The Ugly Stick Orchestra 2017. Roadie cases, gum tree, beer bottle tops.

deconstructed airplane

The Ugly Stick Orchestra 2017. Roadie cases, gum tree, beer bottle tops.

deconstructed plane

The Ugly Stick Orchestra, detail, 2017

deconstructed plane

The Ugly Stick Orchestra 2017. Roadie cases, gum tree, beer bottle tops.

deconstructed airplane

The Ugly Stick Orchestra, detail, 2017

deconstructed plane

The Ugly Stick Orchestra, detail, 2017

The Ugly Stick Orchestra


The lagerphone as we know it is an anachronistic object. Commonly associated with bush bands and gold rush era Australia, the lagerphone is festooned with crown bottle tops. Crown bottle tops were only invented in 1892, and in fact were the very first disposable object to come into existence.

Regardless of its provenance, the lagerphone can be seen as a meeting between the native Australian environment (the stick) and imported Western culture (the bottle caps). The combination of the two creates a relatively harmless folksy percussive instrument. The problem arises when the lagerphone stick grows from a branch to a tree. What was once an endearing folk instrument grows into a monstrous botanic voodoo doll. This vision echoes the growing pains that our nation experiences as it approaches maturity.