The Fairfield Industrial Dog Object, simply known as FIDO or FIDO the Big Dog, is a gigantic canine sculpture located in Fairfield, a northern Melbourne suburb. Here’s everything you need to know about this controversial Big Thing of Australia.
Brief History of the Fairfield Industrial Dog Object
The concept of FIDO was first announced in 1999 by the Darebin City Council to support local art programs. However, the initiative was met by stiff opposition, mostly from the locals.
According to a survey that targeted around 400 locals, about 90% of them opposed the project. It was argued that the resources allocated to the project, including the AUD 500,000 price tag, should have been spent on more essential services.
However, in its defence, the council argued that it was its responsibility to support local art programs in addition to everyday tasks such as rubbish collection.
The Completion of FIDO
FIDO was finally erected in April 2000. The gigantic wooden sculpture was designed by Ian Sinclair, David Davies, Alistair Knox and Jackie Staude.
Fairfield Industrial Dog Object Size and Measurements
FIDO measures 5.5 metres high and approximately 8 metres long.
Fairfield Industrial Dog Object Inspiration
The idea behind FIDO was to ‘represent the precinct’s dog-loving community.’ Originally designed to interact with the locals, FIDO had sensors that allowed it to wag its tail, wiggle its ears and light up at night.
After its completion, the canine sculpture received mixed reactions from the locals. For example, the council incorporated FIDO into the title of its public art plan in 2016, namely:
“Beyond Fido: Darebin City Council Public Art Strategy 2006 to 2015”
FIDO also became part of the official logo of the Fairfield Traders Association in 2015.
But, on the other hand, the sculpture was mentioned by the Revolutionary Council for the Removal of Bad Art in Public Places as the sixth-worst public artworks in Australia. The organization also threatened to burn it down. However, in its response, the council described FIDO as a ‘much-loved sculpture.’
Despite the controversy, there’s no doubt that FIDO is now one of the most storied Big Things of Australia.
If you loved reading about FIDO, you’d also enjoy the story of The Big Blue Heeler in Muswellbrook, New South Wales.