Discovering Bruce Armstrong

The City, The Culture

*Guest blog from my mom, Sue*

One of the first things we admired as we drove into Melbourne was the Bunjil statue in the Docklands part of the city, where it is prominently displayed as public art.

The 25-meter statue is inspired by Bunjil, the eaglehawk that is an important part, indeed considered the spirit creator, of the Kulin nations, of which the Wurundjeri indigenous people (the original inhabitants of Melbourne) are a part of.  In 2002, when the statue was unveiled, “The Wurundjeri people believe that Bunjil is a spiritual being who created people and all living things from the land.  He keeps a watchful eye on people and offers guidance to this who choose to listen.”


The sculptor of Bunjil is Bruce Armstrong, a significant Australian artist.


We had seen and noted Bunjil from our very first day in Melbourne.  Several weeks later we visited the Nation Gallery of Victoria Ian Potter Center which displays more contemporary pieces of the NGV collection.  Fortunately for us, there was an exhibit of Bruce Armstrong sculptures.  They were of all sizes (although none were as large as Bunjil.)

The work is distinctive, with the sculpted animals showing presence and personality.  They are carved using various materials, including red gum wood, glass, and stone.

We are so pleased to have experienced Bruce Armstrong’s art.  And we are happy that Bunjil watches over us in Melbourne.


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