Aussie Outdoor Art #1 – Blackall, Queensland

The Australian landscape has provided the inspiration behind many creative and artistic endeavours.

Some, for example, use their powers for good, and write poetry, books or music.

Others, on the other hand, produce blog posts about Australia’s Scenic Public Toilets.

BUT … there are those who capture the essence of OZ by creating artistic installations that reflect and define the local landscape.

Central western Queensland’s Blackall harnessed this creativity in 2007 when metal sculptor Richard Moffatt created three art works as resident artist at the local festival.

‘Eagles Nest’, down by the Barcoo river, is a self-explanatory representation of Wedge-tailed Eagle – or ‘Wedgie’ – Australia’s largest raptor. Travellers are more likely to see this magnificent bird on the side of the road helping itself to some fresh roadkill – or soaring high above on the thermals looking for its next meal. Anecdotal evidence even blames the Wedgie for newborn lamb disappearances! Which of course casts it in the role of enemy.

So this sculpture depicting it in a parenting role shows a more accessible aspect of the Wedgie’s character – even if this trait isn’t always one readily accepted by a farming community.

My psychic powers are not yet strong enough to divine the artist’s true intent – but isn’t there something universal about depicting a foe in a more friendly light?

Or is that just me??

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33 comments

  1. @Mary – It’s also said there’s some good in everything! And wasn’t it Sting who said ‘the Russians love their children too’ in his anti-cold-war anthem?? Thanx for visiting!
    @PAMO ART – So great you dropped by! Thanx for following again – and lovely to read your kind comment.
    @Kath – Welcome back to you! Hope it doesn’t make you too homesick …

  2. @Betty – thanx, I had a great weekend – but was totally incommunicado on top of a heap of rock, so didn’t read your lovely comment until now!
    @Scoop – Welcome, and thanx!! There is an alternative meaning to ‘wedgie’ here in OZ as well! Wonder if it’s the same as yours?? I’ve not seen any other of the artists pieces in the flesh – but hope I do some day, poo and all!! And you’re right about the prize snappers …
    @Chef in Training – Welcome and thanx to you too! I’ll be over for a visit shortly!!
    @PDP – thanx! I guess it’s just as well they’ve got mothering instincts or they’d be extinct!!
    @Amanda Kendle – Welcome and yes, I started this series because there’s so much great art in the most unexpected places!

  3. @RingBali – Welcome! Yes, it’s a pretty good likeness of a wedge-tailed eagle, and the nest really is that messy!
    @SFlaGuy – I made it up. Haha, not really, I read about it because I was curious – we were staying for a few days, so had time to dig deeper!
    @NJAMB – AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Sounds like your eagle is just as big, if not bigger! They really do take lambs here – although I’ve never seen it. Thanx for the compliment!

  4. I love discovering sculptures like this, particularly out of the cities. At first glance I thought the bird was real!

  5. Red- I really like your new blog layout. Since I get your lovely posts in email, I don’t check here as much.
    I also liked your statement about artist’s depicting foe’s in a friendlier light. I’ll have to remember that!
    Thank you as well for your recent comment on my blog. My internet has been down so I’ve been unable to respond until now… but you warmed my heart. Thank you.
    I’m glad to still be a follower of yours!

  6. I rather like the sculpture and I think it wonderful that’s it is found in a small community. I’ve heard said that even ogres feed their young :-). Have a great weekend.Blessings…Mary

  7. LOL … I just love the idea of finding art in pretty much the middle of nowhere. We have that somewhere out back of Kalgoorlie here in WA (hmm … I forget the name of the place) – it really must get so few visitors, but the art is still there, and I think that’s great.

  8. Great post Red, hmmmmm! so not all bad that Wedgie, still some mothering instincts under that fierce persona!!

  9. I live in the US, so if someone were to offer a sculpture of a Wedgie it would turn out much different… I did not know a Wedgie was a bird. I do like how you write… very informative. I also checked out the sculptor’s website as you referenced it and I think I like “Thinking.” The first one on his site looks like poo (that’s not a critique – it really looks like poo)…

    I can’t help wondering how many people sneak up on the Wedgie and snap a photo thinking they have a Pulitzer in the bag before they realize it’s just a sculpture…

  10. such fantastic sculpture!
    thanks so much for sharing. 🙂
    for a moment i thought it was a real bird until i read further.

    have a great weekend!

    big hugs!
    betty xx

  11. We just had a story here about an eagle in Idaho, I think, who dropped a fawn on the power lines, so I guess that some of them could carry off a newborn lamb.

    The way that you describe things, it’s like I am actually visiting Oz sometimes!

  12. How is it you know the most minute detail about this sculpture? I would have shot it out of the car window and not even slowed down. Did you track down the artist and get the inside story?

  13. @Lilly – glad you’ve got sunshine! Would PJ bark if he saw the eagle sculpture??!!
    @LV – it’s a rare look at a nest – they’re not often seen! Thanx for visiting!!
    @Michelle – Yeah, that’s why I took the picture! I was sucked in too!!
    @Linnea – the best things are the unexpected!!

  14. This one is on guard to protect his nest. Even birds have bad days. Always enjoy seeing another pretty Australian sight.

  15. Looks like a real bird to me – very nice much enjoyed – sun is shining and HOT – gotta take PJ for evening stroll down by the riverside.
    Cheers
    Lilly

  16. @River – It looked very real from a distance, I think that’s why I like it!! Yep, that’s what a philistine would say, eh Andrew?!?!
    @Pearl Maple – My pleasure. But it’s a shame they often subsist on roadkill – then become it when vehicles don’t slow down.

  17. fabulous creation and thanks for sharing
    have been lucky enough to see them occassionaly in our travels, very majestic birds

  18. @Manzanita – HHHMMMmmm… and I thought politicians were castigated as baby-kissers!!
    @Aleah – Not many would mess with these birds! They’re huge!!
    @Magsx2 – I thought it was real when I saw it from a distance!
    @Windsmoke – I’ve seen them up close at the Alice Springs Desert Park, also at Currumbin. You don’t realise how big they are when they’re flying! I’ve only seen a real nest once – it was MASSIVE!
    @Jayne – Your dad was one smart bloke! I love the sculpture (and the birds!) too, but we’ll have to defend that decision to Andrew!!!
    @Carolyn – Hahaha!!! The nests really do look like that, as does my macrame from primary school …
    @

  19. Fantastic sculpture of a wedgie and nest looks life like. Came up close and personal at Healsville Sanctuary with a wedgie they are truely a magnificent bird of prey :-).

  20. I don’t know that bird, but the sculpture is marvelous. It looks as if the mama bird is ready to attack anyone who approaches her babies!

  21. Ya Mam, and even more friendly depicting the foe with a baby in it’s arms.But the Wedgie has to spend a great deal of time parenting or there wouldn’t be any more little Wedgies.

  22. @Andrew – Wow, a pet!!! That would have been scary … the tragedy is that they often become road kill themselves as they feast on other road kill. And the execution? I think I’m what’s called a ‘philistine’ – I just like it!!!

  23. OMG, what did I click. I lost what I wrote and I don’t have the energy to repeat. Quick summary. Wedgie, good. Very threatened species. Had a pet one. Fed it mince meat. Not friendly as a pet. Wedgie nest in city on office block each year.

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