A good sculpture can stop people in their tracks. When people are speeding down the highway on their way home from work that’s probably not a good thing.
At the Light Horse Interchange near Eastern Creek, where the M7 and M4 are linked by weaving ramps, the threat of car collisions by art critics has been avoided by featuring a sculpture that blends with its environment so well, many people don’t realise there is a sculpture at all.
According to the M7 Westlink website, “The Australian Light Horse Sculpture Parade is dedicated to the heroic troops who served in the Australian Light Horse and their horses that could never return.”
“The sculpture has a central mast and four sets of radiating markers representing the Australian Light Horse on parade. The soaring 55m high mast with its reflective crown, located at the centre of the Light Horse Interchange, provides a focus to the sculpture.
“The lit mast and crown symbolise a torch in the dark.”
More than symbolising a torch in the dark, the “lit mast” acts as one. You could be forgiven for thinking its only purpose was lighting the interchange.
The website goes on to explain, “Red, the colour of the Flanders poppy and poppies that bloomed throughout Palestine, is symbolic of the blood of supreme sacrifice and is the colour chosen for the sculptural group.”
The shade of red chosen has an uncanny resemblance to the colour of the lane dividers used during roadwork, and the white band that is “a reference to the departing soldiers’ innocence of war” looks like the reflective band on the same dividers.
If you were wondering where the “horses that could never return” feature in the sculpture, they don’t. “Australian quarantine regulations prevented the return of any horse that had survived the battles… As a reminder of every Light Horseman’s loss in leaving his horse behind, there is no physical representation of the horse in the sculpture.”