Entertainment Giant Whiteley sculpture in Laman Street

Giant Whiteley sculpture in Laman Street

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A crane and other heavy machinery are at work outside the Newcastle Art Gallery on Laman St, installing a giant sculpture by one of Australia’s most well known artists.

The Brett Whiteley sculpture, Black Totem 2 was trucked to Newcastle on a flatbed semi trailer over the weekend.

The artwork features an eight metre high black steel stem, sitting atop is a four metre wide bird nest and fibreglass egg.

Gallery assistant director Tristan Sharpe says the first step is to bed in the steel stem.

“Then we’ll move on to lifting the egg and the nest which is a whole separate second piece which weighs about two tonnes in its own right and we’ll crane that on top,” he said.

” We’re lucky enough to have a rigger who at his peril will be swinging up there on an elevated work platform to bolt it all together and then we’ll bolt it to the ground and it’ll be there for ever more.”

Mr Sharpe says the heavy machinery team has been gently reminded that a scratch or chip is not acceptable.

“We have had to talk them about that it is a precious art work and you can’t just lie it on the concrete,” he said