26 Nov 2020
Kylie Minogue has undergone a stunning makeover and has returned for a memorable, show-stopping appearance at Sydney Olympic Park that doesn't involve singing or dancing.
After 12 months of precision planning, the “almost lifesize” (1.7m high) sculpture of Kylie was be escorted into Olympic Park, replacing a sculpture that was created to commemorate the first anniversary of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Sydney Olympic Park Authority commissioned the original artist Daz Burgess to recreate the very popular statue that paid homage to Kylie’s performance of Dancing Queen at the 2000 Closing Ceremony and was originally installed atop a sequined pole in 2001.
Daz said he was thrilled to craft a second Kylie sculpture.
“Artists almost never have the chance to improve on a piece they have created, so this opportunity was very exciting,” Daz said.
He said technology had improved greatly in the past 20 years, so the new Kylie was very much an improved version.
“Digital technology allowed us to take the actual image of Kylie and create a digital replication to craft a much more accurate and realistic sculpture,” he said.
Daz said it had taken almost 12 months and a team of experts to craft the stunning new Kylie, who has a steel framework and fibreglass finish.
“A large team of expert craftsmen created this amazing piece – it has been such a pleasure to see her come to life.”
Daz tells an interesting story about how the original commission came about.
“A photographer friend was doing a photoshoot with Kylie and wanted a prop for the shoot,” he said.
“I created a throne growing out of a tree for the photoshoot – it was made on a very tight budget. So when Kylie asked if she could keep it I was a little mortified, as I knew it could potentially break.”
Rather than give Kylie a piece he wasn’t proud of, Daz decided to craft a miniature Kylie sculpture to gift to her, confident that it would stand the test of time. Kylie kept it in her Melbourne office and when the curator of the Sydney Olympic Park first anniversary exhibition identified the sculpture, Daz was invited to create a life-sized version of Kylie.
Daz said Kylie was a gift that just kept giving for him, especially as the arts industry had been heavily impacted by COVID-19.
“She has truly been a shining light for me during recent dark times,” he explained
“Even though I lost a great deal of my work recently, it is funny how Kylie Minogue was there for me again.
“She gave me something to do when there was nothing else going on. All my other work got pulled from under me.”
Sydney Olympic Park Authority Executive Director Asset Management John Ferguson said welcoming Kylie back to the Park for the 20th anniversary of the Games was symbolic.
“It is fitting that Kylie be reinstated to commemorate her key role as a global Australian icon in Australia’s biggest ever celebration, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
“Even though we didn’t realise it when we commissioned this piece, it has been a privilege to support the artistic community throughout the recent unprecedented circumstances.
“Sydney Olympic Park is proud to feature Australia’s biggest collection of location specific large-scale urban art celebrating the history of the suburb, and we are thrilled to have Kylie back on centre stage.”
Kylie was installed on November 24. The new artwork was commissioned as part of an insurance claim following a theft incident of the original artwork last year.