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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

The Big Embarrassment

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Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby

On QI once Stephen Fry asked: What is the collective noun for Morris dancers? Bill Bailey (I think it was) quipped back with the only conceivable answer: an embarrassment. ‘Public art’ generally deserves the same collective ridicule.

The metal erection on the Ozigo roundabout is not ‘art’ but another Big Embarrassment in the lineage of the Big Prawn, the Big Banana and the Big Potato – despite Simon Alderton’s curious attempt to link it to Sydney Opera House and Blue Poles.

The Big Potato at Robertson looks like a very big Bondi cigar. Peter Dutton reportedly modelled for it.

If Council really had to waste ratepayers’ funds on decorating the new roundabout I would have preferred a rainforest tree or a piece of art that honoured our precious natural environment.

But given Council’s preference for an erection reflecting the culture of Byron Bay something truly up-to-date should have been commissioned. The Big Illegal-Holiday-Rental Parasite, dosh bulging out of every pocket and orifice and a huge smirk at the undeclared cash, the taxes and rates dodged, and the smug indifference to local resident tenants forced out. That would reflect the culture of what too much of Byron has become.

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