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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Byron’s new phallic lighthouse

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The ‘phallic symbol’ lighthouse sculpture on Ewingsdale Road is definitely the subject of a lot of chatter. 

As usual in Australia publicly funded art installations will invariably get the response ‘it’s a waste of money that could better spent elsewhere’. 

These arguments were used against the Sydney Opera House, Blue Poles and Federation Square… all since much admired. 

Sadly, public art is viewed as an expensive indulgence and, unlike defence spending, overseas detention centres or the many underused sportfields and stadiums (that get vastly more funding than the arts) it is the first thing to be cut if better roads or more hospital beds are needed. 

Public art in Australia is usually tucked away in some obscure location by the almost embarrassed governments that funded it. So it takes a bold government to support the arts. Our council should be commended for this. This sculpture is a big, bold beautiful statement. 

If art aims to get people thinking and talking, our sculpture has worked beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. In art controversy guarantees success! The intense local chatter about our sculpture is even attracting national attention. As Henri Matisse once said ‘creativity takes courage’. Well done, Byron Shire Council ,for your courageous innovation and foresight. 

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