Monday, February 18, 2013

Photo February - Day Eighteen

Visionary, Treasury Gardens

Statues have always fascinated me, sad creature that I am. Even as a child I'd been asking, "Who's this? Why is there head made of metal sitting by the side of the road? Why are they sitting here? What did they do?" My poor parents. At least they told me to go look up what people had done in an encyclopaedia (before the times of the internet) and I didn't get spun the story about the Emperor Nasi Goreng building the Great Wall of China to keep the rabbits out.

Then you find out more about how they used to commemorate war veterans with a statue. If the horse has two legs in the air, they died in battle. If the house on which they are sitting has one leg in the air - they were wounded in battle. If the horse has all legs on the ground, then they came home unscathed. I wonder what it means if the horse is kicking it's rear legs.... not a nice fellow? Dishonourably discharged? Couldn't ride a horse for peanuts? Bad with animals?

Then you hear about Queen Victoria who proclaimed that no statue was to be made in her image with her feet and ankles showing - after she was told that she had cankles.

You'd think that statues have some value - especially as they replaced rooting corpses and moundering effigies over the years. Oliver Cromwell's head , posthumously removed at a public re-exection sat on a pike outside of the Houses of Parliament for nearly twenty years. Westminster Abbey used to contain the effigies of the kings and queens of England until the early fifties when they were replaced as they scared too many young children. (They really are creepy - but they are on display in a room of the cloister - fascinating, yet macabre stuff).

Statues are there to be ridiculed and enjoyed. I've seen a bra hanging off the finger of Colonel Light in Adelaide on a number of occasions.

So this fellow, Mr Rupert "Dick"Hamer is cast is bronze and sits beside the Treasury Gardens - a perfect place for pigeon poo to rest. For what else are bronze statues good for except for collecting bird excrement?

Reading up, Mr Hamer appears to be a nice chap - patron of the arts, he was in power when some of the more odious laws in in the state were repealed - the death penalty was abolished, his government gave Aboriginal people ownership of their lands, decriminalised homosexuality and abortions... Seems like a good sort. Fair and moderate by most accounts.

There are only three of these bronzes outside of Parliament House. Mr Hamer, a Mr Bolte, who had a bridge named after him, and a Mr Dunstan, who is very different to the Don Dunstan of South Australia who shooed the wowsers out of the state in the seventies. I want to know where the rest of the bronzes are?

Where is Mrs Kirner with her pleated skirt and sensible shoes?
Where is Jeff Kennett? He's been out of office for nearly 15 years though he pops up in the media like a fart in a lift.
Where is Steve Bracks's bronze? Why can't he have one?
And mind you, John Brumby is just out of office - mind you, he's short in sature and his bronze might be mistaken for a hobbit.

Ted Baillieu, the way he's going isn't going to be in power for much longer and the teachers need something to throw rotten fruit at  - a bronze is easily cleaned.

Maybe they should be getting it ready now.

1 comment:

Kath Lockett said...

Colonel Light often used to have a yoyo dangling from his finger during O-week as I recall....