Bird’s eye view from new work

THE first bird’s nest to be seen in Laman Street since the fig trees were removed last year has been installed in the forecourt of the Newcastle Art Gallery.

Black Totem II, a Brett Whiteley giant sculpture, is estimated to be worth more than  $800,000. 

The sculpture consists of a towering  pole with a black bird’s nest perched on top, with a glowing fibreglass egg the size of a small car resting inside.

Standing  more than  11metres high, the sculpture is one of only two giant Whiteley sculptures to ever be produced.

It required a crane, rigger and a semi-trailer to transport it from its former home in  Sydney to Laman Street.

Whiteley’s widow, Wendy, donated the sculpture, which has spent the past 10 years on the Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk, to the gallery in honour of her daughter, Arkie.

Brett Whiteley, who won the Archibald Prize twice, died from a drug overdose in 1992. 

Wendy Whiteley will be in Newcastle on November 2 for the official presentation of the sculpture to the gallery and the opening of the exhibition Whiteley on Water, which will run until February 23.

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