Pearly gateway to grace Peninsula freeway
Photo Steve Brown
28th January 2022
A gateway of pearls welcomes visitors to the Mornington Peninsula as a new sculpture has been installed this week alongside the Peninsula Link freeway.
The new sculpture, Peninsula Pearls, by Dutch-born local sculptor Manon van Kouswijk, is sited along the Peninsula Link freeway in Melbourne’s South East as part of a unique and award-winning commitment to public art. It replaces Michael Riddle’s sculpture Iconoclast which was located at the Skye Road exit ramp around the corner from McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.
Peninsula Pearls presents as a giant pearl chain and beaded necklace, comprising over thirty large spheres suspended at differing heights between four to ten metres. These brightly coloured balls provide multiple visual references such as beach balls, map pins, Ferris wheels, and the history of modernist design on the Mornington Peninsula.
The formation of the pearls appears to change in an optical illusion as motorists drive past.
Peninsula Pearls was selected from 144 submissions from local, interstate and international artists in a $300,000 commission as part of an ongoing program of sculptures along Peninsula Link.
The program is part of a 25-year partnership with Southern Way and McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, with 14 works in total to be displayed until 2037. Funding for the sculptures is provided by Southern Way.
After four years on display, the artworks are moved to McClelland’s 16-hectare sculpture park where they become part of the permanent collection.
Artist Manon van Kouswijk describes her sculpture as a reinterpretation of the archetypal forms of the pearl chain and beaded necklace through a range of materials and processes.
“My proposition for this sculpture is that the Peninsula Link will be wearing one of my works for four years; my sculpture will temporarily adorn the freeway. However, in this scenario it is not the wearer who is moving with the piece or the jewellery moving with the wearer. Rather, the audience moves past the object.
“Peninsula Pearls suggests the wearing of jewellery as a transient experience; the object disintegrates as one drives past. The varied views of the beaded sculpture open up a space for multiple associations, from funfair and Ferris wheel to pins on a map and a molecular model,” Ms van Kouswijk said.
McClelland director, Lisa Byrne, said Peninsula Pearls will mark a fitting welcome to the Peninsula, which is for many a jewel in Melbourne’s crown.
“Peninsula Pearls is the sixth sculpture to be commissioned as part of this unique sculpture program which began in 2013.
“Manon van Kouswijk’s work is on display in galleries and museums worldwide, and we love that we can showcase it in this way along one of our busiest freeways.
“Each day around 74,000 motorists travel along Peninsula Link past these sculptures. They allow us to engage with the community through art and give motorists a cultural experience as they enter our region,” Ms Byrne said.
Peninsula Pearls was created by Manon van Kouswijk with Monash Art Projects (MAP) and Monash University, fabricated by Robert Hook and installed by JK Fasham.
Baillieu Myer AC Obituary
Photo of Baillieu Myer AC and Sarah Myer
25th January 2022
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Baillieu Myer AC. ‘Bails’ was an influential businessman, philanthropist, agriculturalist, art collector and patron of the arts, who with his wife Sarah has for decades been integral to McClelland’s life as a significant cultural institution in many ways – including as a Trustee of the Elisabeth Murdoch Sculpture Foundation, contributing to the acquisition of land for the sculpture park’s expansion, gifting significant works of art to our permanent collection, supporting a range of initiatives through the Yulgilbar Foundation, and most recently as the major donor to the Sarah and Baillieu Myer Education Pavilion extension at McClelland. From 2018 Bails was a Patron of McClelland with Lyn Williams AM, and they were joined by Her Excellency The Honourable Linda Dessau AC Patron-in-Chief in 2021.
Bails’ success in business was matched by his generosity, through philanthropic initiatives such the Myer Foundation, Philanthropy Australia, the Sidney Myer Fund, the Yulgilbar Foundation, the Salvation Army, and the Rural Education Program. He was an outstanding supporter of artists through McClelland, and also in his own significant art collection. One of his greatest passions was his wide-ranging collection of artworks, which demonstrates a particular appreciation for sculpture in the landscape.
Bails is survived by his wife Sarah, their three children and their families, and with condolences we join them in honouring his life and legacy.
Sunday Soirées 2022 music series at McClelland
Michelle Nicolle Quartet
Monday 17 January 2022
A new series of Sunday Soirées music performances to be held monthly at McClelland, will commence Sunday 6 February with jazz ensemble Michelle Nicolle Quartet.
