Shearwater sculpture retains pride of place in Southbank

ExxonMobil Australia has gifted its Shearwater sculpture to the City of Melbourne, ensuring it retains its prominent position on the banks of the Yarra River in Southbank.

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Shearwater sculpture retains pride of place in Southbank

The Shearwater II 1994-95, by sculptor Inge King, was originally commissioned by Esso Australia to be displayed at site outside its Southbank building and was installed in 1995. 

ExxonMobil Australia Chairman Richard Owen said the company was delighted to gift the iconic Shearwater sculpture to the City of Melbourne.

“When we decided to relocate to our new Docklands office, our preference was for this iconic artwork to remain in place and we have worked together with the City of Melbourne to make this a reality.

“The Shearwater is an important piece of art so we are pleased it will remain in the public domain. It is also important to ExxonMobil, which is why we have retained a model version at our new office,” he said.

Public & Government Affairs Operations Manager Katie Brown said ExxonMobil Australia directly contributes to the communities where we operate.

“We have a long history of supporting the arts in Australia and recognise the importance of keeping this iconic artwork available to a broader public audience.

“This community gift builds on this ongoing support and follows our donation of 40 original artworks to the Gippsland Art Gallery earlier this year,” she said.

Facts about the Shearwater II 1994-95

  • Material: Polychrome steel.
  • Dimensions: 780 cm by 670 cm by 350 cm.
  • Description: “The sharp lines along the wings of the sculpture capture a sense of movement, like a bird in flight. The bold colours add identity to the sculpture as one of the common shearwater birds in Australia, known as the Short-tailed Shearwater.”
Photo — Melbourne City Councillor Nick Reece, ExxonMobil Australia Chairman Richard Owen and Central Equity's Eddie Kutner with the Shearwater scuplture.

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