the artist of two ceramic (mixed media) sculptures at the exterior of the Kingston Arts Centre, and is the concept designer of the new Bass relief mural, ‘Landing of the Longbeach Dreamers’ at Longbeach Place in Chelsea. Featured is one of the two sculptures at the Arts Centre –  ‘Urban Angels‘, from September, 1994. Read more here.
 slapton sands In 1943, as a build-up to the D-Day escalation, the British Government set up a training ground at Slapton Sands in Devon, for the Exercise Tiger campaign, which was the “code name” for one in many a series of large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Utah Beach, in Normandy.  For more information, see my original post.
 konstantin dimopoulos1 With my most sincerest apologies to installation sculptor, Konstantin Dimopoulos, I must confess I just don’t get – “Red Centre”.  According to Dimopoulos, Red Centre (2006) represents fire, the natural force that both destroys and regenerates; and is seen as an essential part of the Australian landscape. In a less aggressive form, the flames provide a certain warmth and a place for communities to gather – a communal meeting Place. For further information, click here.
 hammer-horror Hammering away at it may get you somewhere…eventually…. check out the non-success rate of Melbourne’s hammer-thrower.
 scavern st 2000 The Cavern Club, first opened in Matthew Street, Liverpool on Wednesday 16th January, 1957.  It was one of three jazz club hangouts for many emerging skiffle groups, such as, The Quarrymen. The Cavern’s most famous act, The Beatles, first appeared with George Harrison’s debut at a lunchtime session. Fellow Liverpudlian, Cilla Black worked as the hat-check girl at The Cavern in her pre-fame days. Find out more on my Cavern page.
 ram The Ram (and Two Sheep) There are some familiar animal themes running through various cities in Australia when it comes to their major city public sculptures. For example: Perth has its kangaroos and Adelaide has its pigs. In Canberra, the capital centre of Australia, it has a ram and some sheep sculptures (amongst many other sculptures in its Civic Centre). These bronze sheep/ram sculptures are designed by Les Kossatz. Click here for more.
 lady of st kilda Lady of St.Kilda  was a schooner which served from 1834 before being shipwrecked at Tahiti after sailing from Sydney sometime shortly after 1843.There is a mural of the Lady of St Kilda on the Sandringham Railway Line overpass at Balaclava Railway Station (pictured above) which was commissioned by the City of Port Phillip.
 liberty1 On October 28, 1886, in New York Harbour, US President Grover Cleveland, dedicated the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to commemorate the centennial of the “Reclamation of Independence”,  (aka “Liberty Enlightening the World“) . – The statue is located on Liberty Island, near Manhattan and designed by French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.
 Shearwater Respected and prolific German-born Australian sculptor Inge King, was born on 26th November 1918. Inge’s extensive commissions are prominent throughout Victoria. The Shearwater sculpture can be found on Southbank Promenade, Melbourne.  Originally commissioned by Esso,  it comprises polychrome steel, 780 x 670 x 350 cm.
 paddy Paddy Hannan from Kalgoorlie from the wilds of Western Australia, was a gold prospector. Born in Co. Clare, Ireland, he and two mates discovered gold near Mount Charlotte near the Coolgardie goldfields not far from Kalgoorlie. In 1904, at the age of 61, having prospected for all his adult life, Hannan was granted an annual pension of £150 by the Government of Western Australia.  For further information click here.
 bills trough This is a Bill’s trough which was built for working horses who helped us during the first half of the 20th C.  In recognition and respect for the fine work these workhorses did, philanthropic animal lover George Bills, along with his wife Annis set up a trust fund to build these drinking troughs. Their philanthropy helped build 700  roughs around Australia as well as providing over 50 further troughs in other countries. To find out more, click here.
 Tom Bass2 Australian sculptor, Tom Bass was born in Lithgow, New South Wales, on 6th June 1916. He studied at the Dattilo Rubbo Art School and the National Art School.  After his graduation, Tom developed a philosophy of working as a sculptor as being the maker of totemic forms and emblems, that is, work expressing ideas of particular significance to communities or to society at large. For more, see this post.
 diana&hounds Some people may recognize this bronze statue of Diana and the Hounds which stands in front of the Conservatory in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens. It is the work of Australian sculptor William Leslie Bowles, who was born on 26 February 1885 in Leichhardt, New South Wales.  For further details see this post.
 ethos-statue  “Ethos” is a slender-winged bronze figured sculpture which stands in the Australian capital city of Canberra’s Civic Centre.  Sculptured by Tom Bass, “Ethos” symbolizes the Capital’s ‘Spirit of the Community’ and is said to be an expression of the nation’s faith in its capital city. For more information about Canberra’s “Ethos” see original post.
 henry-moore1 English sculptor and artist Henry Spencer Moore was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire on 30th July 1898. He is best known for his reclining human-figure semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures. Image depicts Two Piece Reclining Figure #9 For further details see my original post.
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