Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Illustrating Australia

There is a boardwalk that meanders from beneath the northern pylon of the bridge around to the Lavender Bay ferry wharf enabling one to walk the full length of the Luna Park site. My brother and I mooched along at sunset: it had been ages since we had enjoyed each other's unimpeded company like this. We happenchanced upon the Arthur Barton Memorial Park: a memorial to the eponymous Luna Park illustrator; and, a memorial to those poor souls who perished in the Ghost Train fire of 1979. The park was narrow and bordered the boardwalk, consisting of Australian natives and tiny sculptures in homage to icons of Australian illustration from the first half of last century. With Barry's help, I think I uncovered them all from within the undergrowth.

I have Michael Leunig's Vasco da Gama (early '70s) in a separate row as it is the tribute to those who perished in that dreadful fire.
In the second row are: Mae Gibbs' Bib & Bub (1913); Jimmy Banck's Ginger Meggs (1921); Norman Lindsay's Magic Pudding (1918); and no idea what this Leura boat represents.
In the third row are: Dorothy Wall's Blinky Bill (1933); no idea who this lanky chap is - have seen the character before but cannot identify him; Arthur Barton's Smiling Face (1954); and Pat Sullivan's Felix (1922). Any idea who the two are that I am not able to identify?

Here is another view from the boardwalk - it pretty much attaches on to the RHS of the very first photograph in this post.

12 comments:

Gordon said...

Thank you for unearthing those sculptures; a comprehensive post and wonderful views.

Ann said...

Must take a look one day, haven't been across the bridge in years. Foreign territory over there.

Julie said...

For me there be dragons beyond Johnson St Annandale!

Sydney Accommodation said...

Well done, this definately one part of Sydney that is rarely seen and even less commented on. It really is a 'little' treasure. Jamie S.A.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I lived nigh on top of that place a few years ago and never saw those sculptures ... clearly I am not very observant.

nathalie in avignon said...

Julie, I hadn't visited in a while. What joy it is to browse through your blog and see familiar places that I love so much. Thanks for that. Will you be taking pictures of the ferry race on 26 January?

Julie said...

My apologies, Nathalie: I won't I am sorry. I will be in Melbourne from Saturday to next Thursday, ostensibly for the tennis! Let's see if either Sal, or Ann or Jim cover it.

Ann said...

I'm thinking of coming in,if I'm not too tired from the night before, but I'll probably concentrate on the motor fest and possibly have a look at the music in the Rocks. Will depend on the crowds. Don't think I'll watch the ferry race. Was incredibly crowded last time I watched it.

bitingmidge said...

I'm really starting to get the big city itches!

And it is nice to see Vasco Pyjama back from his time lost in the Strait of a thousand lighthouses.

Now that IS poetry!

Sunshine Coast Daily Photo - Australia

J Bar said...

I always love the shots at sunset and sunrise, especially if they're around water.

Therin of Andor said...

Hi there! I found your great blog entry on the Art Barton Park sculptures. I encountered them a few weeks ago, just on dusk and went back yesterday. Some of the figures have had paint jobs since your visit: Bib and Bub, Blinky Bill's pants, the sailor on the boat.

I found a reference to Leura - it's a 1940s-era Sydney ferry! See a pic
HERE.

My own Flickr slideshow is HERE. I found a few you missed, such as Reg Mombassa's Ken Dugong and Dorothy Wall's Splodge the kangaroo and Nutsy the koala, Blinky's girlfriend. Any idea on the kookaburra?

Therin of Andor said...

Ah! I knew he looked familiar, too. The tall, skinny cartoon male is... Boofhead, a comic by RB Clark.

Elsewhere on the web, I found a pic of the Ginger Meggs, originally fully painted. Perhaps Peter Kingston, the sculptor, might come by every so often and repaint them?