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Iconic Shrigley Sculpture 'Really Good' Makes Its Way to Australia
Editorial / Artists

Iconic Shrigley Sculpture 'Really Good' Makes Its Way to Australia

1 Sep 2023 | 3 min read

Celebrate the artistic voyage of David Shrigley's iconic 'Really Good' sculpture, tracing its journey from London's Fourth Plinth to Melbourne’s NGV Triennial 2023.

Announced yesterday through the artist's Instagram account, David Shrigley's renowned sculpture, Really Good, is currently en route to Australia. Departed from Southampton on the 27th of August, this seven-metre-tall bronze sculpture, depicting an elongated thumb, is making its way to the land down under to be featured at the National Gallery of Victoria as part of the NGV Triennial 2023.

David Shrigley's Really Good, 2016, bronze, 680 x 380 x 160 cm

David Shrigley's Really Good, 2016, bronze, 680 x 380 x 160 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London © David Shrigley. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023

Conceived at the same time as the UK's decision to exit the EU, Really Good was commissioned to grace London's Trafalgar Square as a part of the Fourth Plinth Programme. This initiative invites artists from around the world to unveil new works in the heart of the capital. The sculpture garnered acclaim from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in 2016, who lauded its ability to capture London's spirit of optimism, positivity, and inclusivity. He saw the sculpture as an important symbol of the city's openness. However, in keeping with Shrigley's distinctive style, many view the artwork as a sardonic thumbs-up to Brexit Britain.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan poses with artist David Shrigley at the unveiling of the sculpture in 2016

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan poses with artist David Shrigley at the unveiling of the sculpture in 2016

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

As Australia's oldest and most esteemed gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) consistently showcases a diverse range of both local and international artists, exhibitions, programs, and events. Its offerings span from contemporary art to historical exhibitions, fashion and design, architecture, sound, and dance. Established in 1861, the NGV has assembled an extensive collection of over 76,000 works that encompass thousands of years and an array of disciplines and styles.

Installation of KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness at NGV International in 2020

Installation of KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness at NGV International in 2020

via ngv.vic.gov.au

The NGV Triennial spotlights over 100 artists, designers, and collectives from more than 30 countries, all at the forefront of global contemporary practice. This year's theme prompts the audience to contemplate our world as it exists today and envision how we'd like it to be in the future.

In addition to Shrigley's monumental sculpture, visitors can anticipate newly acquired works from Tracey Emin, including a striking five-metre-high neon light installation, and tactile bronze sculptures alongside her trademark figurative paintings.

Other noteworthy highlights include sculptures and textiles by Yinka Shonibare, a substantial text-based installation on the NGV International facade by Yoko Ono, and much more.

Furthermore, if you're curious about the current whereabouts of that giant thumb, you're in luck! You can track its journey across the ocean to Melbourne on Shrigley's website here.

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