Go Back

Oh Hey Melbourne… Didn’t See You ThereNov 10, 2011


You know those things that live in the same city as you but you’ve never really, really paid much attention to them?

Well, this is the article to help you remember what you never knew.

You know that thing that looked a bit like a horse and a dog and a cat and had two heads and was sorta weird but kinda cool and sat out the front of the National Gallery of Victoria? The one called Angel sculpted by Deborah Halpern? Yeah well its got more than 4,000 individually cut and painted tiles stuck to it.

For me the sculpture doesn’t represent an Angel (whether it’s meant to or not) so much as the Trojan Horse. All I can say is that I’m glad Deborah was sculpting in the nineteen eighties and not twelfth century Greece. Can you imagine if the Greeks had commissioned her to create the Trojan horse to hide the soldiers destined to sack Troy? She would have made Angel. It would have been calamitous; the Trojans would have seen it as one of those trophies that are too nice to accept:

“Hi Troy, we’re leaving now, do you want this? We call it Angel, you should have it.”

“Oh no, we couldn’t, it’s too beautiful.”

“No, no, please take it, it looks better behind Trojan walls anyway.”

“No, really, an ugly wooden horse maybe but that we can’t, it’s just too special. Thanks anyway though.”

And so the Greeks would have sailed off defeated and that could only have meant bad things for Deborah’s career.

Quite apart from the ancient Greek version Angel was a work commissioned by the Curator of Sculpture at the NGV, Geoffrey Edwards in 1986. Work began on the sculpture in October 1987 and, once finished, the piece remained in the gallery’s moat from 1988 until 2002. It now resides in a new home on the waterfront at Birrarung Mar. The structure is decorated by 16 main images including faces, shapes and creatures that together have quite a spellbinding effect.

Apart from the fact that this sculpture has come to proudly represent Melbourne, the best thing about it is that there are no Greeks inside waiting patiently to sack our city all in the name of some woman who caught the illegitimate love bug.

– Charlie Ranger

Latest News


Festival 21 – Our Future Through Food
5 Pet-Friendly Cafes to Take Y...
11 Jul. 2019

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you and your four-legged friend have to stay inside all the time! Take some time out this winter to discover some of the best dog-friendly cafés and bars in and around Melbourne. Welcome To Thornbury 520 High Street, Northcote  The premiere permanent f...[more info]

Read More
Festival 21 – Our Future Through Food
Victoria’s Largest Independe...
11 Jul. 2019

Gin is one of those stylish, sophisticated, damn delicious spirits that we often turn to in our hour of need – aka Happy Hour – and in early September this year, Victoria’s largest independent gin distillery, Patient Wolf Distilling Co, will open their doors in Southbank. Fulfilling thei...[more info]

Read More
Festival 21 – Our Future Through Food
This Parisian-Style Brasserie ...
9 Jul. 2019

Practice your French pronunciations – Bar Margaux, a New York-inspired French brasserie, has just arrived on Lonsdale Street. Owners Michael Madrusan and his wife Zara wanted a venue that reflects the Parisian-style brasseries from New York. So they collaborated with the interior designer of...[more info]

Read More
Festival 21 – Our Future Through Food
Satisfy Your American-Food Cra...
9 Jul. 2019

Do you feel the sudden need for food filled with American goodness? Maybe the diner scene from Pulp Fiction has got you craving $5 milkshakes – or maybe a Gordon Ramsay video on YouTube has you watering at the mouth for a burger. Well, whatever the reason – we’re here to help. Here a...[more info]

Read More

71 queries, 0.448 seconds.

Close