5 Unusual Sculptures You Didn’t Visit in Australia
Australia has always been a country well known for fascinating exotic wildlife, breath-taking ancient landscapes, and elegant natural wonders. There are also hundreds and hundreds of man-made attractions in the country from the historical Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort to the more contemporary Sydney Tower. But there are astounding hidden sculptures around the country whose main purpose is to amuse and boggle its visitors.
1. Sinking Building Outside State Library in Melbourne
The weight of the books has sunk this library. The top corner of the building is peeking out from the sidewalk. The State Library is a historical landmark in the heart of Victoria, Melbourne. This curious piece of art was commissioned by the local council as part of the city’s art program.
This sculpture is a nod to old college campus lore about failed architectural design. While the original story is about the crushing weight of knowledge students are expected to learn, the myth has evolved to gyms sinking due to the weight of the water in the pools or dorms sinking because of the students and their furniture. It’d certainly be interesting to see different things halfway into the ground…
2. Charles La Trobe Statue in Melbourne
Universities should turn ideas on their heads was Charles Robb’s inspiration when he turned his sculpture upside down. The statue generates debate within and outside the University that takes its name from Victoria’s first Governor. You’ll find Charles La Trobe University in Bundoora where the 5 meter statue is standing. On its head.
Charles La Trobe helped established some of Australia’s most visited attractions from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Museum and National Gallery of Victoria, and the University of Melbourne. La Trobe also instigation the creation of the State Library of Victoria, the real one, not the sinking library.
3. Sculpture By The Sea at Bondi Beach
Bondi beach features some of the most captivating works of art in Australia. The length of the waterfront has an array of hundreds of sculptures from different talented artists across dozens of countries. Below are some of the more curious pieces.
- Diminish and Ascend by David Mcraken
The welded aluminium staircasegives of an illusion of infinite steps in the sky when facing it at the right angle. Your eyes are deceived because the steps’ width diminishes as it ascends. The illusion is especially beautiful when the “top” of the stairs is framed by clouds embodying Led Zepplin’s popular song.
- Washed up by Tunni Kraus
A ship wrecked at sea is something that always has a tragic story of loss. This sculpture is homage to asylum seekers that were lost at sea. Flowers are even laid out as remembrance and mourning. The detailed textures of the broken ship capture what the sun and sea can do to a beached husk.
- There’s Many A Slip by Ken Unsworth
You can’t miss the biker at the end of Cottesloe Groyne. This beguiling piece is the artist’s interpretation of how things can still fall through the cracks even with an outcome seems so certain. While the timber pole and bicycle are real, the skeleton is plastic and the boulder is foam. Still, there’s something profound about a skeleton riding a bike.
- Cheshire’s Grin by Matthew Harding
The Cheshire Cathas always had a distinctive smile. While Alice sees the mischievous grin as the last part when the cat disappears, the artist captures the crescent moon smirk in this stainless steel work of art.
4. Macquarie University Sculpture Park in Sydney
You’ll find over 130 sculptures featured in the 126 hectare parkland within the university campus. Macquire University houses the largest sculpture park in Australia. The natural surrounding is home of numerous art sculptures that aren’t just visually stunning, but interactive as well. You’ll find the art pieces scattered across the park and a few hidden in the fauna.
Over 2 dozen of the pieces were created by the late Errol Davis, one of the most renowned artists in Australia, some of the metal sculptures are a bright contrast in the parkland atmosphere. While the brilliant colour attracts most of the park visitors, it tends to confuse them when they revisit; the art piece can be spun on its base so anyone returning to the art’s location will have their sense of direction confused.
5. Rundle Mall Pigs in Adelaide
There are life-like, life-sized pigs loitering around the rubbish bin on the Rundle Mall Discovery Trail. The 4 not little pigs are cast in bronze and their shapes and round forms are captivating. They get more interactions out of all the sculptures in this list with visitors riding, taking pictures, and even talking to them.
You’ll find Oliver rummaging the rubbish bin, Horatio is basking in the sun, Truffles is interested in the pavement and Augusta is trotting in place. Join the swine enjoying their “Day Out” in Adelaide.
6. Australian Wind Farm (bonus)
These aren’t sculptures but the constructs are definitely intriguing and deserves special mention on this list. The wind farm in Waubra is well finished now, or God has cleaned up his USB cables.
Each “USB Connector” is the foundation for a wind turbine and “cables” are the road tracks. The only thing peculiar in the current Google Earth shot is “why are they far apart?”
It’s no wonder that Australian artists create some of the most unusual art pieces; there’s an abundance of inspiration from the country’s natural landscape, indigenous creatures, and classic architecture. A sculptors’ imagination comes to life in their inspired works of art, yet it’s purpose is never fulfilled until it intrigues someone; so much so that they’ll want a “selfie” with the statue. Your visit Down Under will no doubt be fun-filled and memorable but keep your eyes open, who knows what you’ll find hiding.
Australia has plenty of scenic spots with everything from gorgeous to quirky art. Most places with a driver-friendly road network, making it the perfect destination for a really fun sight seeing or road trip. If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can always book a car hire Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, or Melbourne service and get started with your journey to all things unusual but fun. Happy road trip!