Monday, 24 January 2011

Big Things

Our Gracious Hostess asked me for an explanation of the picture I posted a couple of weeks ago and I like to look after my readers, so I thought I would post about this peculiar phenomenon.

Believe it or not, this is a sculpture that is meant to depict a group of fruit in honour of Central Otago's reputation as the fruit bowl of the South Island. It is situated as you enter Cromwell, and was recently re-painted so the thing on the right of the picture would look more like a nectarine and less like a giant bum on a stick.

They like this sort of thing in New Zealand. When they want to draw attention to the 'main feature' of a town, they build a giant sculpture of it and stick it somewhere prominent. They are usually made of fibre glass but sometimes concrete, corrugated iron or other materials are used. Hence there are kiwi-fruit, carrots, paua shells, Wellington boots and, of course, sheep dotted around the countryside.

Once I was arranging to meet a friend in Gore and she suggested we meet at the old brown trout. Naturally, being English, I asked if this was a pub. 'No,' she replied laconically, 'It's an old brown trout.' It was, and still is I believe.

They also like these these maxi-ture sculptures in Australia. With their typical antipodean descriptive flair, they call them 'Big Things'. There are over 150 of them and some people take road trips to take photos in front of them and tick them all off their list. Yep, those Aussie larrikins... Among the Big Things are a variety of fruit and vegetables (mushrooms; avocados; bananas; pineapples; potatoes - you can bet that looks attractive), insects (mosquitoes; ants), household implements (taps; rolling pins; spanners) and - naturally - the odd bottle of rum or tinny.

So, that's the what, but as to the wherefore, your guess is as good as mine!


blurooferika said...

Love it! Thanks for the insight, Kate. Glad to know it's not just us Yanks who feel the need to dot the landscape with bizarre sculpture.

Anonymous said...

I'm very happy they're erecting a rugby ball at the gates of Kurow.

Kate Blackhurst said...

Well of course you are, R McCaw. Is it a permanent solid structure or is it that inflatable one they took round Europe?

I'm not sure it counts as an official 'big thing' if they deflate it and take it away (hopefully not before the semi-finals, eh?) but it did look very silly under the Eiffel Tower.

Kate x

Anonymous said...

Yes - i agree. I thought the inflatable rugby ball was a bit embarrassing. Especially when we deflated. All a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy, wasn't it.