25 May 2010

Chifley and Curtin's stroll to be bronzed

| johnboy
Join the conversation
Chifley and Curtin walking near Parliament House

Jon Stanhope has announced that the leftover money in the public art program is going to go on bronze sculptures of his heroes Ben Chifley and John Curtin:

“The sculptures will be life-like reproductions in bronze based on a well-known photograph of then Prime Minister John Curtin and Treasurer Ben Chifley walking near Parliament House in 1945,” Mr Stanhope said.

“The sculptures will be located as close as possible to the original location of the photo, which reflects an important era in Canberra’s social history, when politicians would stay at the Kurrajong Hotel and walk to work at Parliament House (now the Museum of Australian Democracy).

“I believe these sculptures will be of great significance to Canberra and the Nation and I look forward to their unveiling in the lead up to Canberra’s centenary in 2013.”

Perhaps if the public art program had delivered more works like this (Peter Corlett, whom many of you will know through the “Simpson and His Donkey” sculpture at the War Memorial, is expected to do it) it would have had more support in the community?

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

It is hardly cutting edge art is it?
Or supporting and encouraging local artists.

merlin bodega3:19 pm 30 May 10

Curtin and Chiff? Will there be a bottle of booze in the collage?

Yep, I like the Kambah sheep. And I like the Civic sheep. Just makes me chuckle to see any kind of sheep in the middle of the city.

Forget the bronze and put the brass into HOSPITALS or POLICE.

The best community sculpture in Canberra is at Kambah Village. Metal sheep graze on the slope on the corner of Drakeford Drive and Marconi Cres – what makes them so wonderful is the interactive way the community has adopted them. In summer locals leave hay for them, or place buckets of hay around their necks. At Easter they get bunny ears and at Christmas reindeer ears, santa hats and all kinds of decoration. In heavy rain they’ve been given gumboots.
A great community sculpture.

I think it’s appalling that the local city council is intent on idolising Labor federal pollies.

IF we need more statues, then at least make them local – oh, someone like, um, Dennis Stevenson, or Steve Pratt, or Tony De Domenico.

Oh wait, maybe that doesn’t work either.

Sonic, how about just returning these surplus funds to consolidated revenue where they belong.

They can just melt down the Al Grassby statue that will save some of the cost of the bronze.

Pommy bastard4:49 pm 25 May 10

Surely the money would be better spent on employing someone who can take 15 empty oil drums, run them over with a JCB, weld the resulting mangled heaps together in the shape of a letter H, paint them luminous blue, name the outcome “my heaven in a wildflower,” and place it on a wooden plinth besides the Gunghalin Crawlway?

Owing to modern sensibilities, the pipe will be replaced with a kazoo.

georgesgenitals3:52 pm 25 May 10

They should use the money to put in more speed cameras.

Ah, John Curtin: General MacArthur’s little Aussie glove puppet.

51modelBloke1:22 pm 25 May 10

How many humidity cribs would this buy. Spending money on health would be far more appropriate than Artwork. Bah Humbug

They’re also funding a statue of former PM Alfred Deakin (founding father of the Liberal party and a vegetarian) at Deakin shops.

Frankly, this sucks. Where is the Canberra arts link? Three statues are being made (including the Deakin work) of FEDERAL politicians. Two statues (Chifley and Curtin) are likely to be on NCA-controlled land (if they’re being true to the photographic location). Two of the statues are to be made by a Melbourne sculptor (don’t know who’s doing the Deakin work).

If they were that hard-up to find a Canberra arts project to fund, they could have spent the money on more art teachers or materials for CIT or Canberra’s public schools. Leave the funding of tributes to federal politicians, on federal land (except Deakin shops), by non-Canberra artists, to the federal government.

The problem with the public arts program wasn’t subject choice (although Al Grassby certainly was a controversial choice, particularly when it cost the same amount as important equipment for TCH’s NICU for which they had to raise their own funds at the same time). It’s the lack of getting priorities right.

justin heywood11:33 am 25 May 10

Artwork which is appropriate to this city. Artwork which will make this city more attractive. Artwork which commemorates people worth remembering.

At last Sonic does something I can support! (I’m sure he’s pleased)

Stanhope mentioned a cost of around $200k on the ABC radio this morning.

I was amused by listeners having a whinge about choosing Labor PMs to make statues of – my advice, just get over it.

So how much is needed for this? Better than a pile of wood and stones or twisted metal as we have had in the northside…..

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.