“They do not love us as much as we love them”

Do animals make statues of us?

Why do we make statues of them? Why do we make statues? Perhaps to represent, remember, immortalise, inspire? I guess humans make statues, like humans make art.

But why statues of animals?

Animals have been our companions, our prey, our predators. They are our slaves, colleagues and heroes. They are our food. (Unless we’ve chosen to be vegan.)

I remember watching a documentary and hearing an orca handler say, “They do not love us as much as we love them.”

Is that why we make statues of them? Perhaps it is a way of grappling with the unknown, an expression of amazement that these so very familiar yet unfamiliar conscious others share the planet with us.

While walking through the Sydney CBD recently I noticed just how many statues of animals there are. From domestic pets to wild others, here are five of my favourites.

Il Porcellino: Ask a Sydney sider to meet you by the pig and they’ll know exactly where you mean. But the Sydney Hospital Pig, whose nose everybody rubs while they are waiting, is actually a wild boar. He was presented to the The Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital in 1968 by the Marchessa Clarissa Torrigiani in memory of her father, Dr Thomas Fiaschi and her brother Dr Piero Fiaschi who were eminent surgeons at the hospital.

http://www.seslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/SHSEH/history/IlPorcellino.asp

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Trim the Cat: Trim is famous for being the first cat to circumnavigate the Australian main land. Matthew Flinders is famous for going with him. The bronze statue of Trim by sculptor John Cornwell stands very close to Café Trim, on a window ledge of the Mitchell Library. Nearby is an inappropriately large statue of his chief of staff.

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Royal Botanic Gardens: There are lions and sheep, bloodhounds and horses, birds and frogs, to name a few. You can spend whole afternoons wandering the gardens playing spot the animals.

http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/welcome/royal_botanic_garden/tours_education/self-guided_tours/art_and_memorials

Botanic Gardens statues-1

 

The Tank Stream Fountain, Herald Square Circular Quay: Commemorating Sydney’s first water supply, the fountain abounds with animal life, evoking the woods and sunlight of War-ran, the old Aboriginal name for Sydney Cove. This sculpture by Stephen Walker was donated to the City of Sydney by John Fairfax and Sons Ltd in 1981.

http://history.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/waterexhibition/WaterSupplySewerage/TheTankStream.html

Tank Stream 1

 

Islay: He was reputedly Queen Victoria’s favourite dog. Now he lives in Sydney and begs for a living. He begs for the deaf and blind children of Australia with the help of radio personality John Laws. If you don’t believe me, you’ll have to listen to the recorded message that comes with the statue. Islay’s statue was created by sculptor Justin Robson.

http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd3-007.htm

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About sagesomethymes

Daniela is a writer, theatre producer and civic educator. She has had poetry and short stories published in 'Prayers of a Secular World', Inkerman & Blunt; 'Blue Crow Magazine', Blue Crow Press; 'Knitting and other stories', Margaret River Press and Radio National’s '360 documentaries'. Her debut play, 'Talc', was produced in 2010. Her short play, 'Sicilian Biscotti', was produced for the launch of “Women Power and Culture” at New Theatre in 2011 and shortlisted for the Lane Cove Literary Award in 2015. Her second full length play, 'Friday', was produced by SITCO at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in 2013. 'The Poor Kitchen' was produced in 2016 as part of the Old 505 Theatre’s Fresh Works Season and was published by the Australian Script Centre in 2017 (https://australianplays.org/script/ASC-1836). She co-wrote 'Shut Up And Drive' with Paul Gilchrist and it was produced at KXT in 2016. In 2019, her new play, 'Seed Bomb' will be produced at Old 505 Theatre as part of the FreshWorks Season. She is the co-founder of indie theatre company subtlenuance (www.subtlenuance.com) Her published short stories can be read via the Short Stories tab on this blog.
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1 Response to “They do not love us as much as we love them”

  1. Gina says:

    I never thought about the many animal statues that abound in our cities. And there is no diubt that we love animals more than they love us. After all, why would you love the one that looks upon you as a potential meal?

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