Curated by Monica Curro, violinist MSO and Co-Artistic Director Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, the monthly Sunday at McClelland will be a great way to enjoy an afternoon of art and music. The Soirées will be held in the Sarah & Baillieu Myer Education Pavilion at McClelland on the first Sunday of each month.
McClelland director, Lisa Byrne, says, “Come and experience great music with art in our perfect bushland setting. It is wonderful to be able to support musicians as well as artists with these performance opportunities and to offer our community experiences that promote social connectivity and positive well-being. What better way to spend an afternoon than with friends in our beautiful environment listening to a live performance by some of the best musicians in the country. Maybe even share a grazing plate, a glass of wine, and take some time to appreciate our sculpture park and gallery. From the Michelle Nicolle Quartet to the Stiletto Sisters we will be presenting a fantastic array of musicians.”
Curator, Monica Curro, says, “I am thrilled to be working with McClelland in its 50th year to bring a smorgasbord of musical events into the artistic fold of this unique Australian cultural asset. Through its cross-disciplinary artistic collaborations, McClelland ensures the continuing nourishment and vibrancy of its community”.
What to look forward to in our Sunday Soirées:
+ Multi award winning jazz vocalist, songwriter, arranger and band leader Michelle Nicolle kicks off the Series with her stellar quartet;
+ the effervescent Eliza Shephard Duo smashes the boundaries of technical possibility with a phalanx of flutes and percussion;
+ 2022 Musica Viva FutureMakers the Partridge String Quartet are joined by superstar pianist Stefan Cassomenos;
+ high-voltage violinist Sarah Curro showcases Australian composers in her electrifying solo show VOLUME;
+ the luxuriant Evergreen Ensemble effortlessly intertwines folk music with art music;
+ Eddie and the Fast Boys take us on a hilarious genre-defying joyride of storytelling through song;
+ the ambrosial Wattleseed Ensemble catapults their Baroque string instruments from ancient cathedrals into the 21stCentury and beyond;
+ and with breathtaking virtuosity, the Stiletto Sisters will close the Series with their cauldron of traditional Hungarian songs, musical potions, spells and secret recipes.
The series performances:
Michelle Nicolle Quartet 6 February 2022
Eliza Shephard Duo 6 March 2022
Partridge Quartet with Stefan Cassomenos 3 April 2022
Sarah Curro VOLUME 1 May 2022
Evergreen Ensemble 5 June 2022
Eddie and the Fast Boys 3 July 2022
Wattleseed Ensemble 7 August 2022
Stiletto Sisters 4 September 2022
Booking essential: online here
Sunday Soirées music series – packages:
8 performance series package – McClelland Members/Circle $375 pp
8 performance series package – Non-Members $475 pp
4 performance series package – McClelland Members/Circle Members $200.00 pp
4 performance series package – Non-Members $250.00 pp
Complimentary grazing board + glass of wine at your first performance
Sunday Soirées music series – single performances:
1 performance McClelland Members/Circle $60, Non-Members $68, Child 13-17 $20 and children under 12 years free.
The McClelland Sunday Soirées music series is a wonderful mix of music with art made possible by generous support from:
McClelland’s Patron Baillieu Myer AC
McClelland supporters Igor and Jenny Zambelli
Hospitality Partner Homes and Acreage
BIOGRAPHY: MONICA CURRO, CURATOR, SUNDAY SOIREES SERIES
Violinist Monica Curro is currently in her 24th year as Assistant Principal 2nd Violin of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and was previously a core member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1987 and completed a Masters Degree at Michigan State University in 1991, studying with Walter Verdehr. She has played with the Australian World Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, as Principal 2nd Violin with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and as Guest Concertmaster of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and The Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
Monica was a member of the Board of Directors of the Australian Youth Orchestra for 9 years. She has tutored regularly for AYO, and has taught at various tertiary institutions. In 2016, Monica was the Director of the Smalley Chamber Orchestra at AYO’s National Music Camp. Also in that year, she was Artistic Director of MSO’s outreach program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In 2009, Monica was honoured to be invited as the only Australian to play in the World Orchestra for Peace conducted by Valery Gergiev, and has since joined them regularly for concerts around the world, including Poland, Sweden, London, Salzburg, Künzelsau, Abu Dhabi, New York, and Chicago. Monica has appeared as soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and recently gave the world premiere of Stefan Cassomenos’ Double Violin Concerto.
