SURPRISE: Stage one of the installation of Corey Thomas's 12 metre tall lighthouse sculpture on the new Bayshore Drive Roundabout at Byron Bay.
SURPRISE: Stage one of the installation of Corey Thomas's 12 metre tall lighthouse sculpture on the new Bayshore Drive Roundabout at Byron Bay. Christian Morrow

12m high sculpture takes locals by surprise

A SCULPTURE erected overnight on the newly opened $5.6 million Bayshore Drive Roundabout at Byron Bay has taken many locals by surprise.

Comments on social media have not been kind, with many shocked at the $55,000 sculpture's (so far) very phallic appearance.

But the 12 metre high sculpture is not complete.

Artist Corey Thomas is continuing work to open up the form, spreading the bird icons out to reveal a silhouette echoing the shape of the Byron Lighthouse.

The finished effect will be far from phallic.

MONUMENTAL: Corey Thomas' 12-metre high piece will create a silhouette of the lighthouse through thousands of stainless steel birds.
MONUMENTAL: Corey Thomas' 12-metre high piece will create a silhouette of the lighthouse through thousands of stainless steel birds. Contributed

Comments online have ranged from derision to downright hostility with Grant Margetts writing: "I'm waiting for Mr Squiggle to pop out of it. To be fair perhaps we should wait till it's complete... However this morning Byron Bay has a big silver dildo in the middle of the roundabout."

On commissioning of the sculpture Chair of the Council's Public Art Panel, Councillor Sarah Ndiaye, said she was excited that the council had decided to invest in this sculpture.

"This is a significant project that reflects some of the creativity, history and natural beauty of this area." she said.

"The budget for this installation represents Council's biggest investment in public art, a key deliverable in Council's Public Art Strategy.

Council's Manager Works, Tony Nash said he was pleased council was opening the new roundabout before Christmas despite the rain during October and the disruptions this caused.

"There will be some minor works for the contractor to complete in coming weeks and they will be removing their equipment at the completion of the job - but this will not impact on roundabout traffic.


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