Jason Ford, Craig Tunley, Cr Danita Potter and Peter Rasey show off the latest World Expo 88 statue, which may wind up attached to the inside of the roof at Kingaroy’s Visitor Information Centre

November 7, 2019

Kingaroy’s Visitor Information Centre complex may soon have a new resident … but only if he can be attached to the inside of the roof.

The resident is a falling clown who was once part of an elaborate sculpture created for World Expo 88 which depicted three surprised clowns tumbling off a log.

Last Friday, Brisbane’s Peter Rasey delivered the carefully bubble-wrapped sculpture to local resident Jason Ford, SBRC Senior Economic Development Officer Craig Tunley and Cr Danita Potter.

Jason is well-known for being a World Expo 88 tragic; he’s one of Australia’s keenest collectors of World Expo-related memorabilia.

Last year he mounted a display of the several thousand pieces of Expo memorabilia he owns at Kingaroy’s Heritage Museum to mark the 30th anniversary of Expo’s opening.

Jason’s exhibition, which was officially opened by former Brisbane Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson, drew national attention.

It also piqued the interest of Mr Rasey, who wants to create tourist trails to connect south-east Queensland and west as far as Longreach with Expo 88 memorabilia to encourage tourists to venture out of the city into the bush.

Peter helped ensure Caboolture now has surviving Expo works by well-known Australian artist Ken Done, and he’s now delivered several Expo 88 statues to the South Burnett.

Two of the statues have pride of place in Blackbutt’s Memorial Hall, and the Heritage Museum became home to another statue of a ballerina earlier this year.

The two metre statue Peter delivered last week is the biggest – and probably best-preserved – to date.

Remarkably, the fibreglass World Expo 88 statues created by Art Busters were never intended to survive much longer than the expo itself.

Most were made from life, using real people who agreed to be coated with plaster of paris to create moulds.

These were later used to create the finished sculptures in fibreglass, giving them a remarkably life-like feel that dazzled Expo audiences.

All the surviving statues are now 31 years old, and getting much harder to acquire.

Peter said he got the latest one from Brisbane City Council – which is now recasting some Expo statues it owns in bronze – after officials decided the work was now “surplus to requirements”.

Cr Potter said the new statue was really designed to be seen from below.

She will investigate whether it can be attached to the inside roof of the Visitor Information Centre or the adjoining Museum.

In the meantime, she promised Council will take good care of the falling clown, which is barely a few millimetres thick in places.

Related articles:

A close-up of the 31-year-old statue’s face, which was cast from life using plaster of paris

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Video: How Art Busters created the statues for World Expo 88

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