Monica is sought after as a public speaker, giving regular pre-concert talks and conversations for major concert presenters, as well as keynote addresses at universities and educational organisations. Monica is currently joint Artistic Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, with pianist and composer Stefan Cassomenos. Monica is also Artistic Director of Melbourne’s annual Women in Music Festival, and Curator of the 2022 Sunday Soirees series at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery. Monica is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of acclaimed ensemble PLEXUS, which since launching in 2014 has commissioned and premiered more than 110 new works.
Governor of Victoria becomes McClelland’s Patron-in-Chief
22nd December 2021
McClelland is delighted to welcome the Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, as the organisation’s Patron-in-Chief.
Board Chair, Stephen Charles AO QC, says McClelland is honoured the Governor has accepted its invitation to become Patron-in-Chief.
“Vice-regal patronage is a special achievement for any organisation. The Governor’s support for a not-for-profit arts organisation such as McClelland is very much appreciated. The Governor noted the important role of creative arts and industries in Victoria and the contribution of McClelland within it,” Mr Charles said.
In accepting the position the Governor conveyed her best wishes to the Chair and everyone at McClelland.
Sculpture supported by $250,000 RISE grant to McClelland
Ms Lisa Byrne, Director, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery and the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Federal Minister for the Arts.
21st December 2021
McClelland is delighted to announce it has received a $250,000 RISE grant to support a new initiative Sculpture 22.
On receiving the news today from the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for the Arts, Director of McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, Lisa Byrne said, “As Australia’s preeminent open-air arts gallery which champions the unique value of Australian culture and its connections to the environment, we are thrilled this RISE grant will support Sculpture 22.
“Sculpture 22, a one-year multidisciplinary program of newly commissioned art, learning, and digital content projects will enable McClelland to deliver major new programs, specifically aimed at creating new employment opportunities and supporting, in particular, women artists, and indigenous artists. We will mobilise multidisciplinary connections between creative practitioners in art, digital production, sculpture and performance to develop new and adventurous creative projects in partnership with Queensland University of Technology and THRIVE (a local primary/secondary school cluster initiative focused on staff and student wellbeing).
A key feature will be the Online Viewing Room which will generate rich creative experiences for audiences Australia-wide, increasing the gallery’s profile and drawing new visitors to the site, both physical and virtual. We envisage the project will activate local communities and attract wider visitation to outer south-eastern Melbourne and regional areas, bringing substantial economic benefits both to the gallery and allied industries, especially tourism.
This funding recognises the critical role that McClelland plays in the creative ecosystem and sets in place models for the gallery’s long-term future and the sustainability of its unique artistic, environmental and community mission. Now we can focus on providing additional creative opportunities for artists and specifically female and Indigenous artists to develop and present exciting new work for exhibition here. Our unique art with nature offering will encourage wider audiences, in person and online to visit McClelland and make this their own creative and nature destination,” said Ms Byrne.
McClelland has a 50-year history of preserving and developing Australia’s sculptural legacy and is set within 18 hectares of bushland and thus provides a responsive artistic forum for the environmental concerns of the wider community.
The RISE Fund is designed to support the arts and entertainment sector to reactivate and to assist in the presentation of cultural and creative projects, activities and events which will rebuild confidence amongst investors, producers and consumers.
The Sculpture 22 project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s RISE Fund through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and Arts.
5 new Board Appointees at McClelland
Inge King, Island Sculpture 1991, Collection of McClelland. Photo Mitch Pelns ross.
14th December 2021
McClelland, Australia’s premier gallery presenting art and sculpture with nature, is delighted to announce the appointment of 5 new Board Members.
The incoming Board Members are public sector executive, Dr Gillian Kay; business and investment adviser, Ian Davis; finance executive Shireen Jahan; architecture and design academic Dr Rory Hyde; and commercial law barrister, Michael Wise QC.
The new appointees join existing Board Members The Hon Simon Crean, Camilla Graves, Matt Healey, John Young Zerunge AM, Lisa Roet and Jon Clements.
Board Chair, Stephen Charles AO QC, says the new appointments add complementary skills to the existing Board, placing McClelland in a strong position to make the most of the opportunities and challenges ahead.
“We welcome the new Board Members and are excited about the strategic contribution and guidance they will be able to provide for McClelland’s ongoing success. As one of Australia’s leading cultural institutions, it is important for McClelland to have the Board resources to match. The mix of skills and expertise now assembled on the McClelland Board will stand the organisation in good stead,” Mr Charles says.
