Monday, May 24, 2010
Making Australia a Better Place
I felt that it was about time I started doing something for this country and to get the ball rolling I thought I'd send my ideas to a real mover and shaker. Below is the email I just sent to the Minister for the Arts (and former Midnight Oil frontman) Peter Garrett.
I know you have experienced your difficulties since being a Minister but I’d like to propose an idea that would allow you to make Australia a better place and restore your reputation as a tower of awesomeness.
For too long it seems like Australia’s arts budget has been squandered on overpriced paintings by dead French guys and obscure cultural events only ever attended by wankers with trendy haircuts and designer square-framed glasses. My idea would shift this focus and allow art to be enjoyed by people with beer guts, tattoos and not all of their front teeth.
My concept is Sculpture by the Freeway. It would involve large sculptures being plonked alongside every freeway at regular intervals of every ten kilometres or so. I believe there are many reasons why it would work.
1) It is already a proven concept. The highlight of every holiday I ever had was seeing the Big Merino, the Big Pineapple or the Big Prawn. The only crap bit was waiting 300 km for the next massive sculptural thing beside the road.
2) Our roads are boring. I’m assuming you drive down to Canberra a fair bit and can thoroughly understand where I’m coming from. At least with some works of art along the way, the drive would feel more like a gallery visit and less like a massive waste of time.
3) Sculptures are better than McDonalds ads. When kids are in a car all they see out the window is paddocks and massive billboards advising the distance to the next Maccas. With childhood obesity such a problem we should give the little fatties something to look forward to other than a thick shake.
4) Truckies deserve culture. Driving an interstate rig generally doesn’t allow much time to pop into a gallery but if my idea was adopted truckies’ lives would soon become filled with art.
5) Tourists would get a better impression. From out the window of a bus Australia appears to be a really big dry place scattered with sheep, the occasional bogan and the odd bit of marsupial road kill. Sculptures could certainly help liven the joint up a bit.
I really think you should make Sculpture by the Freeway a central part of your next election campaign. Aussies are tired of hearing politicians squabble over tax, climate change and immigration. We want something visionary. We want some bloody great big sculptures lining our boring roads!
Best of luck with it all.
P.S. Your dancing is tops.