SURPRISE: Stage one of the installation of Corey Thomas's 12 metre tall lighthouse sculpture on the new Bayshore Drive Roundabout at Byron Bay.
SURPRISE: Stage one of the installation of Corey Thomas's 12 metre tall lighthouse sculpture on the new Bayshore Drive Roundabout at Byron Bay. Christian Morrow

Drivers 'abuse' sculpture artist as he works

BYRON Bay residents have taken to "yelling and abusing" artist Corey Thomas from their cars as he works on the town's new 12m high sculpture on the Bayshore Dr roundabout.

A sculpture erected this week on the newly opened $5.6 million roundabout at Byron Bay has taken many locals by surprise.

Comments on social media have not been kind, with many shocked at the $55,000 sculpture's (so far) very phallic appearance.

Byron Shire Council has since reminded people the installation of the artwork is not yet completed.

"What is disappointing is that people travelling on the roundabout are yelling at and abusing the artist as he is trying to work and understandably this is quite upsetting," Council posted on Facebook.

Residents commented that they were upset there was no community engagement over the piece and that the artist was not local.

Jodie Clowes said she thought "$50,000 paid to a local artist would go a long way in supporting local business".

Jenny Bannister said it was "too big and shiny for (Byron's) natural green image".

Sarah Christian said paying the money "to a non local artist is a major slap in the face to all the talented locals who would have kept that money within the community", but said Mr Thomas didn't deserve the abuse.

Others thought the abusive behaviour was appalling.

"The sculpture will look incredible give it a chance," Mark Newhouse said.

Some said they were yelling encouragement at the artist - "My mum just went around the round about and screamed to the artist that she loves his work. Biggest grin on his face!," Elendel McCasker said.

Grant Margetts said to be trying to sculpt an art work while being abused was terrible.

"I've checked out some of his other works he is a very talented man."



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