Winners announced for McClelland Awards Exhibitions
The Rick Amor Drawing, Splash Watercolour and Senini Awards
David Fenoglio, ‘Material landscape’ 2021, winner of the Rick Amor Drawing Award 2021
30th November 2021
McClelland is delighted to announce the winners of the three major drawing, watercolour and ceramics Awards which are currently on exhibition in the gallery until 6 February 2022.
The Rick Amor Drawing Award 2021 goes to David Fenoglio for his drawing ‘Material Landscape’ 2021.
The $20,000 prize was judged by renowned Australian artist John Wolseley, with the winning work chosen from seventeen works shortlisted by artists Rick Amor and Paul Boston, with McClelland’s Director Lisa Byrne.
Rick Amor Drawing Award judge John Wolseley described Material landscape by David Fenoglio as a powerful and beautiful drawing with skillful and evocative use of the charcoal medium. “This drawing of creased and folded cloth resting on a table evoking a mountain landscape reminds me of some of the theories of the geographer Jay Appleton in his book The Experience of Landscape. Appleton suggests that ‘prospect, refuge and hazard’ are the three main responses which those walking over the land often experience. We are pulled up to the tops of hill where we can scan the valley below for potential enemies, or we are attracted to caves or enclosed spaces where we can seek refuge, or we can be attracted to rocky or wild bits of country in some kind of romantic sublime urge towards danger. I see all these qualities in this poetic and expressive drawing,” Mr Wolseley said.
The Splash Contemporary Watercolour Award has been won by three artists:
Andrew Seward, Gregory Prior, and Joseph Anatolius.
Twenty-eight works were selected for the exhibition by a panel comprising Lisa Byrne, Director, McClelland; John Young; Artist and Trustee, McClelland; Lisa Waup, Artist; and Simon Lawrie, Curator, McClelland.
Three acquisitive awards of $10,000 for original works in watercolour were judged by Kirsty Grant, Freelance Curator and Writer; Melissa Keys, Senior Curator, Heide Museum of Modern Art; and Sim Luttin, Curator and Gallery Manager, Arts Project Australia.
Andrew Seward, ‘Mulberry, summer’ 2016
Splash Award judge, Kirsty Grant, said the winning works reflected a diversity of approaches to the medium that was very exciting to see.
“The three works utilise the particular qualities of watercolour to express ideas. “Andrew Seward’s Mulberry, Summer, a leporello, or concertina artist book, that extends to two and a half meters when fully opened, is based on his observation of a mulberry tree.
Eschewing the traditional elements of observational drawing, such as line, tone and scale, this work becomes a joyous meditation on colour, inherently abstract and yet rich with symbolic associations.
“Success Hill (Repair) by Gregory Pryor focuses on an area of Whadjuk Booja, a section of the Swan River (Derbal Yerrigan) near Bassendean in Perth. While it depicts a recognisable landscape subject, it is moody and mysterious. Using the fluid, unpredictable nature of watercolour, the work draws the viewer in, ultimately asking more questions than it provides answers.
“Work #3 (Arrangement) by Joseph Anatolius stood out for its graphic precision and meticulous draughtsmanship. Without colour or extraneous detail, it focuses our attention on the objects depicted which are familiar, and yet in this context, also somewhat surreal,” Ms Grant said.
Joseph Anatolius, ‘Work #3 (Arrangement)’ 2020, watercolour, graphite pigment and water 46.0 x 32.5 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Gregory Pryor, ‘Success Hill (Repair)’ 2021, Photo courtesy of the artist.
The Mary & Lou Senini Student Art Award – Ceramics goes to Saskia Muecke for her work Untitled #2: Studies in nature series 2021.
The $3,000 Award is presented annually to a Victorian tertiary art student who, in the opinion of the selection panel, is of outstanding ability and promise. The Award was judged by McClelland’s Director, Lisa Byrne and Curator, Simon Lawrie.
Saskia Muecke, Untitled #2: Studies in nature series 2021, porcelain, wire armature, natural beach sands, 21.0 x 18.5 x 10.5 cm. Photo Mitch Pelns Ross.
McClelland launches range of
Limited Edition Small Sculptures
Clive Murray-White, Assisted Suiseki 2021, patinated bronze, steel, timber, 22.5 x 13.5 x 13.5 cm. Copyright the artist. Photo Mitch Pelns-Ross.
Narelle White, Gentle Kin 2021, sand, clay, rock, 24.0 x 34.0 cm. Copyright the artist. Photo Mitch Pelns-Ross.
