Grow Your Own by James Angus – another sculpture in Perth that looks like a personified thing

Grow Your Own by James Angus, sculpture in Forrest Place, Perth, Western Australia

Grow Your Own by James Angus, sculpture in Forrest Place, Perth, Western Australia

Grow Your Own by James Angus, sculpture in Forrest Place, Perth, Western Australia

Grow Your Own by James Angus, sculpture in Forrest Place, Perth, Western Australia

Perth Train Station lego sculpture at Claremont Showgrounds exhibition 2012

Lego sculpture of Perth Train Station and surrounds at Claremont Showgrounds exhibition 2012

I’ve heard this prominent sculpture in the centre of Perth at Forrest Place unofficially described as a “dancing cactus”, but when was the last time that you saw a cactus dance? This seems to be the personification of an inanimate object, a phenomenon of the mind which could be the result of a range of causes: a well-cultivated imagination, hallucinatory drug usage, illness affecting the mind or perhaps a type of synaesthesia which involves thinking about concepts or objects as though they have personal attributes, attitudes, expressions or movements. The classic example of this is the involuntary association of letters of the alphabet and/or numbers with personal characteristics such as genders and ages and personalities, which is known as ordinal-linguistic personification, but all kinds of other things can be personified. The official title of the large green cactus-like sculpture in the Perth CBD suggests some kind of link with an illicit mind-bending drug, so it seems reasonable to speculate that this was the inspiration for this design. I don’t do drugs but I do experience ordinal-linguistic personification and I can certainly see what is “cactus” about this sculpture and also what is “dancing” about it, but I guess this could be an interpretation or perception which is assessable to just about anyone. When I look at the thing I see a group of cactus dancers with their heels rather awkwardly sticking out in mid-air. Do you see that? In an article about this sculpture which was published in The West last year, the great green thing was described as lively, playful and off-balance, which is generally what you are when you are dancing. It is the cactus that dances.

Some press articles about the dancing cactus:

Great green giant graces city. by Stephen Bevis The West Australian. August 18, 2011. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/entertainment/a/-/entertainment/10062165/great-green-giant-graces-city/

Exclusive interview with the Perth Cactus. by Jimmy The Exploder PerthNow. September 20, 2011. http://www.perthnow.com.au/exclusive-interview-with-the-perth-cactus/story-fn6cmyjj-1226142075082

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