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Byron Shire
June 7, 2023

The Controversial Sculpture

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Raphael Lee Cass, Byron Bay

I want to clear up something regarding the constant references to ‘The Sculpture’ as ‘Disco Dong’, ‘Silver Phallus,’ ‘Cock-up,’ ‘Sparkly Dick,’ ’Giant Dildo,’ etc.

No person, even the most fastidious pain freak, would use a dildo with those protrusions.

It is an insult to me that my sex organ is compared in any way to that metal construction. It’s an insult to all men. Some of us may actually think our genitals are useful, sensitive and aesthetically pleasant. To have a shape like that with its jagged metallic protrusions compared to a penis makes me shudder with horror.

Anyway, that is looking at the sculpture from the Bayshore Drive direction. The societal sexist angle. Why did the penis word get used at all?

If you look at it – as an estimated 20,000 drivers per day on Ewingsdale Road do – then if the Bayshore view is a penis, the Ewingsdale view is a vulva.

I consulted a thesaurus and extrapolated some phrases. In the interests of balanced journalism we can now call ‘The Sculpture’: ‘Tinny Vagina,’ ‘Polished Pussy,’ ‘Silvery Vulva,’ ‘Burnished Box,’ and ‘Sparkling C—.’

I wonder how women would react if those phrases were bandied around media.

Let’s call the sculpture ‘The Controversial Sculpture’ and leave off with the genital insults, please.

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  1. Raphael,
    The derogatory genital names show the immature nature of the mind of men and women on the far north coast, and that backwardness is not only in Byron Bay.
    We live in a backward country dunny-thinking world of depravity. There have also been letters about toilets in Brunswick Heads if you head that way to stick your head in.
    Well, I will take you back to 1999 when Mayor Max Boyd of Tweed Shire and the Council wanted to promote the Tweed Heads CBD ,a Marine theme was chosen as at Jack Evans Boatharbour and from Point Danger whales can be seen swimming by as is the case at Byron Bay Lighthouse.
    In Bay Street Tweed Heads a metal sculpture was made and erected and unveiled by the Mayor in 1999 and immediately it was criticised as it was a modern-day art motive of a whale’s head coming out of the water. It was a fountain and water spouted out of the top of the sculpture. Immediately, it was given a nick-name by the media of “Willy the Whale” as they said it looked like a Willy whatever a willy is. So the townsfolk are no different in Byron than in Tweed Heads.
    Because of the joking backslapping and the jokes when it was unveiled no plaque was put on the Sculpture. It continued to be lambasted for years just like the sculpture in Byron and without notice the water was turned off so it would not attract attention
    So we have a huge sculpture in Tweed Heads CBD at Bay Street opposite Woolworths with no plaque and no water coming out of it as the Council does not want it to attract tourists or be noticed.
    A Sculpture’s presence in a town is to attract attention for tourists as a tourist attraction. Now guess what, there is talk now of why the Tweed Heads CBD is not attracting business.
    We are a weird mob us Australians with no art culture to speak of because the people who inhabit the far north coast are backward in culture and art and don’t want to learn anything.


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