Callum Morton

Callum Morton

#Bull

WASHINGTON DC , USA

'Bull' was created in response to a competition brief for public work outside the new Australian Embassy in Washington facilitated by LoveArt, an independent art advisory firm based in Sydney. The brief framed the creation of a work that symbolised American/Australian relations and drew particularly on the complex legacy of war hero Corporal Leslie 'Bull' Allen. Bull, as he was affectionately known, was born and raised in Ballarat, Victoria. He distinguished himself during the Battle of Mt Tambu in New Guinea when he carried at least twelve wounded American soldiers to safety. Astonishingly, Allen's heroism was never recognised by the Australian Government, and he suffered severe psychological scars from the war that he carried with him for the rest of his life. When he returned home to Ballarat, he had lost the power of speech. He went to work on a farm through this period, and it took him six months to recover. By all accounts, he found it hard to adjust to life back home, moving from job to job. Towards the end of his life, he worked at Sovereign Hill, where he demonstrated a horse-drawn Chilean quartz-crushing mill for tourists. He died at Sovereign Hill doing this job. 

"The idea for this work began where his story ended. I collected small pieces of quartz from the quartz crushing demonstrations still offered to visitors to Sovereign Hill today, and from this group, I selected a rock that could stand on its tip as if delicately balanced. This small fragment of crushed quartz was scanned digitally, and a segment was removed in the computer model, a gesture that, whilst reflecting on the individual suffering of Bull Allen with his various traumas, losses, absences and holes, felt also like it was re-enacting the type of loss and trauma that all soldiers who serve in conflict suffer." - Callum Morton.

The quartz represents the shared pursuit of industry and labour between the two countries and the transformation of base material cut from the earth to forge the development of a new society. In this form, the object belongs to the history of the rock memorial. It is equally a portrait of the land and the violence of colonisation and extractive - mining on and into the sacred country and the cutting open and removal of the land.

Working alongside Morton and Monash Art Projects, our team were able to take the digital object scaled it up, a detailed new scan of quartz was mapped onto it, and then it was CNC cut in polystyrene and cast in bronze. The sliced section became two intersecting planes of rippling mirrored stainless steel.

Image Credit: Rachel See, Chris Roque, Lengash Covenas Courtesy of UAP | Urban Art Projects

#Services provided

Consultancy

Cost Estimating & Budgeting

Manufacturing

Design Development Support
Advanced Robotics
Pattern Making
Mould Making
Lost Wax Casting & Sand Casting
Welding & Fabrication
Finishing & Patina
Project Lifecycle Management
Design Development Support

Preservation

Installation

#Project summary

Creative

Callum Morton

Artwork Title

Bull

Project

Australian Embassy Washington

Client

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Year

2023

Location

Washington DC , USA

Build

UAP

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