Gilbert, Oliver, Penelope, Roxanne and Yasmin have left the pool at Wally’s Colour Spa, refreshed and revitalised with more sparkle than ever.
They’re the “Jelly Babies”, the fibreglass and acrylic sculptures that have made their way into the hearts and “selfies” of many a tourist and local since they appeared outside the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Abbott Street back in 2004.
Behind the iconic pieces is former Cairns artist Sophie Cadman, who created them in 2004 to celebrate the cultural diversity of the local community.
Each Jelly Baby is equal in its form but individual in its colour. This celebration is communicated through a medium that is recognised and enjoyed regardless of culture or age – lollies.
“They were a bit bald in places,” Wally, aka Cairns sculptor Daniel Wallwork, said.
“They had become a bit transparent and damaged over the years from the elements and from assaults like the odd drunk person crash tackling them.
“So I took them off to my ‘Holiday Colour Spa’ where they lazed around the pool and were given a whole new lease of life. They should be good for another 10 years or so, at least.”
Wally describes himself as a “professional colour artist”, a graffiti artist with a background in auto spray painting and a fine arts career in sculpture.
Some of his work can be seen in the Cairns Airport lounge – huge feather sculptures depicting black and white Cockatoos, Rainbow Lorikeet, Kingfisher and Yellow Bellied Sunbird.
“I understand the arts and the trade side of things. I think some of the trades people were afraid to touch the Jelly Babies because they don’t quite get them,” he quipped.
“I have added some sparkle and they look delicious.”
The Jelly Babies are also indicative of the collaboration between the Centre of Contemporary Arts, Kickarts, JUTE Theatre and a number of emerging theatre and dance companies it supports.