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Outdoor Sculptures in Canberra

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by Wendy (subscribe)
Art enthusiast. Loves painting, bushwalking and travels. Writing what I love sparks my passion. Sydney, Australia.
Published March 9th 2014
Canberra is a relatively quiet city compared to other states in Australia. For most of the time, visits to National Gallery of Canberra is my main reason especially when there are major exhibitions. Once in a while, this can be a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

Speaking of outdoor sculpture in Canberra, Sculpture Garden at National Gallery has probably captured the hearts and minds of most people. However, there is a wide array of amazing outdoor sculptures scattering across the central area in Canberra - the grounds of the National Gallery, an entrance to the National Portrait Gallery and Reconciliation Place. The public art unveils the diversity - from contemporary, abstract through to indigenous art, by artists George Baldesin, James Angus and Thanakupi (Gloria Fletcher).

1. The Pears, located at the footpath to the National Gallery Building

Installed at the entrance to the National Gallery building, there is a group of seven pears (picture: sculpture at the far end of the photo) created by George Baldesin. Though the seven pears are in slightly different shapes, they are tactfully grouped together in such a way to give you a harmonious feel.

2. Eran, the spherical sculpture, located at the footpath to National Gallery Building

Commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia, the work of Thanakupi (Gloria Fletcher) titled 'Eran' marked the entrance of the Stage 1 building (picture: sculpture in the front of the photo).

Thanakupi is a renowned senior Indigenous artist. With her wealth of knowledge of Thainakuith culture, this large-scale artwork reflects Thainakuith traditional narratives - manifested from the images of various animals crafted on the surface of the object.

National art gallery-sculpture at entrance
Spherical sculpture by artist Thanakupi, and the pears by artist George Baldesin

3. Geo Face Distributor, located at the entrance to the National Portrait Gallery

In a walking distance from National Gallery, you can find a quirky but wonderful sculpture titled Geo Face Distributor at the entrance to the National Portrait Gallery (NPG); unveiling the human face from different angles. Created by Perth-born artist James Angus, this aluminium sculpture is in strikingly orange and is 3 metre by height. Its bold design and use of striking colour is captivating. When you get a chance to visit the NPG, you can move around to uncover how the facial features are transformed.

National Portrait Gallery -Geo Face Distributor
Geo Face Distributor by Perth-born artist James Angus

4. The sculptures at the promenade, Reconciliation Place

Nestled on the Parliamentary Triangle Canberra, Reconciliation Place serves as an important place to bring the reconciliation between Australia's Indigenous people and settler population

New artworks have been added to the promenade since the opening of the Reconciliation Place in 2001. In celebration of the role of female indigenous leadership, three cast bronze silvers are installed. In celebration of the resilience and achievements of indigenous Australians who made contributions to Australian life, three stone artwork are installed too.

Reconciliation Place-artwork
Artwork at Reconciliation Place

Happy exploration.
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Why? Great outdoor art for your enjoyment
When: Any time
Where: Various places in the central area of Canberrar (Please refer to the article for information)
Cost: Free
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