It became clear to Michelle earlier this year that King Edward needed an enormous feather in his hat. The reason for this was simple. It had dawned on her that here were these silent giants, public artworks in their own right, always present yet never looked at. They encapsulated so many stories… about themselves and about us as a people, that she felt the need to draw some attention to them. Michelle had learnt that the way to visually draw attention to something is to use bright colours and so the task made itself clear. These statues needed amazing, colourful costumes.
The next question was what colours? What type of clothes? These questions were answered when Michelle went to see William Yang’s performance, My Generation, in February. He talked about his life in Sydney in the 1970’s and 1980’s… its bright and vibrant underbelly of artists… Jenny Kee, Linda Jackson, Peter Tulley, Martin Sharp, Nell Schofield, Brett Whitely and Patrick White to name just a few. These wonderful people embraced Australia and everything in it and had a lot of fun in doing so. Michelle wondered “Why haven’t I heard these stories before? This is part of our local history and identity!!” This began to influence the statues concept… it made sense to use bright colours from the Australian landscape in the costumes. It also made sense to adopt the Flamingo Park ideology of “art off the wall and onto the body”. To enable the story-telling aspect of the statues’ re-awakening, she decided that symbols needed to be incorporated into the garments that would act as reference points for crazy tour-guide performers, who would roam the streets of Sydney sprouting knowledge and stories, mixed in with a lot of fun and colour!! VIVA LA STATUE!!!
PS. Michelle would like to say a massive THANKYOU to her family (Helen, David, Kirsty and Matt), partner Chris and her many supportive friends for agreeing that dressing up the statues was a good idea. x x x