Giant Rubber Duck Swims in to Sydney Harbor

5 January 2013

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Sydney’s Darling Harbor has seen a few strange sights in its time.  Yet nothing, probably, to beat the harbor’s most recent visitor.  An enormous bright yellow rubber duck has been spotted nonchalantly floating through the city’s waterfront.

Yet this is no refugee from some Brobdingnagian tsunami.  Accompanied by a flotilla of little tugboats, each with their own rubber duck atop, the duck (who we could call Bob!) was celebrating the start of Sydney’s annual art festival. The festival includes theatre, music, dance, film, talks and lots of other art related event, so Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was invited to bring his own inimitable talents to the Australian city.

The duck’s proportions are gargantuan – over 15 meters in height it makes for a wonderfully bizarre sight against the backdrop of the city.   Other enormous ducks by Hofman have appeared in cities around the world so inevitably Australia’s turn had to come at some point.

Image Credit Flickr User Halans
Australia’s summer months are, to say the least, hot and the festival (which began in 1977) was designed to inject some life in to the city’s heat inflicted summer lethargy.  Since its inception it has grown each year and is now one of Australia’s biggest cultural events.

Image Credit Flickr User Newtown Graffiti
Hofman has explained the concept behind the giant duck thus: "We are living on a planet, we are one family, and the global waters are our bathtub, so it joins people." That is a fair enough reason, for sure – yet this gloriously daft spectacle does not really need a reason.  Art for art’s sake – or, more simply, just because.

Image Credit Flickr User lolmanic
Image Credit Flickr User Halans
Image Credit Flickr User Halans
Image Credit Flickr User Halans
Image Credit Flickr User Halans
Image Credit Flickr User Halans

First Image Credit Flickr User Newtown Graffiti



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