Public art periodically generates controversy about, sometimes cast in terms of “ratepayers paid how much for that?” Sometimes public art is unexpected and whimsical. Such as this giant spider hanging off a bridge in the Rocks area of Sydney. My brother and I came across it while walking from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay. (About a 6km walk, and rather fun.) It appears that ratepayers may not have actually paid for that effort. Perhaps just as well; I can see arachnaphobes might have had views about their rates being used to create such a large fear object.
Melbourne has public art ranging from the whimsical to the silly. The giant concrete “eagle” that looks to me like a puffin is one of the more irritating pieces. I don’t mind primitivism, but failed primitivism, not so much.
The public art in the Melbourne CBD, such as the flying pig, the corner of a submerged building, the startled men bronzes and the large public purse, can be rather fun. (A list of CBD public art is here.)
The tollways and motorways of Melbourne have various bits of public art. My favourites are the house in the sky at the junction of the Westgate freeway, the Western Ring Road and Princes highway and the bird eating a chip on Eastlink.
Discussing controversial public art with a friend, I enunciated the principle that no one objects if it is beautiful, which he thought had something going for. Which is a good lead in to the Maribyrnong reading chair. Here is it being blessed by the Wizard of Footscray–for Kerry Greenwood fans, yes, that registered wizard.
For Lord of the Rings fans, there is some Elvish on the chair, composed by said Wizard. (Does that make the spider on the right a child of Shelob?)
This is also the Saturday chit-chat post.