Constance the Camel

The history and culture of migrants is celebrated in a life sized sculpture of a camel located outside Newcastle Museum.

The camel sculpture was designed and installed by artists Suzie Bleach and Andrew Townsend supported by the Museum and the Newcastle Art Gallery’s public arts program.

The artists say the sculpture speaks of Newcastle's migrant history and portrays the camel as a vessel of migration.

“Within the sculpture are tools of trade, mementos, cultural, historical and every day items. These are the things brought by migrants from the country of their birth on their journey to the new country. The thistle is a reference to Newcastle's Scottish heritage. The hammer and sewing machine speak of industry, the canary a reference to coal mining, the ukulele speaks of the music that all people bring with them and the books are the literature and photo albums that define us.”

The camel was named Constance following a naming competition on the Museum’s Facebook page. Thirty nominations were posted and Constance was chosen as the winning name by a panel of Museum staff.

The name Constance was put forward by Emilie Caillot who said it was ‘to remind us to constantly move forward and enrich our cultural identity within Newcastle. As well as remembering that this can only be done by accepting those who have a different outlook on life into our community.’