Dave Jones
Warrnambool Art Gallery

'Seal' is a sculpture by Dave Jones that takes the form of the head of a giant Australian Fur Seal emerging from the footpath "as though it has just swum up from the harbour and poked its head up to see what's happening". The sculpture is a striking presence on the street, a playful guardian-spirit looking for a playmate that references the abundant natural marine life of the Warrnambool coastline. With its head slightly looking down, its smiling face and bright, sparkling eyes full of life it engages with pedestrians as they make their way through Liebig Street.

Seal is composed of faceted COR-TEN steel polygons with dramatic and bold edges that give it a stylised, contemporary look. The ‘low-poly’ appearance of the sculpture references both gaming aesthetics and Cubist representations of form to set the work firmly in the present day and resonate with all audiences. The oxidised surface patina both protects it from the elements and mimics the dappled brown fur of the Australian Fur Seal. With only the head emerging from the sidewalk, the sculpture invites viewers to imagine the much larger form of the entire animal that lies beneath the pavement. One might even imagine a giant subterranean ocean where a whole colony of giant seals frolic beneath the township.

Dave Jones

Natimuk artist and animator Dave Jones has been working in the field for more than twenty years and has won a number of national and international awards. In recent years, Dave has focused his attention on the emerging possibilities for the use of animation in a real-time context. In 2013 Dave received a Creative Australia Fellowship from the Australia Council to continue this work.

Image credit: Dave Jones, Seal, 2018.