Public art commissions
'Where we have come to' by Anton Hasell
Saxon Lane, Brunswick
'Where We Have Come To' , 2019 represents the multiculturalism that is at the heart of Merri-bek. Created from bronze, this sculpture represents a counter-twisted rope, where the diversity of strands is what gives the rope its strength. As a metaphor for multiculturalism, this sculpture shows how communities are stronger through diversity.
The sculpture is also an instrument that can be struck to generate a kind of community ripple of sound that “binds all within its sonic perimeter”. This artwork unites all members of the community together in respectful acknowledgment that we do so on Wurundjeri Country in the spirit of wandha-djerri-nganyin-atj (bringing us together).
As artist Anton Hasell explains: “Bells have long enacted this radiating inclusion in community, and so it is my hope that this tubular bell can serve the community of Merri-bek toward greater feelings of communal wellbeing.”
'Yes No' by Matt Blackwood
Matt Blackwood's public art commission commemorates the centenary of the 1916 and 1917 conscription referendums and anti-conscription campaigns in Merri-bek. His artwork, 'Yes No', 2017 has been installed in the Brunswick Library foyer.
Matt Blackwood is a writer and artist. He has received national awards for his short stories and commissions for his locative literature projects. His residencies and projects have been presented in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and both his analogue and digital locative literature projects have been used as examples of best practice within university curricula for public art and literature within Australia, the UK and America.
'North of the Warp' by Britt Salt
Counihan Gallery foyer entrance, Brunswick Town Hall
'North of the Warp', 2016 reflects Merri-bek’s distinct geography and celebrates our relationship with this place.
The undulating folds of the suspended forms reference the geography of The Melbourne Warp, a gentle northwest-southeast flexure in the land that has over time marked a hinge between these areas, with Merri-bek located to the North.
The slow and constant shifts that have formed this flexure can be seen in the repetitive and ephemeral surface pattern of the artwork; at once solid, yet perpetually changing.
The continuous movement created between the surface and structure of the artwork create a sense not only of connection to this land, but of dynamism and innovation relevant to the unique cultural identity of Merri-bek today.
Viewers are invited to move around the building, experiencing the myriad perspectives from which the artwork flickers and transforms, considering the evolving relationship between architecture, place and its inhabitants.
'Many Hands Make Glenroy' by Carla Gottgens
Glenroy Road, Glenroy
'Many Hands Make Glenroy', 2010 is a photographic documentary that uncovers the hidden treasures of the residents of Glenroy.
The evocative 72 panel work by Ms Gottgens is on prominent and permanent display on pedestrian barriers along Glenroy Road, in Melbourne's north.
Commissioned by Merri-bek City Council to highlight the diverse backgrounds of the residents in Glenroy and create an installation that united the community, the photographic documentary involved 18 local households.
Ms Gottgens invited every member of the household to choose a cherished item and describe its meaning and personal significance. Each panel features their words, their name and the number of years they have lived in Glenroy.
"Glenroy has a huge number of long-term residents as well as recent migrants," she said.
"For this project, I chose to focus on each person's hands, holding their chosen object.
"By removing obvious identification factors such as faces and full names, the images are accessible to all passers-by who may relate to the chosen objects through memories of their own history and personal experiences."
'Permeable Barriers' by Tim Craker
Snell Grove, Oak Park
As a part of the Snell Grove Public Works Art on Site temporary art project titled 'Permeable Barriers', 2011 by artist Tim Craker, a short documentary of the project was produced by Worker B Films.
The film documents the artist at work and the concepts and ideas that informed this particular project.
As the street-scaping works in Snell Grove are now completed, the 'Permeable Barriers' have been decommissioned.
The short documentary film provides an opportunity to not only reflect on the 'Permeable Barriers,' but also allows the project to live on in posterity for those interested in its legacy.
Watch the video 'Permeable Barriers' on Snell Grove
'New Order' by Louise Lavarack
Sparta Place, Brunswick
Moreland City Council installed the public art work 'New Order', 2009 by Louise Lavarack in Sparta Place, Brunswick.
Over the past few years, Sparta Place has become a vibrant public space that more people are using.
It has been revitalised with major redevelopment and new boutique shops and cafes.
New Order consists of five freestanding columns fixed to low concrete plinths spaced along Sparta Place. The form of each Greek-style column is delineated by a cage of galvanised steel uprights and mesh.
The cages are filled with recycled ‘kitchenalia’ – toasters, kettles, saucepans, mixing bowls, teapots, etc made from various materials including stainless steel, chrome and aluminium. Note that a portion of the kitchenalia was donated by members of the local community.
New Order is premised on the sister city relationship between Brunswick and Sparta. The artwork makes a direct reference to the ruined remains of ancient Greek architecture. However in Sparta Place, the universally recognised form of the classic Ionic column is constructed from contemporary domestic materials.
An intriguing interplay between past and present is thus set up. From a distance the line of columns suggests the grand architectural scale of the past, while at close quarters the more modest scale of contemporary domestic detail becomes apparent.
The surfaces of the metal objects will be affected by weathering to some degree and over time New Order will acquire a patina that subtly underscores a temporal reading of the work.