Australia's most famous building material has been turned into art to mark 50 years

Artist Louis Pratt with his creations. Photo: Supplied

Australians travelling overseas often get asked whether it’s true there are kangaroos in the middle of Sydney. For the next three days, the answer is yes, thanks to BHP’s steel spinoff, BlueScope.

The company is marking 50 years of an Australian design icon, the corrugated steel product Colorbond, with a “hop-up” sculpture show in Sydney’s The Rocks.

Artist Louis Pratt designed 22 Colorbond kangaroos, currently installed in Hickson Road Reserve, under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, offering the perfect tourist’s photo with the Opera House in the background. Their construction took six weeks, with Pratt enlisting a team to hand and laser cut, weld and assemble the roos.

“This was a fun job. Drawing, designing and producing the mob by hand took some work but I enlisted the services of some great fellow artists,” Pratt says.

After the exhibition 3 of the sculptures, named Ned, Matilda and Banjo (pictured below), will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the SES.

Photo: Supplied

To sweeten the deal if you’re thinking about dropping by, two actual joeys are on site, for cuddles and photos, from noon-2pm, until Thursday, October 27.

It’s not the first time Colorbond has been turned into art. The Australian landscape is littered with corrugated steel cows and the product featured famously in the 2000 Olympics Tin Symphony, while New Zealand artist Jeff Thomson has devoted his whole career to turning the material into everything from insects to giraffes and fish.

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