Cast your eyes on London's public art, Canberra
Dividing opinions ... the the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture in front of the Olympic Stadium in London. Photo: Getty Images
It takes just two words in Canberra to divide the community: public art.
Like waving a red painting at a raging bull, those two words are guaranteed to illicit a huff, a stomping of the feet, and a headfirst charge into a cultural crusade.
The Canberra Times has enjoyed many a hearty (and heated) debate on our letters and opinion pages, fed last year by Jon Stanhope's proclamation that only "philistines" and "rednecks" were opposed to public art spending.
Canberra's public art
A recent addition to the ACT public artscape, Droplet by Stuart Green is on the corner of Furzer and Worgan St, Phillip. Photo: Rohan Thomson
From the proud Ethos standing in Civic Square, to the Belconnen owl that has been said, from some angles, to resemble a certain part of the male anatomy, territorians are usually no stranger to sharing their opinion on the taxpayer funded art that dots our city.
But, as the gaze of the world settles on London, what would Canberrans have to say about The Orbit?
First, the essentials:
British artist Anish Kapoor with a scale model of the Orbit. Photo: Reuters
The bright red, awkwardly-named ArcelorMittal Orbit looms about 115m high over London's Olympic Park.
Designed by artist Anish Kapoor and designer Cecil Balmond, the structure, or sculpture if you will, includes an observation deck that is due to open to the public on Friday.
The GBP 23 million (AUD 34.9 million) project has already attracted descriptions ranging from the "Godzilla of Public Art" to a "supersized mutant trombone" and a "rollercoaster caught up in a spaghetti junction".
So fair to say it has divided opinions around the world. But the big question is, how does it compare to Canberra's collection of public art?
If Canberra were to host the Olympics (ah, to dream!), which piece of our city's public art would attract the most controversy?