Arthur Barton or Art Barton was the artist who created this iconic face with exuberant colours. It's hard not to feel happy at the sight of it especially children. Barton stayed in his beloved Luna Park for 35 years and retired in 1970 due to fading eyesight. He died in 1974 at the age of 85 years old.
In memory of Barton, the Art Barton Park located just west of Luna Park along Lavender Bay foreshore, was completed and opened to the public in 2007. Though it's a narrow park with only a couple of benches overlooking the harbour view and Ferris wheel, it's filled with surprises! Miniature sculptures of popular comic characters such as Blinky Bill, Splodge, and the Magic Pudding are placed along the foreshore walk to be discovered by visitors. Due to overgrown branches and leaves, some sculptures are partially hidden.
Just a short walk from Luna Park, get off from Milsons Point train station and walk towards Luna Park Boardwalk. I passed through the amusement park and it was indeed a joy to see so many happy faces. Looking at those colourful buildings and clowns got me excited as well and certainly felt like unleashing the child in me.
At the end of the boardwalk, there is a little picnic area with fencing. Entry is via Luna Park back gate and it seems to be accessible by public as there are no entry ticket checking mechanism but I am not too sure.
A few other famous comic characters were also found here such as May Gibbs's Bib and Bub, Dorothy Wall's Blinky Bill, Norman Lindsay's Magic Pudding, R.B.Clark's Boofhead and Pat Sullivan's Felix the cat.
The wharf is right opposite an arch of a bridge. Just walk through the arch and you will find a flight of stairs. If you have not visited Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden, then take the stairs up and be amazed by the serenity and tranquility of the garden.