Some large artworks on a brick wall under a bridge.
REMOVED: The Bald Archy Murals by Tony Sowersby have been removed from underneath the Wollundry Lagoon Bridge due to their age and deteriorating state.

Arts & Culture

End of lifespan: two public artworks set to be removed

Published: 16 Feb 2024 9:06am

Two public artworks in the Wagga Wagga CBD have reached the end of their lifespan and are to be removed.

At its Ordinary Meeting on Monday night (12 January), Council approved the deaccession and removal of the Bald Archy Murals by Tony Sowersby (2008), and Forest Seat by Simon Lloyd (2001) from Council’s Public Art Collection.

The Bald Archy Murals by Tony Sowersby, located underneath the Wollundry Lagoon bridge, were created in 2008 through a community arts project.

The artworks featured portraits of identities with a connection to Wagga Wagga, including Dame Edna Everage, Paul Kelly (AFL star), Henry Baylis and others.

Some large artworks on a brick wall under a bridge.
TENURE OVER: Council understands some members of the community will miss the artworks, but as with all public art the Bald Archy Murals have reached the end of their lifespan.

Cultural Officer Lauren Reynolds said the time has come for the artworks to be removed.

“The condition report completed on the Bald Archy Murals noted that the surfaces are damaged by graffiti, and they have deteriorated from being exposed to the elements for 16 years,” Ms Reynolds said.

“Due to the artwork’s age and condition, it has exceeded its intended lifespan, and the artist is aware of our intention to deaccession and remove the panels.”

A close-up of a large crack in a painting.
DAMAGE: The Bald Archy Mural panels have been in place since 2008 and their condition has deteriorated due to graffiti, vandalism, and exposure to the elements for 16 years.

The Forest Seat by Simon Lloyd, located on the South-East corner of the Baylis and Morgan Streets intersection (outside Westpac Bank), was commissioned in 2001 and features a public seat surrounded by a semi-circle of five-metre-high, tree-like wooden poles.

“There has been significant deterioration of the wooden poles featured in this artwork, which is to be expected given it has been in its current position for 23 years,” Lauren Reynolds said.

“Rot at the base of the poles, loss of wood, and continuous cracks extending up all the poles have compromised its structural integrity, indicating it may become a safety hazard to pedestrians and vehicles if left to deteriorate further.”

A public seat surrounded by tall wooden poles.
TIME TO GO: The Forest Seat located on the corner of the Baylis and Morgan Streets intersection will be removed in the coming weeks due to the deteriorating condition of the poles.

The concrete under the seat, which is coloured ochre red to represent the Riverina region’s soil, is in good condition and will remain in place, with contrasting mortar to be used to fill the holes.

The Bald Archy Murals were removed on Wednesday, and The Forest Seat poles are to be removed in the coming weeks.

The materials used in the artworks will be recycled where possible.

To learn more about the Wagga Wagga City Council Public Art Collection visit our Public Art webpage.