A long-awaited statue of Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave is set to be crowdfunded for the musician’s hometown of Warracknabeal in rural Victoria.
Speaking with Music Feeds, Peter Loy from the Warracknabeal Arts Council says the campaign will aim to raise around $200,000 for a bronze statue by British sculptor Corin Johnson, as well as the establishment of a youth arts foundation in honour of Cave’s parents.
The “mythical” statue (as Loy describes it) has been in planning for two years, but was originally dreamt up by Johnson and Cave in the mid-90s, and has been joked about by Cave ever since.
“A lot of people are quite sceptical about it, but we’re quite excited about it,” Loy says.
While the statue’s design is yet to be finalised and its exact location still to be determined, Loy says the crowdfunding campaign will likely begin in July, through the fundraising website Chuffed.
In a statement, the Warracknabeal Arts Council says, “We should expect controversy, but that in turn will only increase interest in Nick Cave, the statue and Warracknabeal in Australia and around the world.
“Nick Cave fans, of which there are millions around the world, are notoriously loyal and if a fan sets foot in Australia from a distant country then a visit to The Warracknabeal Statue will be on their ‘to do list’.”
A huge Nick Cave mural once proposed for Warracknabeal eventually fell through because, as Loy explains, “We just don’t have the right sort of walls in the town, I know it sounds crazy. We just don’t have any suitable walls.”
Loy says part of the reason why the Arts Council decided to make the Nick Cave statue a reality is because of the success of local silo art, which Loy says has “made public art acceptable to a conservative rural community”.
The local Yarriambiack Shire Council tells Music Feeds that while the council isn’t currently involved with the Warracknabeal statue project, it “will assist where possible if the proposal comes to fruition”.
Cave reportedly emailed Warracknabeal’s local newspaper The Wimmera Mail Times in 2008, and told them an all-star cast would rock up for the statue’s unveiling.
“Russell Crowe, my mate, has promised to attend,” he reportedly wrote. “Snoop Dogg, a rapper, says he’ll come if they let him into the country. [And] Kylie Minogue said she wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
10 years later, it looks like the unveiling describe in that email could soon become a reality.
Nick Cave was born in Warracknabeal in 1957. According to the 2011 Census, the town now has around 3,000 residents.
The Warracknabeal Arts Council is set to host a screening of the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds concert film Distant Sky this September, to mark Cave’s birthday on 22nd September.