The Story of The Big Spud
When driving on a highway or any busy road in Australia, you’ll most likely spot a gigantic sculpture of almost anything you can think of. The Big Spud is one such sculpture visible from the highway between Deloraine and Devonport, in North West Tasmania.
As fondly named by the locals, Kenny Kennebec is a giant potato sculpture that’s been sitting up a pole along Bass highway for over 30 years. The huge spud has a pair of hands and legs, a hat, and a massive smile on its face. Its initial job was to welcome travellers and passersby to a small potato stall located off the road.
The Big Spud was sculpted by a local farmer, councillor, and former Latrobe Deputy Mayor, Rick Rockliff. Initially, he created a caravan loaded with potatoes and placed it on the spot a few meters from where the Big Spud stands. However, an oversized potato appeared to be a better mascot for the fresh vegetable stall.
So Rick made the large spud from a model of a Kennebec potato. Next, he cut the model into pieces which he used to draw the potato on a scale. He then used the drawing to sculpt the Big Spud.
Over the years, The Big Spud has had its own fair share of good and bad times, having encountered harsh weather and survived shotgun blasts. And that’s not all; the sculpture survived eviction during a road signs crackdown by the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources in the town.
Away from the Big Spud, there’s another oversized potato in Robertson, New South Wales. The Big Potato, or simply ‘Robbo,’ was built by a local farmer Jim Mauger over 40 years ago to represent the town’s thriving potato farming industry.