Don’t be owl by yourself by gifting your significant other Lladró’s Reese-Intuitive Owl Figurine from the Lovely World Collection (left). Need a small little friend to stay watch for you? Lladró’s Lucky Owl Figurine from the Knocks on Wood Collection is the perfect candidate (right).
The majestic owl is often associated with good fortune, protection, wisdom and learning. Due to many species existing on every continent (except Antartica), there has been various depictions of owls in artwork, architecture, and stories/myths. Australia is no different, and has featured owls as landmarks across the country. Here are four examples:
1. CHINUTE CHINUTE/THE BIG OWL - DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY
KOOLPINYAH RICHARD BARNES, 2010
Located along the walkway from Smith Street Mall to Darwin Waterfront, this sculpture is a significant monument for the Larrakia people. Designed by Koolpinyah, an indigenous artist and leader of the Larrakia community, he states that “Chinute Chinute is a Larrakia spiritual ancestor who exists within the sacred site known as Stokes Hill adjacent to this walkway. This ancestor manifests itself from time to time as the Tawny Frogmouth and stands as sentinel to the Waterfront area.” It is interesting to note that despite its owl-like appearance and nocturnal habits, the Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is not an owl!
The Japanese word for owl, ‘fukurō’, carries the homophonic meaning of ‘without hardship’ and contains the word ‘fuku’ meaning ‘good luck’. Lladró’s Owl Figurine, Coloured is from the Origami Collection which stylizes lucky animals in the ancient Japanese papercraft artform.
2. OWL - BELCONNEN, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
BRUCE ARMSTRONG, 2011
CAST COMPOSITE, STEEL, HARDWOOD, PAINT
Located at the corner of Belconnen and Benjamin Way, this sculpture was erected in honour of the Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), the largest owl species in Australia. It is often ridiculed for its phallic shape and is prone to graffiti but remains a popular tourist attraction. Last year (2022), Belconnen celebrated the sculpture’s 10th anniversary by creating an official postmark featuring the owl to mark letters sent from the Belconnen post office.
A new addition to the Boldblack Collection in 2023, Lladró’s Owl Sculpture Black-Gold Limited Edition of only 1000 units features a barn owl in matt black porcelain and highlights the owl’s iconic concave facial disc and talons in gloss 24K golden lustre. This treatment turns the traditional appearance of a white barn owl on its head.
3. ODIS THE OWL - ALBURY CITY, NEW SOUTH WALES
DEAN BOWEN, 2014
Commissioned to be placed outside the Lavington Library, Odis the Owl is a collaboration between Dean Bowen, Albury City Council and Zauner Construction. Odis was chosen by the Lavington community, meaning patient, preserving and strong willed. The sculpture is symbolic of the area’s endangered Barking Owl (Ninox connivens) and of the new library’s association of learning and knowledge.
4. MULLUM MULLUM THE OWL - RINGWOOD, VICTORIA
WILLIAM EICHOLTZ, 2017
Mullum Mullum is named after the valley and creek trail it was placed at, and is derived from the Woiwurrung language thought to mean ‘place of many big birds’ – a reference to the sculpture depicting the Powerful Owl native to that area. The main sculpture is bronze but William Eicholtz, a contemporary sculptor, used two see-through rhinestones as the owl’s eyes to capture the attention of visitors. The regular plumage of feathers is also replaced with the local leaves and flowers.
The largest vase Lladró has created is the Paradise Vase Sculpture Limited Edition of 150 units, standing tall at 90cm. It features an art style referencing French painter Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) interpretation of paradise before the fall. Lladró’s porcelain layering creates depth of foliage of a tropical forest and a wide variety of animals popping out at every corner – man and woman, snake, tiger, elephant, bear, panther, monkey and multiple birds including an owl.
Note the incredible detail of the eyes of the owl!
Here are some other articles on birds:
- Insight: The Significance of Birds & Animals in Aboriginal Culture
- Eagles: A symbol of high honour
- 5 Reasons Flamingos Are Fabulous