Study Break Soaking in the splendor as i go on a public art trail

The Esplanade

For over 15 years, this path at the end of my street has been my 'go-to' place whenever I have needed to re-energise my body and mind. I've walked dogs, ran along, pushed prams, and rode bikes along this esplanade always with my attention turned to the water and horizon. Not once have I stopped to appreciate the other side of the path and its surrounding artwork. Well, today I did. I looked much closer at, what my family have coined, the 'fish on sticks'.

Fish on sticks!

Sitting on my old pal 'Myrtle the turtle' (pictured below), who lives in the playground, I studied the cast aluminium 'fish on sticks' sculptures placed around the parameter of the park. They work to visually frame the playground and to create a sense of playfulness. Bright and boldly designed fish attached to the end of powder-coated stainless steel poles move subtly in response to the wind. I believe this feature seeks to incorporate a direct relationship with the environment and also allows children to explore rhythm and movement as they wiggle or tap the poles.

Myrtle the turtle and her brother Donatello (lovingly named be my son 5 years ago)

With the boat harbour closeby and this being a popular fishing spot, I think it's safe to assume that the artwork is concerned with celebrating or symbolising fish caught on the end of rods. Some may also interpret them as fish swimming freely in the bay and, with the element of movement, may see the fish as a representation of underwater life. The combination of shape, staggered heights, contrasting colours and harsh materials used against the natural environment act as a visual interruption to the overall landscape, inviting me to feel a sense of energy in this 'space'.

I enjoyed taking the time today to look closer at public artwork in my local area, especially allowing my imagination to wonder about its meaning. I have a feeling that I'll be noticing much more public art from now on.....

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