The Worst Public Art in Australia

*clap*          *clap*           *clap*

That was for Canberra. My good friend Luke took nearly all weekend to tell me about Skywhale. What were you waiting for Luke? This is the kind of thing I need to know about IMMEDIATELY!

In case you missed it, Skywhale is an enormous hot-air balloon shaped like a whale with giant tits. Norks. Nipples. Funbags.

Moby Tit

The original $150,000-ish price tag has since ballooned (ha!) to in excess of $300,000. If I wanted to go on a balloon adventure on that kind of budget I would recreate a live action version of Up. Still, Canberra’s defending it and so will I, by pointing out the other bad public art all around Australia. This, my friends, is a collection of the worst of the worse.

(Side note: I am not an art expert/critic/boffin. In pottery class I made my mum a gaudy gold-painted pig. Heck, I can’t even get a Magic Eye to work. To me they are a trick everyone pretends to be able to see. A la “The Emperor’s New 3D Dolphin.” So I’m sure there’s something “I’m not getting”. I’m just choosing to be ignorant for the sake of comedy.)

New South Wales


This piece in Manly by Loui Fraser entitled “Crawl” is terrifying. It’s meant to be “inspired by the artist’s fond childhood memories of swimming at Manly”. But this Han-Solo-In-Carbonite nightmare statue has given me no reason to believe that there is not some paralysed mid-freestlying body still screaming inside. Whereas Michaelangelo famously removed everything “that wasn’t David”, Loui seems to have taken away everything that was oxygen.

Western Australia
KAPOW! Lightning!This black and white squiggly line is called “Arch” and it’s by Lorenna Grant. I figure she put the actual drawing of her sculpture down on the table for a minute, and turned around to see her 7 year old graffiti something that she thought was “actually pretty good!” If I picked up a Pictionary card that said “shit lightning”, we would arrive at pretty much the same thing.


I’ve never been to Brisbane. But my girlfriends from there, so when I texted her and asked “what’s an example of bad public art in Brisbane?” She replied “there’s a giant sculpture that looks like a Penis in West End!”

And whaddayaknow! There is!


Oh gosh! Will I go with the pigs in Rundle Mall?  The letters that spell out “The Forest of Dreams” in four corners of a small park? The only thing I hoped for in that forest was to avoid receiving a handjob from a homeless man after 9pm.

But you just can’t go passed the classic.

The Malls Balls

I don’t even know their real “art name”. I just know them by the colloquial “malls balls”. And yes, I have lived in Adelaide so I know the joy of walking down the Rundle Street Mall and seeing their glistening stainless steel curves poke up at you in the horizon. But let’s be honest: they’re pretty crap. It’s like the artist drew the number 8 on a blank piece of paper and said “so where do I pick up my cheque?”

Adelaide loves them though! Once they took the sculpture away for cleaning and forgot to give forewarning. There was an outcry! That’s why you should always announce when you need to polish your balls. ZING!


NONE! Melbourne just does Art so perfectly. There’s absolutely nothing to fault about our glorious graffiti sprayed laneways, or lanky copper business men, or Federation Square.

Just kidding. This giant purse is a bit fruity.


You’re all right Canberra.

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15 thoughts on “The Worst Public Art in Australia

  1. Say what you like about me, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sit here and allow you to trash the malls balls!

    Drew an 8?

    Just drew an 8…and asked for the paycheck?


    It’s not nice that you are hating on these works.

  2. Oh, Victoria!! Victoria, you do it so goooooood. Oh Victoria you’re amazzzzinnnnnng.

  3. Art is indeed subjective. And while your article is, in fact, pretty hilarious, it’s sad we have such a ‘knocker’ culture. As in people being negative, not tits – on giant, floating whales or otherwise.

    Oh, and for someone who says they lived in Adelaide, you would think you’d know it’s ‘Rundle Mall’ not ‘Rundle Street Mall’, the pigs (sculpture, not police officers) are actually quite cool and a great photo opportunity, and it’s the FOREST of Dreams not the Village of Dreams. Although to be fair, it’s only slightly more like a Forest than it is a Village. And you can’t usually get a hand job til way after 10pm.

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