News Good News Giant kookaburra built during lockdown set to have the ‘last laugh’

Giant kookaburra built during lockdown set to have the ‘last laugh’

The giant kookaburra has been constructed in Brisbane and laughs out loud. Photo: Farvardin Daliri
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A hand-made laughing kookaburra built in a Queensland front yard is stopping people in their tracks with his enormous size and booming laugh.

Townsville local Farvardin Daliri has been stuck in Brisbane during the lockdown, spending his spare time perfecting a giant kookaburra in the south-west suburb of Bellbowrie.

He has been inviting residents to have a “sticky beak”, while adhering to physical distancing, as the kookaburra neared completion.

The giant bird is 8.5 metres from tail to beak, and 4.5 metres tall.

“It’s made with steel round bars that are rounded and put together and locked,” Dr Daliri told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston.

Giant laughing kookaburra entertains Bellbowrie locals

SOUND ON 🔊Have you seen this massive, laughing kookaburra in Bellbowrie? Farvardin Daliri built it as a mascot for Townsville’s cultural festival later this year. He usually splits his time between Brisbane and Townsville but has been stuck here due to the coronavirus lockdown.Dr Daliri says he plans to take the giant bird north in July. In the meantime, it's parked in his front yard for his neighbours and passersby to enjoy.More:📷: Dr Farvardin Daliri

Posted by ABC Brisbane on Monday, May 25, 2020

“Then on the top of the holographic steel bars, which are light enough to travel, I put natural materials like bamboo skins which are being treated and painted.

“It forms a nice shape of the kookaburra with feathers and a moving jaw.”

The kookaburra has been a spectacle for locals in the area who have been hearing his laughter and seeing his head popping above rooftops.

“The lower beak hangs with a motor that pulls a shaft up and down, with a sound effect that is also inbuilt, so the kookaburra can laugh for everyone to hear,” Dr Daliri said.

“I constructed it on the trailer so it’s all one piece with a platform around it so people can have their photo taken with it.”

A passion project

The kookaburra was being created for the Townsville Cultural Festival, which Dr Daliri founded and now is the executive director.

Two men moving a giant sculpture of a kookaburra.
The kookaburra has intrigued the locals, including the real-life kookaburras, who have been visiting for a look. Photo: Farvardin Daliri

Born in Persia [now Iran], Dr Daliri studied fine art and sculpture in the 1970s and came to Australia in the mid-’80s as a refugee.

“I started in Tasmania and then worked my way up to Townsville for the past 30 years, where I founded the Townsville Cultural Festival,” he said.

He has created other sculptures over the years, including a giant koala.

“We’ve also made the Jolly Swagman, Slim Dusty and other icons, but we decided as we need tourism after COVID-19 that I might as well build it in Brisbane and drive it up the coast,” Dr Daliri said.

It is unknown if the Townsville Cultural Festival will go ahead in August, yet Dr Daliri said there will be “laughter” theme to the festival after the dark start to 2020.

A giant sculpture of a kookaburra.
The kookaburra has been built upon a log attached to a trailer so it can be moved. Photo: Farvardin Daliri

“We want to have the last laugh over COVID-19 with the kookaburra. We’ll also have laughing workshops along the road, so we can get everyone laughing around it and make them feel better,” he said.

Dr Daliri is planning to drive the kookaburra north to Townsville in the last week of July as restrictions ease.