During high school, one of Australia’s most controversial sculptures was installed in Canberra. Named ‘Down by the Lake with Liz and Phil,’ it showed the figures of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip sitting at a park bench. The controversial bit? They sat in the shadow of parliament house, totally butt naked.

All over the news, the talking heads had lots to say. It seemed like the entire nation was outraged, and a few nights later, somebody knocked off the Queen’s head. The remains of the sculpture were removed shortly after that - people had trashed it.


As you can imagine, there were all sorts of teenage jokes that swirled around our class, and one day - in the middle of all the sniggering - someone pipes up: “My Dad made that.” The entire class erupted. It was mayhem sprinkled with calls of ‘Yeah right’ and ‘You’re so full of shit Taylor.’ My friend bristled, ‘Fuck you all; I’ll bring in the Queen’s head.’ We eventually settled, but I don’t even think the teacher believed him.

The next day, Taylor saunters into school carrying a plastic shopping bag. “Sorry. Dad wouldn’t let me bring in the Queen’s head. It’ll get me in trouble.”

Ha! We knew it.

But, before anyone could say anything, he pulls Liz’s severed arm out of the bag. “Although he did say I could bring her hand.”

It was my first sculptural experience.

A photo of the sculpture down by the lake with liz and phil by Greg Taylor, installed next to lake burley griffin.

Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.

Previously: TGIM 46 - But when you combine them all into a team? Any unit can win, but only when they are in the right place at the right time; it flattens the whole hierarchy out.


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