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Callum Morton's Monument # 32: Helter Shelter 2018 - Sydney Cont
Photograph: Daniel BoudCallum Morton, 'Monument #32: Helter Shelter'

A giant Trump head has popped up in Sydney

Written by
Ben Neutze

Donald Trump is yet to make a presidential visit to Sydney, but Melbourne-based artist Callum Morton has delivered us something even better – and frankly, probably less likely to cause permanent damage to our beautiful city. His new artwork, 'Monument #32: Helter Shelter', allows visitors to step inside Trump's head, take a seat, and take shelter from the elements. Which frankly makes this Trump significantly more useful than the actual 45th president of the United States.

The temporary sculpture, installed by the water at the end of Exchange Place in Barangaroo, is about the size of a bus stop. At the front, Trump stares down Barangaroo with striking blue eyes. The back of his head is hollowed out and completely empty. Make of that what you will.

Callum Morton
Photograph: Daniel Boud

"So it's pretty obvious what this is," Morton says of the artwork. "It belongs to the language of the parade float or the kind of protest float... To reduce a figure like Trump to that kind of caricature is of interest to me."

The sculpture will be at Barangaroo until September 24, and reflects the giant head of Luna Park, just across the harbour.

"The hollow brain of Trump is a shelter – a furnace, if you like – where you can sit," Morton says. "It's not really about Trump so much... I've been meditating on these figures of power for a number of years. It's really about how a figure like Trump becomes so powerful. In the world we live in, there's always been figures like this – snake oil salesmen – he's kind of the PT Barnum of his time that makes up truth." 

Photograph: Daniel Boud

The Trump head has been installed for Sydney Contemporary. The main art fair is taking place at Carriageworks from September 13-16, but three major site specific works are being presented at Barangaroo throughout September.

There's also Cameron Robbins' 'Remote sensor', which is essentially a wind-powered drawing machine. When there's low wind, he gets about one artwork from the machine every 24 hours. But he's hoping for more than that, so he wants gale force winds.

The wind speed moves the pencil back and forth while the wind direction spins the canvas around. 

Photograph: Daniel Boud

For those who are more into live art, Mel O'Callaghan has collaborated with Sydney Dance Company and harpist Clare Cooper for a 15-minute performance using movement and music to explore breath. The dancers go through a cycle of deep, rhythmic and unison controlled breathing, broken up by sequences of free movement and breath. 'Breath repertoire' is being performed at 12.30pm on August 31, September 6, 7 and 13.

Cameron Robbins and Callum Morton's artworks will be on display at Barangaroo until September 24.

Find out more about Sydney Contemporary and check out Sydney's public art hotspots. 

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