Giant Cask Wine Sculpture Considered "Art" Down Under

By Kat Hannaford on at

Cottesloe Beach, where I spent many of my summers back in Perth, has been festooned with a, um, sculpture depicting one of Australia's most-loved -- and mocked -- inventions, the cask wine bag. Or "goon juice," if you're from down under.

It's actually one of the first tastes of booze I can remember -- swiping a squirt from my dad's box of red which hung over the top of the fridge.

Created way back in 1965 by a winemaker in the vineyard-heavy South Australia, the original form was made using polyethylene plastic inside a corrugated box. Rather than pour the wine out of a tap, back then the customer was expected to just cut a corner off the bag, slosh out their desired volume, and then reseal it themselves. As primitive as the first Australian fridge, the Coolgardie Safe.

Cask wine reportedly makes up about 40 per cent of Australian wine sales, equating to around 180 million litres being bought annually. But, due to its contents being composed of cheaper quality wine, and reputation amongst uni students (ie, binge-drinkers), sales have slowed since 2000, falling around 6 per cent each year.

Nonetheless, that hasn't stopped one artist from making a giant ode to the goon bag, in the city suburb's annual Sculpture by the Sea event. Made from reflective PVC and epoxy resin and capable of floating on water, the artist Norton Flavel has put the sculpture on sale for $20,000AUD (close to £11,000). Maybe one for that tasteful garden water feature you were planning on landscaping? [PerthNow]