Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Illuminated Rabbits of the South Perth foreshore

I first saw the rabbits in London, in and around Royal Festival Hall. One of them lay outside the door lazily ignoring the stream of people entering the hall. The others were indoors (out of the rain) wedged into the foyer between the pillars and cantilevered upper levels.
Though they had space, they still managed to look cramped and somewhat bored.

Recently, and somewhat appropriately,  they migrated to Perth and are spending this week on Sir James Mitchell Park enjoying the fresh air and views of the city. Managed by a number of staff, they are open to the elements and to the visitors who swarm all around them and crawl between their front legs.

You got that they were seven metre tall illuminated rabbits, right? Not normal sized rabbits glowing strangely.

When I saw them there were four of them, all part of the art installation Intrude by Sydney born, Tasmanian living Amanda Parer. the SMH indicated that they should multiply over the course of the week, possibly an artistic interpretation of the multiplication of this species across the country upon their introduction.

They were situated at the far end of the clump of trees, brightly illuminated objects that drew you in, the little kids running ahead chattering excitedly about the giant bunny rabbits. As they sit relaxing on the grass, much like normal rabbits would, you could see the silhouettes of the visitors against their bright white bodies.

It was delightful to see them in the cool night air, surrounded by dogs and their walkers, small children, evening strollers (some with strollers) and hoards of cameras as people captured the delightful sight.

Wandering around the bunnies I was surprised to hear a small girl complaining about the fact that they were not cordoned off, allowing smaller children to climb around them and explore them to their hearts content.
Yet the fact that they were in a more natural habitat, as though let loose on the back lawn appealed to me. In and around a building, no matter how big, or in a paved town square makes them appear less natural and more like a planted art installation.

Having seen them, what intrigues me now is whether they could have been used in relation to some sort of message about the spread of feral animals across Australia and the impact these have on the devastation of our native species.

After all these killer rabbits are lazily enjoying a view of the city, no doubt plotting how best to take over this part of the world (without being turned into stew).

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