Australia‘s goth prince Nick Cave will be immortalised in bronze in his Victorian hometown of Warracknabeal, 330 kilometres northwest of Melbourne, population 2438.
The literally larger than life sculpture, created by English artist Corin Johnson, shows Cave holding a flaming torch while riding a horse, clad only in a loincloth. It’s a bit sexy for a statue imho:
Image source: Corin Johnson.
Plans for the statue – at least from Johnson’s end – have been in the works since the mid-’90s, when the sculptor met Cave and his Bad Seeds at a club in London. Talking to The Guardian, Johnson said the idea originally stemmed from a joke by their former manager Rayner Jesson.
“We started talking about doing a statue of Nick on a horse, a bit Ned Kelly style (but without the helmet). I think Nick was working on the screenplay for The Proposition at the time … so a bit of that vibe going on.”
Playfulness and a sense of humour remained an important part of the design process, the final version described by Johnson as “Louis 14th meets spiritual outlaw“.
Cave and the Melbourne Arts Centre already have their own miniatures of the design, the man himself reportedly calling it “a rather beautiful piece of homoerotic art”.
According to the ABC, Cave called it ‘The Homecoming Project’ when it was first conceived, and planned to load it in the back of a ute and drive into town himself. Then if the risqué monument was rejected, he’d just dump it in the desert.
Instead, the statue’s actually managed to garner official support thanks to a member of the Warracknabeal Arts Council, Peter Loy. He intends to launch a crowdfunding campaign in August to help pay for the costs of the statue – expected to be about $200K – with added support from the Arts Council and local Yarriambiack Shire Council.
Leftover crowdfunding money will be placed into a potential Cave Youth Arts Foundation – whose name comes not from Nicky C, but from his folks, Colin and Dawn.
It’s looking like the project will actually get up, thanks to support from locals, including the town’s bronze foundry, who reckon they can do the cast. Although it hasn’t managed to completely pass muster with some, who believe there are more deserving candidates for the bronze treatment, like the town’s former pharmacist or local band Hard Face Nanna.
Still, Johnson said: “I’m totally behind it too and am looking forward to sculpting over the lifesize version. I have spoken to Nick about the current push and he’s very happy about the whole scenario.”
Warracknabeal better get hella ready for every Cave fanatic to first throw money at them, and then get in the back of a ute to make the pilgrimage. Now, Ballarat, you up for a matching Warren Ellis statue?