Meet the Sherwood Artist Behind the Brisbane Bin Chicken Trail

Bin Chicken
Photo Credit: Sethius Art

“Guerilla art” doesn’t always have to be street graffiti a la Banksy. This Sherwood artist, Ryan Forster, has brought street art to a quirky and different level with his metal bin chickens popping up all over town, sparking interest among passers-by and on social media.

The project began innocently enough when Mr Forster was making various metal animal sculptures and his barber playfully suggested trying a bin chicken, a colloquial term used in Australia for the ibis, due to their scavenging nature. 

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Forster placed an initial six pieces of these artistic creations around Brisbane as part of what he called the “Brisbane Bin Chicken Trail.” Two sculptures were placed in the Queen St Mall, one at Milton train station, and another one at an Oxley roundabout, the latter installed in a daring midnight operation.

A TikTok video showcasing the project went viral, attracting significant attention and numerous requests from businesses wanting their own official bin chicken sculptures. Forster added a humorous and unique design, with the ibis holding an XXXX can, that appealed to the public. 

@sethiusart just making Brisbane classier. #brisbane #binny #binchicken #art #streetart ♬ This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan

However, the art project faced setbacks as some individuals couldn’t resist pilfering these whimsical pieces of art. Apparently, some ibis enthusiasts decided to take matters into their own hands and stole the sculptures from a roundabout and the bustling Queen St Mall.

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“I made metal bin chickens and installed them around Brisbane as public art but unfortunately they kept getting stolen!” Mr Forster said.

“People loved them and they went viral all the time so I knew I needed a way to make them more permanent. I came up with the Bin Chicken Trail where businesses, homeowners and communities would buy a ‘Binny’ and I would attach it securely on their premises. 

“It helps to bring eyes to their business and feet in their door. But moreover it’s a bit of fun, gives people a laugh and supports wildlife conservation charities.”

@sethiusart but where? 🤔 another stop on the Bin Chicken Trail complete. #binchicken #Brisbane #queensland #binny #metalart #straya #funny #fun #art #coffee #newfarm ♬ HAD ME LIKE [CLEAN] – Lem Thyret

Nonetheless, not all hope is lost for the bin chicken aficionados. 

A law firm from Caboolture, Murray Torcetti lawyers, has taken a stance against the pilferers by commissioning their rooftop version of the bin chicken, which fittingly clutches the scales of justice.

@sethiusart This Binny needs a special name. @James Torch from Murray Torcetti will pick the winner. #caboolture #binchicken #binny #metalart #sculpture #art #Brisbane ♬ original sound – Sethius Art

James Torcetti, a partner at the law firm, said that they decided to get a bin chicken for their rooftop because they “love a laugh.” It’s also quite symbolic because bin chickens are known underdogs that deserve to be fought for. 

Meanwhile, the artist remains undeterred by the thefts and has plans to create eight more bin chicken sculptures around Brisbane. He has a particular interest in suburbs like Darras and Oxley, where appreciation for this style of art runs high.

Originally from Victoria, Mr Forster also worked in Britain before going home to embark on his art projects.

For more information about Forster and Sethius Art, follow his TikTok page and visit his official site.

Published 3-Aug-2023