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Where is Canberra’s Big Book of Public Art?

poptop 25 November 2008 14

Chisholm shops 1

On Saturday I dropped into the Chisholm shops and noticed this piece of public art.  I am seriously underwhelmed by it.
It did make me ask whether there is a website where you can find out about Canberra’s public art.  Five minutes of Googling and as far as I can tell there isn’t one, although I might be underinformed. 

I recall Johnboy and some intrepid Rioters did the Civic Public Art walk a while back and posted  photos, but that is just a small percentage of the public art that has been plopped around town over the past 95 years. 
Anyhow, here is the sort of public art that has been foisted on the citizens of Chisholm.  Can you find better? Or worse? 
Send in photos, we may be the only Register of Public Art the ACT has.

Chisholm shops 2

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14 Responses to Where is Canberra’s Big Book of Public Art?
shanefos shanefos 12:00 pm 26 Nov 08

Perhaps a few RiotACT aficionados that appear to be anti-public art would appreciate it more if David Walsh brought his brand of public art to Canberra.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 11:05 am 25 Nov 08

Will the Yamba Drive “windmil” and the GDE pile of wood or steel end up being thought of in the same way as Blue Poles?…

Thumper Thumper 10:39 am 25 Nov 08

Robert Stackhouse- “on the beach again”

Stunning, emotive piece that elicits thoughts of despair, abandonment, hopelessness.

just brilliant…

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:36 am 25 Nov 08

johnboy said :

Pollock was a genius, blue poles is a masterwork.

Buying it was just about the only positive legacy of the Whitlam debacle.

Free tertiary education?

poptop poptop 10:24 am 25 Nov 08

If you ever get the chance, go and look at the version of Blue Poles created by ANG staff, it used to hang [and may still do so] in the staff canteen.

Then go and look at the real thing.

I love it.

I also love the [hee hee] the Blue Poles that are included in the Garden of Australian Dreams at the National Museum of Australia.

farnarkler farnarkler 10:20 am 25 Nov 08

My comment was in agreement with PBO. I’m sure blue poles has brought millions of $ into Canberra but maybe it’s time for a change. If people love it so much why not just swap it for a year or so for something similar?? I’m sure the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the National Gallery here in London would swap one of their major works for twelve months. It would make money for all.

johnboy johnboy 10:08 am 25 Nov 08

Pollock was a genius, blue poles is a masterwork.

Buying it was just about the only positive legacy of the Whitlam debacle.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:04 am 25 Nov 08

farnarkler said :

Blue Poles in the national gallery is the same. Who the hell decided to buy that painting???

Gough Whitlam.

It’s perhaps the most important painting in the National Gallery, and attracts visitors from around the world. It’s purchase was controversial at the time (with the painting being bought for $1 million), but it has been justified many times over by the increasing reputation of Pollock and recognition of his place in the art canon.

Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean that it’s no good. With respect, you’re coming off like one of those “That’s not art, my kids could do that” types. There’s a lot of art that I don’t like, but not for a second do I assume that this makes it crap art.

farnarkler farnarkler 9:59 am 25 Nov 08

Blue Poles in the national gallery is the same. Who the hell decided to buy that painting??? Sell it for however many hundred million dollars it’s valued at and get a chopped up shark or cow or something by Damien Hirst. At least his art is interesting to look at. Hmmm perhaps a couple of sheep halved in formaldehyde at a local shopping centre would be the way to go.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 9:36 am 25 Nov 08

Thankfully this one wasn’t funded by taxpayers. According to the builders doing the recent renovations at the Chisholm shops – it was paid for by the building owners. Incidentally – the three buildings that make up the shops and tavern are all up for sale…though I don’t like their chances at the moment.

poptop poptop 9:34 am 25 Nov 08

Thanks for the link, PreciousLilywhite. =-)

I had found that, but you can see it includes very little of the public art that is around. I am trying to find a complete list of Canberra’s public art.

PreciousLilywhite PreciousLilywhite 9:16 am 25 Nov 08

I think this is the list your looking for, Poptop…

Has a great big list of most of our Public Art and other infonuggets.

Perhaps, Johnboy, we could have our own awards/poll on public art?

Granny Granny 9:07 am 25 Nov 08

I accidentally asked for directions from the statue at Hughes shops one dark night!


PBO PBO 8:40 am 25 Nov 08

Seriously, who the hell approves this crap? I dont recall this being run by myself or anyone else who lives in Canberra. Is there a vote for this type of thing or only are there a select few who decide what is art for the rest of us?

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