Manon Van Kouswijk, Beads for Buildings 2021, aluminium, sterling silver, beads, automotive paint, steel pins, 28.0 x 23.0 x 6.0 cm. Copyright the artist. Photo Mitch Pelns-Ross.
Vipoo Srivilasa, Little People 2021, polished bronze, two works: (left) 15.0 x 13.0 x 7.0 cm; (right) 16.0 x 24.0 x 7.0 cm. Copyright the artist. Image courtesy the artist.
November 22, 2021
McClelland has commissioned a series of Limited Edition Small Sculptures by leading Australian sculptors, Vipoo Srivilasa, Clive Murray-White, Narelle White and Manon van Kouswijk.
The works, which are for sale, were commissioned by McClelland as an initiative initiative to provide financial support for artists who have struggled with the economic burdens of the COVID-19 restrictions. It follows an earlier initiative to support artists in troubled times, the McClelland National Small Sculpture Awards 2020, for domestic scale works.
McClelland Director, Lisa Byrne, said there was strong public interest in the Small Sculpture Awards last year, with many of the works available for sale and all proceeds from sales going to the artists.
“The Limited Edition Small Sculpture project allows McClelland to offer for sale domestic scale sculptures at affordable prices, which are keenly sought after.
“It’s a great way to spread the joy of having beautiful artworks in the home while providing direct financial benefit to artists who have been hit hard by lockdowns,” Ms Byrne said.
The works for sale are all under 50cm in height, in limited editions ranging from 3 to 6, and prices from $1,200 to $6,400.
Vipoo Srivilasa’s work “Little People” 2021, features bronze with gold patina figurines, made during lockdown.
“I made these little people during the lockdown period to keep me company and fight the feeling of isolation and loneliness.
“Making Little People provided me with positive energy and happy activities to keep my mind away from the uncertain future. They represent many of my friends who I would love to catchup over a nice meal and do some art gossiping,” said Mr Srivilasa.
Narelle White’s work “Gentle Kin” 2021, features figures made from sand, clay and rock.
“With an amalgam of biomorphic and geologic references, my figures appear to emerge from a fictional landscape.
“I think of these figures as visitors who invite us to see ourselves in the material stuff of this world, and who invoke an ethic of recognition and empathy. Which is to say, I am using ceramic process to rethink our relationship with matter – and that a curiosity for material agency informs each aspect of my work.
Manon van Kouswijk’s work, “Beads for Buildings” 2021, is made from aluminum, sterling silver beads, automotive paint, and steel pins.
“Beads for Buildings is a sculptural work that operates in the space between the wall it is mounted on and the viewer who stands in front of it or walks past.
“As an artist practising within the field of contemporary jewellery I am interested in the way these intimate objects perform in a public as well as a domestic context. When making exhibitions I work with the architecture of the space to establish connections between the space, the body (the viewer) and the jewellery object,” Ms van Kouswijk said.
Clive Murray White’s “Assisted Suiseki” 2021, inspired by 26,000,000-year-old piece of marbleised North Queensland coral reef, encrusted naturally with crystals, but is the edition is cast bronze with patinated effect to reimagine an ancient surface.
The artist’s family comes from Far East Asia and he was surrounded by artefacts primarily from Japan and China. Western trained, he realised that art concepts claimed as Western had ongoing 1000-year-old Chinese/Japanese precedents, none more important than Gongshi and Suiseki, both meaning Scholar Rocks or “readymades”. For this edition the artist chose his “Suiseki No: 1” (essentially an altered marble Scholar Rock) to be cast in bronze, it is intentional that viewers find their own meaning in the work, be it damaged Western antiquity or through pareidolia.
A second round of McClelland editions by Ronnie van Hout, Lisa Waup, Dominic White and Beverly Meldrum are being produced to be available before the end of the year to complement the full offering.
The works are now officially launched and available by contacting Jacqui Harris, Front of House at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone +61 3 97891671
The McClelland Editions are supported by Creative Victoria through the Strategic Investment Fund 2.
Four x Four @McClelland
Image: Judith Wright Carnivale: Second Stage (11), 2021,acrylic on Japanese paper, 100 x 100cm. Courtesy of the artist and Sophie Gannon Gallery.
In support of the local art industry which been doing it tough through the COVID lockdown, McClelland has developed a quick response initiative with some commercial galleries and their artists.
