Inside the Collection

Luna Park’s past, Larry and Lizzy Luna

Larry Luna created by Leigh Hobbs, 1975. Collection Powerhouse Museum
Larry Luna created by Leigh Hobbs, 1975. Collection Powerhouse Museum, 86/1275

Luna Park opened in Sydney in 1935 and it used to house the charming Mr & Mrs Luna, two larger than life caricatures.

Their creator is Leigh Hobbs who after graduating from art school in 1973, had his first job – at age 21 – at Sydney’s Luna Park, an amusement park next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, where he worked as an artist.

His initial task was to design the colour scheme for an antique carousel. However, during his time at the park he also created two large three dimensional characters called Larry and Lizzy Luna. They are imposing figures, standing 292cms high, 201cm wide and 119cms deep.

Lizzy Luna created by Leigh Hobbs, 1975. Collection: Powerhouse Museum
Lizzy Luna created by Leigh Hobbs, 1975. Collection: Powerhouse Museum, 86/1276

Lizzy has a certain rakish quality that reminds me of another Australian icon, Dame Edna, now on her last official tour in 2012.

In 1999 Hobbs also designed the colour scheme for the entrance to Melbourne’s Luna Park in St. Kilda.

The Museums collection of Luna Park material holds another Hobbs creation, a moon with a face made of papier-mache pictured below.

92/166 Figure, moon with face, Luna Park, painted papier-mache, Leigh Hobbs, Sydney, 1970-1979.
Figure, moon with face, Luna Park, painted papier-mache, Leigh Hobbs, Sydney, 1970-1979. Collection: Powerhouse Museum, 92/166

Leigh Hobbs whose creative endeavours include artwork, paintings, drawings, prints, illustrations and ceramics are to be found in numerous private collections, public art galleries, and institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria and the State Libraries of Victoria and Western Australia. Hobbs is better known for his children’s books, Old Tom and Horrible Harriet.

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