ACT News

Sneak peek at giant rabbit as Enlighten 2016 comes to Canberra

Very soon this seven-metre giant illuminated rabbit will hop into the parliamentary triangle, but on Wednesday night he was doing what many Canberrans do midweek: chilling out on the Kingston Foreshore.

Artist Amanda Parer at the Kingston Foreshore.
Artist Amanda Parer at the Kingston Foreshore. Photo: Melissa Adams

With just days to go until the Enlighten festival kicks off, Canberrans had a sneak peek of one of this year's main attractions. 

The giant white rabbit was installed for one evening on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, near the Walt & Burley pub. 

It's part of an exhibit by Australian artist Amanda Parer called Intrude, which carries an environmental message.

Parer says the rabbits, the scourge of farmers around the country, are metaphors for the mismanagement of the environment.

She describes Intrude as an elephant in the room, "like our environmental impact – big, but easily ignored".

On Wednesday night, the rabbit was hard to ignore, towering over curious passers-by.

Getting a closer look at one of the intrude Bunnies at the Kingston Foreshore in Canberra are from left, Lucy ...
Getting a closer look at one of the intrude Bunnies at the Kingston Foreshore in Canberra are from left, Lucy Pembroke,12, and her sister Gracie, 8, both of Yarralumla.  Photo: Melissa Adams

Parer chose to make her rabbits cute and innocent-looking to highlight the contradiction between the animals' appearance and image and their destructive role in Australia's environment.

She uses the "cute and cuddly" approach to draw people in and start discussions about the effect humans have on nature and the environment.

The giant rabbits are made from nylon and created from a 3D print of Parer's original clay design.

Intrude has invaded festivals across the world, evoking different reactions across varying audiences.

Parer likes to watch people's interactions with the rabbits. 

"Being an artist, you make these pieces and the reward is watching the people interact."

This is just one of three sets of Intrude; two other groups of rabbits are on display in Washington DC and Toronto.

The five giant rabbits will be visible around the parliamentary triangle on March 4, 5, 11, and 12 from 6pm.

Enlighten, including the Night Noodle Markets, will be lighting up Canberra from March 4 to 12 and includes both free and ticketed events.