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A giant koala made of colourful pom-poms under construction before heading to the Powerhouse Museum
Photograph: Koala Train, 2020, Rosie Deacon

A giant multi-coloured koala is heading to the Powerhouse Museum

Rosie Deacon's five-metre tall work draws attention to Australia's favourite vulnerable species

Written by
Stephen A Russell
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Who doesn’t love a giant koala? Well, maybe some trigger-happy politicians who are all for clearing the glorious fur balls’ natural habitats, but the least said about them and the more about this fabulous five-metre tall installation at the Powerhouse Museum, the better.

Currently under construction by artist and Powerhouse NSW Creative Industries resident Rosie Deacon, Koala Train will be unveiled in the museum’s transport exhibition on December 12, alongside our favourite locomotives (cue Kylie track), aeroplanes and horse-drawn vehicles. It's a strangely magnificent cuddly critter/steam train hybrid. Not to be outdone by scientists' bizarre recent discovery that many of our fave marsupials and monotremes emit bioluminescence under UV light, this big ol' koala is crafted from more than 2,000 brightly coloured pom-poms. Shine on.

We love Deacon’s Australiana kick and are so ready to go Instagram selfie-hunting. As cute as her new creation is, it’s also a timely reminder that human clearing of their eucalyptus tree hangouts is all the more worrying after last year’s horrendous bushfires. This is one national icon we cannot afford to lose. 

The gorgeous creation is perfect for kids big and little, and while checking it out, you'll be able to boogie to koala dance videos created by Deacon in collaboration with fellow artist Dara Gill. Now that is worth getting a wriggle on and making a smooth move over to Ultimo.  

Love installation art? Check out Lindy Lee's 'Secret World of a Starlight Ember' at the MCA.

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