A game of chess anyone?
The colourful chess pieces, all cast and painted by hand, depict major features of the fun park, including historic rides, slot machines and characters created by the park’s resident artists over the years. The pawns are laughing clowns and kewpie dolls; castles are depicted as historic rides including the Rotor, River Caves and Noah’s Ark; knights feature the characters Popeye and Crazy Crooners driving dodgem cars; the red team’s king is Luna Park’s famous smiling face, while the green team’s king is the skeleton from the Ghost Train.
A long-time resident of Lavender Bay on Sydney Harbour and passionate heritage activist, Peter Kingston has campaigned, through his art, for the preservation of Sydney Harbour and its environs, including Luna Park. In the early 1970s he, Martin Sharp and fellow artists Richard Liney and Garry Shead were commissioned to revitalise Luna Park’s murals and ride facades.
The Luna Park Chess Set, along with other works drawn from the Museum of Sydney collection is part of a new display focussing on Sydney’s Luna Park.