Coming Soon: A Giant Bronze Statue of Nick Cave on a Horse - Atlas Obscura

Coming Soon: A Giant Bronze Statue of Nick Cave on a Horse

The musician’s hometown plans to raise money to make this dream a reality.

A miniature model of the statue.
A miniature model of the statue. Corin Johnson

A dream that first manifested more than 20 years ago may finally come true: A giant, bronze statue of the musician Nick Cave could go up in his birthplace, a small Australian town called Warracknabeal, reports Guardian Australia.

Cave had long ago dreamed up the idea of this statue, when he met the sculptor Corin Johnson by chance back in the mid-1990s. Johnson creates large-scale public art—his past work has included a memorial for Princess Diana and a relief for an anti-slavery monument—and he was intrigued by the project. The statue he designed has Cave astride a rearing horse. It’s not unlike a military statue, only Cave’s wearing a loincloth instead of a uniform. It’s silly and surreal and a little bit strange.

Initially, Cave’s vision was to have the statue made, turn up in Warracknabeal with it on the back of a truck, and try to leave it in the town’s center. If the town didn’t want the statue—screw it, he’d leave it in the desert.

The miniature alongside another figure.
The miniature alongside another figure. Corin Johnson

At one point, a TV company offered to fund the statue’s creation, but Cave decided he didn’t want the process filmed. Still, the project went far enough that Johnson created a set of miniatures of the design. Cave and Johnson each have one, and a silver version is held by the Melbourne Arts Centre.

Without funding, the project went on hiatus. Now, though, a local group, the Warracknabeal Arts Council, has announced that it will be raising funds to erect the statue in the town, with the intention of drawing more tourists. If they succeed, Johnson will be involved in creating and installing the statue, and Cave’s vision will finally come true. His image will rear up high in the desert sun, memorializing the place where he came from.