I’m terribly fond of rubber bath ducks. I have a fine flotilla – mostly yellow, in traditional bath duck fashion, but with a few pink, blue, green, piratical and glow-in-the-dark specimens. If my bathroom was bigger I’d indulge my bath duck fancy a lot more. It’s hard to feel anything but cheered when faced with their rounded squishiness and gormless innocence.
Which might explain the Sydney Festival’s 30,000 crowd furor of enthusiasm for its recent guest – the 15m inflatable Rubber Duck. The bright yellow artwork bobbed about Darling Harbour offering maximum visual sensation and to a reported ‘quackophony’ of applause.
And what a quacker of a duck it is! What a hoot! I was only sorry not to have been there to hoot and quack approval in person. Oh – and I’m still experiencing waves of Rubber Duck Envy at not having my own personal harbour on which to float such a magnificent beast.
Artist Florentijn Hofman is the brains behind this mother of all bath ducks. His Rubber Ducks have also delighted the residents of cities as diverse as Osaka, Auckland and Sao Paulo. I think it’s a stroke of genius. He’s made something with universal appeal that causes happiness. It’s a simple yet visually stunning idea that looks fantastic and fantastical in any setting. It’s an entirely accessible artwork with no claims to snobbery.
Hofman describes his sculpture as friendly and appealing to all, with a capacity to amaze and relieve everyday tensions. Which brings me back to my own rubber duckies. They make me laugh. They’re appealing and rather silly, with no purpose beyond the playful.
I conclude that bath ducks are excellent stress relief. I recommend at least one per bathroom. Wink at your bath duck daily and give him a little float atop your bubble bath for relaxation. Yours.