'Emblem' – Brisbane, Australia - Atlas Obscura

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A colorful sculpture of an Australian symbol patrols an otherwise ordinary traffic island. 


Located right by the Roma Street train station and Brisbane police station headquarters, this giant iconic Australian animal statue is hard to miss. She seems to have her hands tucked into her pouch, and is shown striding forward in large wellies (waterproof boots).

Smiling slightly even though she’s rather isolated on a traffic island, “Emblem” is artist Geoffrey Ricardo’s humorous tribute to the Australian coat of arms inspired by “the peculiar notion of using an animal totem to represent the virtues of a group or culture which is ambivalent towards it.”

That’s probably true, since the kangaroo is on Australian coins and is seen almost everywhere in various forms across the country. Despite this, it’s still a shock for many to learn that Aussies eat kangaroo meat (though hunting them is illegal).    

“Emblem” isn’t the only artistic depiction of a kangaroo you’ll find in the city. There’s also a statue of a kangaroo in Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens, and on busy George Street a gang of four shifty-looking “City Roos” made out of scrap metal by local artist Christopher Trotter loiter around a couple of benches.

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