Melbourne public art

…fall in love with the city

Eagle (Bunjil)

eagle close up
















“Eagle” is a beautiful sculpture standing 25 metres or about seven storeys high. Inspired by “Bunjil”, the eaglehawk regarded as a spirit creator by the Kulin nations, which include the Wurundjeri people.The enormous scale is what makes it so amazing and one cannot perhaps appreciate its vast size from a distance. You can see it from several different roads that go past the site. It is also symbolic of watching over its people

This imposing Statue is 25-metre high as tall as a seven storey building. The pediment is painted jarrah wood fixed on a steel frame, and the bird itself is cast aluminium which has been painted to resemble polychromed hardwood. The eyes are crafted with glass.


Bruce Armstrong

Bruce Armstrong’s name is synonymous with current sculptural practice in Melbourne. His work adorns public spaces throughout the city. The monumental animal figures which he carves from native red gum and cypress appeal equally to the senses of sight, touch and smell; and engage the spectator in fascinating dialogues about mythology, the spiritual force of nature, and the relationship of public sculpture to architectural design.

Armstrong has a Graduate diploma in Sculpture and a Bachelor of Art in Sculpture from RMIT, Melbourne 


 2002 – commissioned byMelbourne, Docklands Authority

Where can I find it?

Located on a grassy knoll at the intersection of Flinders Street and Wurundjeri Way.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stone sculpture – Head and Fist

Sculpture Victoria college of the arts Melbourne


 This is a well thought of stone sculpture. It is located outside the Victoria College of Arts. I may be wrong, but I think this a take on the “Thinker” statue by Auguste Rodin. Its part of a sculpture project on the St.Kilda Road

Artists / Sculptors

Friends of VCA (Victoria College of Arts)

The Friends of the VCA Inc has been instrumental in the success of its graduates through its support by way of fundraising and awards such as the Friends Encouragement Awards.  These awards are given annually to students who have shown improvement and dedication to pursuing their studies.

Where can I find it?

St.Kilda Road, outside the Victoria College of Arts.

November 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blowhole – melbourne docklands



Melbourne docklands art



Blowhole is a large scale public art commission (won through competition) for Vic Urban in Docklands.


Blowhole’ is a 15-metre high wind-powered sculpture. As the wind blows through, armature and cups interact with each other to form patterns, colours and shadows. Blowhole’s various parts spin in different directions.  Reflecting the site’s maritime theme, together the cups resemble the form an anemometer, used on top of a yacht’s mast. Blowhole is an environmentally responsive artwork, expressing states ranging from calmness to frenzy, with the rotation speed of its elements dependent on the strength and direction of the wind. By day, the anodised cups pulse with reflected sunlight, by night they are lit from within. The sculpture also is able to change its full aspect as it rotates around its vertical axis.


The sculpture is made out of Anodised aluminum cups

Watch the movement on video –

Artists / Sculptors


Duncan Stemler aSydneybased artist who is interested in Kinetic sculptures.



Where can I find it?

Docklands (Docklands is said to have at least 36 outdoor Artworks spread around the area)

May 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



Chloe was painted by the French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre


Well I admit this is not actually the typical ‘public art’. But it is in one way public art as it hangs in a pub in Melbourne called Young and Jacksons. The painting is hung in what is called the Chloe’s bar which is located on the top floor of the pub.


 Jules Lefebvre named his painting ‘Chloe’. Little is known about the model called Marie. She is said to about 19 years old when the painting was made. Roughly two years after the painting was made, Marie is said to have committed suicide by consuming a boiled soup of poisonous matches. The reason for the early end of this beautiful woman is thought to be unrequitted love


Jules Joseph Lefebvre was a French figure painter. Lefebvre entered the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1852 and was a pupil of Léon Cogniet.

He won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1861. Between 1855 and 1898, he exhibited 72 portraits in the Paris Salon. In 1891, he became a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts. He was long a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts.

Many of his paintings are single figures of beautiful women. Among his best portraits were those of M. L. Reynaud and the Prince Imperial (1874Installed

Chloe painting is worth a look, the artist has been able to bring out the lolita innocense of the model, looking more like a nymph lost in the woods.


Chloe was painted by Lefebvre around 1875 when it made its debut at the Paris Salon. It was purchased by Henry Figsby Young, the then owner of the pub Young and Jacksons in 1909

 Where can I find it?

Chloe’s Bar in Young and Jackson’s pub located on the Corner of Swanston & Flinders Streets. It is hard to miss. The painting hangs on the first floor lounge called the Chloe’s Bar

March 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GAYIP – the Travellers

Gayip - The Traveller sculpture in Melboourne, public art


Gayip is the ceremonial meeting of the different Australian Aborigines clans, where they would interact with each other through stories, dance, storing telling. It was vital for many of their social traditions like marriage, trading, settling disputes etc. Gayip is also used to signify community or gathering.

