I bet you thought this was just about the elephant ……. Wrong!
(For the record, that’s what I thought also).
At 5 meters high this life size sculpture called ‘The World Turns’ is the latest addition to Brisbane’s artistic landscape.
To appreciate what is going on it helps to understand a bit about the context.
• ‘The World Turns’ is installed on the banks of the Brisbane River, between The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the State Library of Queensland.
• In an area known as Kurilpa Point. A place of cultural significance to the Indigenous community and named after the Kuril a native water rat.
So what have we got for the million dollars the State paid for the art work? (Apart from the usual rubbish some Politicians come out with when it comes to spending money on the arts). Well we have a life sized bronze elephant that is actually a book end, flipped on its head. And a life sized representation of the Kuril.
The artist Michael Parekowhai explains;
‘The Kuril is the real elephant in the room and the real animator of the spectacle we see before us. It is the Kuril who is the caretaker and who is responsible for upending this elephant with all its cultural and intellectual weight.’
Radio National AWAYE 25 Feb 2012
When you look closely you see that the elephants gaze is set firmly on the kuril.
I don’t see a defiant look on his face but more one of resignation – but that’s only my interpretation.
The connection the artist makes drawing together different cultures and linking the River, GOMA and the State Library in a humorous and contemplative piece makes this a worthy addition to the landscape, in my view.