Spiders and ghosts, floating rooms and sinking buildings – the world is full of breathtaking artistic creations. These sculptures are just a few of the most brilliant ones to grace our grounds.
How’s your arachnophobia?
Hopefully it’s calm enough to encounter this incredible spider sculpture of bronze, steel and marble, which sits outside the National Gallery of Canada (in Ottawa).
Apparently, the sculpture pays homage to artist Louise Bourgeois’s mother, symbolising nurturing, weaving and protection.
Floating Rooms, France
High above the grounds of Nantes, France, Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich put up these amazing floating rooms of brick and plaster for the biannual Le Voyage à Nantes in 2013. The outcome was wonderfully surreal.
We’re Fryin’ Out Here, Australia
Sculpture by the Sea is a famed yearly event on Sydney’s beaches. Last year, this gigantic 24-metre frying pan by artist Andrew Hankin was one of the best. It sat on Tamarama Beach and yep, if you were there, you could’ve sat and fried right in it!
Hippo Sculptures, Taiwan
The Taipei Zoo is home to these frolicking hippos who appear to be submerged right in the ground. The idea for these statuesque creatures came from Chen Pao-chung, the zoo’s Director at the time.
Expansion Statue, USA
Paige Bradley blew thousands of people’s minds with this sculpture, which literally once sat cross-legged in Brooklyn, New York (now it’s currently part of a private collection).
A dazzling combo of bronze and electricity, Bradley asks with this work, “Would we recognize ourselves if we could expand beyond our bodies? Would we still be able to exist if we were authentically ‘un-contained’?”
Monument Of An Anonymous Passerby, Poland
They rise out of the ground as if going about their ordinary lives, but these statues offer much more in the busy city of Wroclaw. They were designed and installed to reflect the oppression and imprisonment suffered during the nation’s Communist era.
Shadow Sculptures, UK
If you think there’s not a lot you can do with rubbish, British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster will change your mind!
Using things like scrap metal, cigarette packets and empty cans, they created these wonderful sculptures that look like nothing – but that cast brilliant lifelike shadow scenes. Their works have been shown in exhibitions at London’s Royal Academy and the Freud Museum.
Sinking Building, Australia
Outside Melbourne’s State Library on Swanston Street, this gigantic building appears to be sinking straight into the ground! Commissioned by the local council, it was constructed by artist Petrus Spronk and was originally unveiled in 1993.
Men Sharing a Biscuit, South Korea
If you’re ever on holiday in Seoul, a quick walk past the Bukchon Art Museum will take you past this awesome bench sculpture created by artist Ku Bom Ju, which is often referred to as ‘two men sharing a biscuit.’ It is meant to represent the importance of sharing in Korean culture.
The Black Ghost, Lithuania
Don’t bother with this one if you’re prone to nightmares!
With an old lantern in hand, this bronze black ghost – designed by Svajunas Jurkus and Sergejus Plotnikovas – crawls out of the Danė River in Klaipėda. It’s also bigger than it looks, standing at around 2.4 metres tall.
Nelson Mandela Sculpture, South Africa
It’s incredible what 50 black poles can do. Situated five kilometres outside of Howick at the site where Nelson Mandela was finally captured stands this amazing 2012 sculpture by Marco Cianfanelli.
At first it doesn’t look like much, but if you approach the installation from the correct angle, you’ll see a brilliant depiction of Mandela facing towards the west. You can also walk among the poles and explore this brilliant sculpture creation up close.