Saturday, December 10, 2011


In front of the ACT Health building in Civic, on the corner of Alinga and Moore Streets and across the road from the GPO, sits a large polished stainless steel and red fibreglass sculpture by Michael Kitching. Dated 1978, it's titled 'Seqvanae', and it has (appropriately for its location) a number of health-related aspects in its design.

The title is spelt out in a format not unlike an optometrist's chart. Seqvanae is a reference to a Roman goddess of healing, who seems to be derived from the Gallic-Celtic Sequana, the goddess of the River Seine. A healing shrine was established at the springs which fed the Seine in the 1st or 2nd Century BC. The Romans, in typical Roman assimilation, took over the local goddess and shrine and made it bigger and better.

The red and silver crosses and the stylised snake and rod of Aesculapius are all internationally-recognised symbols related to health and medicine.

I'm not 100% sure what 'AFMSABOX' means, although I did find a comment that suggests they are the initials of members of the artist's family (including pets).

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