Some vandal thinks they’re a bit of a comedian and has spray-painted a lewd image on the base of the owl sculpture at the intersection of Belconnen Way and Benjamin Way.
Former chief minister Jon Stanhope launched the Bruce Armstrong sculpture on the site in May 2011, and it has been contentious ever since.
It honours the Powerful Owl, the largest owl species in Australasia. Mr Armstrong set out to portray the majestic bird as a guardian spirit or totem overlooking its domain. I love this about his work. It provides a sense that you are arriving in a new place, and that this place may be worth visiting despite the otherwise dull surroundings. For me it is representative of Belconnen’s transformation from a bland town centre with a shopping mall to a community hub with a lakeside restaurant and arts precinct that rivals anything on offer across the city.
Unfortunately for Mr Armstrong, there is a running joke around town that from the back, the owl is somewhat reminiscent of a penis. This is presumably why an image of said male appendage now appears on the pedestal alongside the word vagina and other graffiti.
Hopefully one of our new Ginninderra MLAs is filled with so much #BelcoPride they get straight onto the crew in the ACT Department of Transport and City Services to ask that it be cleaned off ASAP (there’s a chance that someone has already done so between our visit and the publication of this article, in which case, we applaud their efforts).
Meanwhile, I suggest that with Crime Stoppers’ Dob in a Dealer campaign having come to an end, we make November Dob in a Vandal month.
Do you know who is responsible for defacing the poor owl’s perch? You can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 or send them a tip-off via https://act.crimestoppers.com.au/crime-stoppers-information-report#main-content