New Dawn: Heralding the Big Man,
2014 80 x 125 cms
Controversy reared in 2010 when an attempt to erect the statue of the explorer John McDouall Stuart on Council lawns was hindered by people antagonistic to its prominent positioning in town and that Council had approved this moment without consulting its own Public Art Advisory Committee according to policy. Further, there were objections to the depiction of him bearing arms, given the murderous record of early settlers in the region.
The piece was lowered by crane, unveiled and inaugurated in the presence of the Freemason's Adelaide Grand Master. The explorer was a Freemason and it was the local chapter of Freemasons that commissioned folk artist Mark Egan to make the 4 metre ferro-cement man. Four years later, nearing the August 6th date of McDouall Stuart's arrival, the statue was again lowered onto its metre-high plinth in the park south of the CBD bearing his name without fanfare or undue fuss.