These Melbourne public sculptures are all intended for children, due to their theme or because they can be played on. Although Inge King did not intend the black curves of Forward Surge at the Arts Centre for any particular audience, she does appreciate the enjoyment that children get trying to climb up the curves and sliding down. Definitely for any child with ambitions to climb sculptures. This is without looking at the sculptural value of play equipment like the dragon slide in Fitzroy Gardens or a carved logs in the playground of the Fitzroy housing commission flats.
Paul Montford, Peter Pan, 1925 Melbourne Zoo The figure of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is modelled on Montford’s son and the flora and fauna on the base are all Australian.
Ola Cohn, Fairy Tree, 1934, Fitzroy Gardens, Like Montford’s Peter Pan, the fauna on Cohn’s Fairy Tree are Australian. Cohn also wrote a Fairy story to go along with her carving.
Tom Bass, Children’s Tree, 1963, Elizabeth Street, Bass intended for children to climb on this sculpture.
Peter Corlett, Tarax Bubble Sculpture, 1966-68 Originally at the National Gallery of Victoria it is now at the McClelland Sculpture Park. The sculpture was intended to be climbed in and on.
Tom Bass, Genie, 1973 Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, Bass intended to be climbed on by children.
There are two sculptures based on children’s book illustrations State Library forecourt. Ron Brooks, The Bunyip, 1994, from Jenny Wagner The Bunyip of Berekeley’s Creek.
Smiley Williams, Mr Lizard and Gumnut Baby, 1998, from May Gibbs, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Bruce Armstrong, Untitled Installation 1999, at Flemington Children’s Centre, Flemington. (no photo available unfortunately)
Browen Grey, Matryoshka Dolls, 2002, on the corner of Brunswick and Gertrude Streets.
Emily Floyd, Public Art Piece, 2006 EastlLink. Even though children can’t climb on it or even touch it Floyd did make it with the children in the back seat of the car in mind.
Emily Floyd, An Unfolding Space, 2010, Phoenix Park, Malvern East, sculpture at children’s centre. (I couldn’t get a photograph for this one.)
I will end this with a plug for my book Sculptures of Melbourne, a history of Melbourne’s public sculptures.