Graham – “the only person designed to survive on our roads” – is an interactive sculpture developed by a trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert and a Melbourne artist as part of Towards Zero, a Victorian road safety campaign.
He has no neck, meaning he cannot break it; a flat, fatty face to protect the nose and ears; airbags in between each rib; and thicker and tougher skin. His knees bend in all directions.
A confronting 360-degree view of Graham– made from silicone, fibreglass, resin and human hair – can be seen online.
The commission says Graham is informed by “the science of human vulnerability” – not-quite-living proof of how susceptible we are to injury.
Chief executive Joe Calafiore said people were able to survive running at full speed into a wall, but transport accidents happened at much higher speeds, with much more force.
“Cars have evolved a lot faster than humans, and Graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our roads system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes.”
Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini developed Graham with input from a Royal Melbourne hospital trauma surgeon, Christian Kenfield, and David Logan, a crash investigator at Monash University’s accident research centre.
Piccinini is best known for the Skywhale– a 34m long, 23m high hot-air balloon with the head of a tortoise and pendulous mammaries that flew over Canberra for its centenary in 2013.
Graham will be on show at the State Library of Victoria until 8 August, after which he will travel around the country.
By Elle Hunt