Lonely Planet Writer

This small Australian town may be getting a statue of Nick Cave on horseback

The rural town of Warracknabeal in Victoria, south-east Australia, may be getting a unique new tourist attraction; a large shining statue of musician and writer Nick Cave atop a rearing horse.

The statue depicts Nick Cave on the back of a rearing horse.
The statue depicts Nick Cave on the back of a rearing horse. Image by Bleddyn Butcher

With a population of approximately 2500 people, Warracknabeal is known for its annual three-day Easter festival, which includes a golf tournament, a busking competition and a vintage machinery rally. However, the town’s other claim to fame is being the birth place and early home of Nick Cave, an artist whose diverse creative output has made him an international name.

A miniature version of the statue. Image by Corin Johnson

The idea to mark the destination with a unique statue first emerged when artist and sculptor Corin Johnson met Cave. “We designed the statue together. The inspiration was the great sculptures of the past, and the settlers in Australia, like Ned Kelly. It’s beautiful, celebrating a native artist of rural Australia on a horse,” the artist told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Nick Cave performs live on stage with The Bad Seeds at The O2 Arena, London.
Nick Cave performs live on stage with The Bad Seeds at The O2 Arena, London. Image by Chiaki Nozu

Corin has already made a miniature version of the statue, which features a calm-looking Nick Cave in a loincloth holding a flaming torch while the horse rears on its hind legs on a rock. The large-scale sculpture has not been made yet, but the Warracknabeal Arts Council are currently planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of having the statue completed by the end of the year.

Cave discusses the idea of having a statue made in the 2008 music documentary Abusing the Muse, which shows footage and images of Corin’s design. In one interview segment, the musician says that the project is something that he has been considering for 20 years, with the hope that the completed statue could be gifted to the town of Warracknabeal.