Aboriginal busker


Parkside, Australia

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Artist's Description

An Australian Aboriginal musician and singer performs in the pedestrian shopping mall and meeting place, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, Australia.

Rundle Mall in the Adelaide city centre is the premier retail area of South Australia. It was opened as Australia’s first pedestrian street mall in September 1974 by closing the section of Rundle Street between King William Street and Pulteney Street, to vehicular traffic. The street continues as Rundle Street (as before) to the east and Hindley Street to the west.

The pedestrian mall has become the centerpiece of Adelaide’s city centre, home to some of the most expensive real estate (per square metre) in the state. It competes with the large shopping complexes in the suburbs, (e.g. Westfield Marion, Centro Arndale, Elizabeth Shopping Centre, etc.) In 2009, retail space directly on the mall leased for up to $3,700 per square metre per year.

The mall is home to the South Australian flagship stores of many large Australian retailers and a large number smaller independent and chain stores. The mall also features a number of arcades and plazas containing smaller boutiques and eateries. These include the Italianate styled Adelaide Arcade (also being the first retail establishment in Australia with electric lighting, and allegedly home to six ghosts), Regent Arcade, Gays Arcade, City Cross, Southern Cross, Adelaide Central Plaza, Myer Centre and Renaissance Arcade.

There are usually several buskers performing in the mall, licensed by the Adelaide City Council.

Rundle Street, from which the mall takes its name, is named after John Rundle, a member of the British House of Commons and an original director of the South Australia Company. The street was named on 23 May 1837 by the Street Naming Committee. In 1895, the first electric street lighting was installed at the intersection of Rundle Street (as it was then), King William Street and Hindley Street. It also had a tramline run through it when it was still part of Rundle Street. In November 1972, the then South Australian Premier, Don Dunstan, issued the closure of the western part of Rundle Street to create Rundle Mall, due to extreme congestion caused by traffic and the increasing number of pedestrians.

There are several items of modern sculpture in the mall. The best-known is the 4m tall The Spheres by Bert Flugelman; two large stainless steel spheres with a diameter of 2.15 metres balanced one on top of the other. They are most commonly referred to as the Mall’s Balls or Rundle Mall balls. “The Mall’s Balls” are a common meeting place for visitors. As of 2014, the spheres have been removed for restoration3 Erected in 1977, they were commissioned by the then Hindmarsh Building Society (subsequently absorbed into the Adelaide Bank) and donated to the City of Adelaide to mark the building society’s 1977 centenary.

Other sculpture includes a group of life-size bronze pigs – Horatio, Truffles, Augusta and Oliver – rooting around a rubbish bin.

Of note is the historic Beehive Corner, completed in 1896. It lies at the western end of the Mall, on the corner of King William Street, and was originally owned by John Rundle. Beehive Corner is built in the Neo-gothic style, which is generally reserved for churches. The Mall also contains a fountain (The Fountain) that is painted in Victorian colours and was cast in the late 1800s.


Artwork Comments

  • Keala
  • indiafrank
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