Dec 12, 2010

Louisa goes to Court

Louisa 2 was unveiled at the Supreme Court, Melbourne, last Friday and there she will stay, not because she's been naughty but because she's got an important job to do. The idea of sculpture performing roles is not new, in fact it's almost as old as civilization, it may have gone a little out of vogue in recent times, but from my perspective this is the best reason for public art.

The court can be a stressful place and Louisa's role will be to help calm people. A courtyard has been renovated with the aim of providing people with a quiet, possibly meditative space; the sculpture's purpose is to act as a focus for this. The bluestone "benches" on either side may not the world's most comfortable seats but they do offer people the chance to sit with Louisa rather than entirely on their own. I think Louisa will be a good listener.

Whilst this is not a sculpture depicting justice, the fact that it is in a court will mean that she is unlikely to avoid being compared with the tradition of portraying justice as blind folded (to aid impartiality) and carrying scales (to weigh argument) and a double edged sword (to dish out punishment). A fairly fierce representation guaranteed to communicate the power of the courts to all.

Louisa does not symbolise power, she's human, caring and considerate.

When I told the model for this work, Louisa Waters, that she'd be going to court, she said, "Hmm I've never seen myself as being completely legal - but then again my star sign is Libra".


  1. Congratulations Clive. Whilst I am trying to avoid court appearances, I do want to make an effort to sit down and chat with Louisa about the injustice of threatening WikiLeaks and Julian Assange with espionage for assisting journalists in what they are supposed to do--expose what politicians and diplomats would like to cover up in the name of "national security," which really means their own political security.

  2. The above posting was not meant to be semi-anonymous. I don't mind if the posting has my full name, which is...Bill Claiborne.

  3. G'day Bill - Thanks and Well said - I guess Louisa is going to hear a good lot of things. Its probably just as well for her that she lacks the ability to pass any info on!

    Good on you - Clive

  4. Clive - she's wonderful!