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Australia, Photography, Sydney

Must See Five Unconventional Statues in Sydney

Sydney CBD is home to numerous statues that spread to the whole of the metropolis. These works of art by world-renowned sculptors are viewed as important artistic legacies of colonial medieval times as well as contemporary works of our modern time.

We have gathered five of the most ‘unconventional’ statues in Sydney that are seen in every nook and corner of the robust streets and roads of the metropolis.

The Boxers

These two standouts at the grounds of the Royal Botanical Garden are replicas of Antonio Canova’s famed marble works in the Vatican Museum.

The story behind the two boxers, Kreugas and Damoxenos, was that both are in a pugilistic match in an arena in Nemea where Kreugas won the battle even though he died at the end due to Damoxenos stabbing him.

Both sculptures have been in the area since 1880 and have been one of the most photographed structures inside the clandestine garden.

The Boxers, Kreugas (L) and Damoxenos (R), inside the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The Lady of Commerce

Along Pitt Street one structure is unarguably unnoticed by passers-by and pedestrians due to its eccentric beauty, The Lady of Commerce. Standing on a pedestal which reads “56 Pitt Street”, the statue reflects the very essence of the edifice where it was positioned, The Royal Exchange Building.

The Royal Exchange written in Australian historical books is considered one of the oldest and most respected institutions in the state of NSW was established in 1851.

The Lady of Commerce was sculpted by James White in the year 1899.

The Lady of Commerce in-front of the facade of the Royal Exchange Building.

Water, Fire and Earth

On the vast grounds of the Hyde Park facing Elizabeth Street is an iconic piece of art made of sandstone. This statue representing water, fire and earth in a linear three-piece are like totem poles made of sandstone fixed together. The artistic depiction of the three elements of life enhances further the beauty of the famous park.

The sandstone statue is a work of contemporary Australian artist Gerard Havekes, who died last year. This creative artwork is one of his most coveted pieces, and definitely accords long time legacy to his name.

Water, Fire and Earth at Hyde Park.

Dancing Brolgas

Alongside the beauty of Darling Harbour in Cockle Bay Wharf, is a unique masterpiece of Australian artist Terrance Plowright, who is also known for other creative pieces such as the Wings of Spirit and Aqua-Helix. These bronze statues encircling numerous water fountains are creatively done to capture the beauty of the uniquely Australian bird in their mating dances.

The overall look of the masterpiece parallels the exceptional view of Darling Harbour, giving a more intricate feel of the whole area.

Dancing Brolgas at Cockle Bay Wharf

Il Porcellino

The Italian word for piglet is the name of the porcine bronze fountain outside of the Sydney Hospital. This replica of the Florence original boar statue is believed to make someone lucky once the snout is rubbed by the person who made a wish.

This exceptional statue is one of the most visited structures near Martin Place as well as the most photographed structure for visitors and tourists.

Il Porcellino at Sydney Hospital facing Martin Place.

These five unconventional works of art depicting mystical structures are a beauty to behold, not just for their creative flair, but more so for their stories which they tell.


11 thoughts on “Must See Five Unconventional Statues in Sydney

  1. I´m not familiar with Water, Fire and Earth so I will have to seek it out in Hyde Park when I get to Sydney next month! Can´t wait 🙂

    Posted by Marianne | October 17, 2012, 1:45 AM
  2. Interesting! Off to Sydney again in a year for a month exploring Australia and building up things to do! Quirky statues got me thinking now!!! Found your site via TBUnite by the way! Like the way we get to post new posts as a great way to find interesting posts and sites like this!

    Posted by garybembridge | October 17, 2012, 9:52 PM
  3. Thanks for the visit to my blog and the ‘like’. This is a nice post too – we don’t have enough interesting public sculpture in Sydney, though we do have the wonderful Sculpture by the Sea this week. I’ll be there and I’m sure you will be too.

    Maybe there should be some regular commitment from the city council to buy at least one work from the exhibition each year and make it a permanent addition to Sydney’s public art.

    Posted by Richard Tulloch | October 18, 2012, 4:03 PM
  4. Thanks for stopping by and liking our blog post. We saw the brolga statues when we were in Sydney last time, but will have to keep an eye out for the others when we are back next. I also like the one of Biggles the dog in the Rocks, and the ones of the animals at Circular Quay.

    Posted by Jo Fredric | October 21, 2012, 1:38 AM
  5. Thanks for this amazing post. Can you make more like these in the future?

    Posted by KhleSmizth | November 9, 2012, 1:49 AM
  6. Ah Sydney! I know it well…Thanks for sharing, i’d completely forgotten about the Il Porcellino statue. Always made me chuckle when passing.

    Love the blog, kind regards, Si

    ps. We would love you to submit a photo to our #PictureTheWorldProject? Check it out http://www.thedepartureboard.com/picture-the-world-project

    Posted by Si @thedepartureboard.com | November 10, 2012, 5:37 AM
  7. I never cease to be amazed at how certain types of art make their way around the world, and continue to be points of fascination. When it’s done right, something is immortalized there. Have you ever been to Delphi in Greece, to see the charioteer? I thought he was going to speak to me as I stood in his ancient, marvelous presence….

    Posted by Tempest Jaynes | November 18, 2012, 5:54 AM

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