What other apt name could be possible for this sculpture that signifies the Aboriginal Period. The sculpture is part of a larger installation called the ‘Travellers’. The ‘Travellers’ sculpture signify the 10 periods of Australia migration, with a sculpture representing each period. The Gayip is the first in the row that represents the Aboriginal community.

The sculpture is made out of Stainless Steel. Here are some statistics:

Length of steel: 223.5m / Mass: 7701kg / Surface area: 121.6m2/ Steel elements: 198

Artists / Sculptors

Nadim Karam along with an indigenous artist Mandy Nicholson designed this particular sculpture representing the Aboriginal Period.

Nadim Karam an eminent sculptor, artist and lecturer, from Beirut was chosen to design the Traveller sculpture. He created the concept of story telling architecture. He has regularly held academic positions in Tokyo and Beirut, and was Dean of the Faculty of Architecture Art and Design at Notre Dame University in Lebanon from 2000-2003.

Mandy has practiced visual art since 1994 and studied Koorie art and design at RMIT University in Bundoora and Monash University. In addition to creating her own works, Mandy has also been a contributor to large-scale public artworks including the Manchester and Melbourne Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.


2005 – 2006

Where can I find it?

The Sandridge bridge pedestrian plaza next to the Queensbridge Street in South Bank precinct. The place was a traditional meeting place for the indigenous tribes. It is located across the Yarra River.

December 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cow up a tree

Cow up a tree - melbourne docklands


The sculpture is mostly described as surreal, weird and bizarre – all in an appreciative context

This eight meters high sculpture adorns the waterfront of the Melbourne Docklands. The sculpture was inspired by an actual incident of a cow getting stuck in a tree during floods in Victoria. The artist used the image of the cow to create this piece. The sculpture is also a reminder of the violent floods in the Victoria region.

This sculpture has been exhibited in The Hague, in Paris and now it has a permanent exhibition in Melbourne. The sculpture is made of 5 tones of bronze.

Artists / Sculptors

John Kelly was born in the UK, studies in Australia and now lives in Ireland. He is quite famous for his sculptures in Australia. He has also used the cow theme in other sculptures too, around the world.


The first time in 2001 and then dismantled and reinstalled in 2003

Where can I find it?

Harbour Esplanade, the Docklands area ofMelbourne

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three businessmen who bought their own lunch

Three Businessmen Melbourne Public Art


The sculptors named the three businessmen after leading figures who established the city of Melbourne – Swanston (Charles) a prominent businessman and banker in Melbourne, Batman (John) who founded the first settlement in Melbourne and Hoodle (Charles), who designed the layout of the CBD of Melbourne, now called Hoodle Grid. 

I guess the sculptors were trying to convey that the pioneers are watching over the growth and progress of the city. The figures however blend in and seem like they are normal people, day dreaming while waiting for the pedestrian signal to turn green. They also remind one of the weary office crowd going home after a hard days work

Artist Alison Weaver claims that while the men are named and motionless, they are also intended to be anonymous and to represent being ‘trapped in the perpetual motion of consumerism’; strategically placed near a busy shopping area.

It is said that the free hands of the figures are regularly cleaned and polished as the public holds hands with them – for photo ops or for fun. The sculpture is made out of metal.

Interestingly the Sculpture was gifted by the Government of Nauru to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the City of Melbourne. Nauru is an oval shaped island in the Western Pacific Ocean. They apparently are making a lot of money taking in refugees that seek Asylum in Australia. (I can’t confirm this though….)

Artists / Sculptors

The sculptors are Alison Waver and Paul Quinn. Both are Australian artists with various works and commissions to their credit


April 1994

Where can I find it?

Corner of Swanston and Bourke Streets

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment



Angel sculpture in Melbourne


‘Angel’ was created by Melbourne based Sculptor, Ceramic and Mosaic artist, Deborah Halpern. It stands about 10 metres tall and took about 3 years to complete. It is one of the most important landmarks of Melbourne since its installation in 1989.

The Sculpture is made out of Steel Armature (the skeleton) and ceramic tiles as skin. Angel consists of a total of 16 images. The symbolism was that of representing different life forms including a crocodile, fish, angels, birds, plants, scrolls and fantasy creatures.

Artist / Sculptor

Deborah Halpern and  Team



Where can I find it?

In the Birrarung Marr park near Federation Square, Melbourne

May 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment