Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tourist in our home town

Writing a blog can sometimes be a little challenging and at other times inspiring. Being a tourist in your home town opens your eyes to the many scenes, talents and experiences that sometimes you might just take for granted. Only recently we took a little walk at Docklands at the edge of Melbourne's city centre. I guess you could call it a new inner suburb in a way. Previously it was a wasteland of swamp and cargo storage areas.
Today it is a vibrant commercial and entertainment area with apartments reaching towards the sky.

For more on Dockland's history.
We strolled through a recently developed area that opened into a large square overlooking the Marina. In a half circle facing out towards the Marina were statues of several leading Australian entertainers sculptured Peter Corlett. I hadn't realised that I had seen his work previously and it has also appeared in our blog.
A statue of strange old man sitting above the verandas in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy was sculptured by Corlett. His website is worth a look.

Amongst the sculptured Australian entertainers by Peter at Docklands are Kylie Monogue, Edna Everage, Dame Nellie Melba, Pop singer John Farnham and television host from the 60's, Graham Kennedy.

Kylie honed her earlier skills in the soapy TV series Neighbours with Jason Donovan. Hasn't she moved on from then?

Ex-plumber, John Farnham began his singing career as a teenager around the dance halls of Melbourne in the late 60/70s and matured into one of the most well respected Australian singers through to the late 90s. He also fronted the Little River Band for a short time and toured the US. Even today he is sometimes lured out of retirement for a concert or two.

Dame Edna, what can one say about Edna - A diva of world renown. It was said that Barry Humphries was not too please with the facial expression that Peter Corlett encapsulated with his sculpture of the gladdie throwing Dame of Moonee Ponds. What do you think?

The sculpture of Graham Kennedy is delightful. Originally a radio personality, he transferred his talents to television during the late 50s when the medium was new to Australians. He was the King of Melbourne TV for many decades. He had a wicked sense of humour and that eventually was his downfall. Trouble came his way when mimicking a crow call (faaaark) on live TV that sounded very much like a profanity. He was taken off air.

The ironic thing is that by his statue, Corlett has a sculptured crow to keep Graham company.

The fourth statue is of Dame Nellie Melba. I've passed where she lived, a grand rambling property, many times on my way through the vineyard covered rolling hills of the Yarra Valley. Along with Joan Sutherland, they were world famous in the operatic world.

By writing this blog, I've learnt that Melburnian's have a very talented sculpture with a wonderful way of interpreting the personalities of our entertainers while also producing some very serious work.

Maybe we all should take the opportunity to become a tourist in our own home town.


  1. II like Dame Edna's shows ... with poor little Marge at 'her ladyship's' mercy! I agree that the facial on the statue doesn't do 'her' justice ;). Martine

  2. Yes, its a bit ugly, but Dame Edna can get a bit ugly with her audience, especially if they come late.
    Barry has been a great talent over many years now.


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