Art Barton Park is small ribbon like park, a couple of metres of densish growth, on either side of the walking path along the east side of the beautiful Lavender Bay on the North Shore, across the Harbour Bridge and a stones throw to the west of Luna Park.
Ninety-nine percent of people walking along here have, unsurprisingly, their eyes glued on the stunning little bay itself, the iconic Harbour Bridge and the famous green and yellow ferries scuttling too and fro on the Harbour.
Few look down and see the dozen or so quirky little sculptures dotted along the side of the path. People also miss them as most of them are less than 50cm high and they are, in the main, at least partially hidden in the shrubbery.
As explained in my Luna Park review, Art (Arthur) Barton was the resident artist at the funfair for 33 of his 35 years employment there and this little park is a memorial to him, and his work at the funfair.
As Barton’s artwork at Luna Park was inspired by the work of Australian cartoonists and children’s stories so to are the little sculptures here, in the main, classic characters from Australian children’s books and comic strips. They include Blinky Bill, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the Magic Pudding (image 1), Felix the Cat (image 3), Bib and Bob (image 4 below) and Ginger Meggs, all by artist Peter Kingston who, himself, was the resident artist in Luna Park in the early 1990s.
If you have passed by or visited Luna Park en route, as the majority of visitors will, you will immediately recognise the sculpture in my image below as the iconic entrance face of Luna Park. Barton’s 1950s happy face entrance, based on ‘Ole King Cole’, has been used as a model for all entrances since then.
In many of my reviews I exhort the visitor to look up when out for a walk – here I exhort him or her to look down!
The easiest and fastest way to get to Art Barton Park from the city centre is to take a ferry from Circular Quay to Milsons Point Wharf. From here the park is a couple of hundred metres walk either through or by Luna Park. Alternatively you can catch the train to Milsons Point Station and walk from there. If you have more time time, why not walk across the Harbour Bridge and along the Harbour’s edge to Lavender Bay?
This is my last Sydney – NORTH SYDNEY review.
For other Sydney reviews click HERE.