Wednesday 27 October, 2021
Four x Four @ McClelland is a 3-day special project exhibition with four galleries presenting four Victorian-based artists in the Sarah & Baillieu Myer Education Pavilion, an extensive space at McClelland which cannot currently be used for education programs due to restrictions.
The artists represented are: Sophia Hewson, Jenna Lee, Penelope Davis, Meagan Streader, Celia Gullett, Fiona McMonagle, Judith Wright, Ember Fairbairn, Kirsty Budge, Benjamin Prabowo Sexton, Kate Tucker, Matt Arbuckle, Juan Ford, Petrina Hicks, Michael Cook and Victoria Reichelt.
McClelland Director, Lisa Byrne, describes Four x Four @ McClelland as an opportunity to support artists whose projects were cancelled, whose work never saw the light of day, and who incurred costs for fairs and events which didn’t happen.
“Covid has engendered a spirit of collegiality amongst many gallerists and the public sector, not previously apparent, with numerous calls offering cooperative support. For those who’ve missed out or whose exhibition was hung but the gallery doors didn’t open – this initiative is designed to support art for Xmas in 2021. The initiative is designed to encourage collectors and art audiences to consider new ways of engaging with art and supporting each other. Whilst we can only work with four gallerists this year, we look to upon success include more galleries ahead. Artists need our support and encouragement at this incredibly demanding time and in the months ahead as the entire arts ecology in Victoria and nationally recovers and looks to new modes of activation that are sustainable and demonstrate a responsible use of resources. McClelland is delighted to be partnering on this concept that supports our key stakeholder group, artists. Come to McClelland to experience this unique re-awakening of our shared artistic life and help celebrate our commitment to Art with Nature,”
– Director Lisa Byrne
Special Hours of opening for Four x Four @ McClelland will be – 11:00am to 5:00pm, from Friday 10 December through to Sunday 12 December with outdoor refreshments, seating and bookable Café Dining available throughout the weekend.
McClelland exhibition shortlisted for IDEAS Award
Image: Site & Sound: Sonic art as ecological practice 2021, Installation view, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, Photo Christian Capurro.
SITE & SOUND, the immersive sound exhibition held at McClelland last year, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Interior Design Excellence (IDEA) Awards sponsored by inside magazine, the premier professional journal for Australian interior architects and designers.
Thursday 19 October, 2021
SITE & SOUND: Sonic art as ecological practice, 2 December 2020 – 11 April 2021 exhibition invited audiences at McClelland to consider the importance of listening as a means towards a better understanding of the urgent and complex environmental issues facing our planet.
The exhibition drew from RMIT’s Sonic Arts Collection, Australia’s first dedicated collection in this field, augmented by four significant new sound commissions. It featured immersive sound environments, a rich array of performances and listening events, and explorations of the history, theory and significance of field recording and sonic art which evolved over time to provide new experiences for each repeat visit.
Curated by Jon Buckingham, Lawrence Harvey, and Simon Lawrie, SITE & SOUND surveyed diverse practices to reveal the connections between deep listening, field recording, acoustic ecology, natural science, and spatialised sound in contemporary art. The exhibition design was devised and led by Ross McCleod and SIAL Sound Studios from RMIT.
The Australian design industry’s Interior Design Excellence (IDEA) Awards celebrate the work of established and still-emerging designers as well as promoting the best of Australian design to an international audience.
SITE & SOUND has been recognised by the judges as an immersive experience in which the audience could inhabit sound recordings of landscapes from around the world. The complex speaker system was housed in a ‘forest’ of sculptural elements that were arranged to offer dynamic spatial compositions as the visitor moved through the sonic field. The project’s scope included a very modest budget, and short window of time for construction. Flexibility was required for this design, as the sonic artworks for the exhibition were in multiple audio formats and the final speaker locations needed to be resolved in the space, which wasn’t accessible for the six months prior to exhibition.
The judging panel comprised architectural and design luminaries Brahman Perera, Chelsea Hing, David Flack, Domino Risch, Jean-Paul Ghougassian, Meryl Hare, Ryan Genesin, and Bonnie Herring. Award winners and commendations will be announced in November 2021.
Freeway sculpture installed in Melbourne’s west
Jon Campbell, Backyard, 2021
Wednesday 25 August, 2021
Melbourne’s public art scene has a stunning addition, with a new sculpture installed alongside the Princes Freeway in Werribee.
Backyard, by local artist Jon Campbell, represents a stylised pop version of Campbell’s childhood backyard in the western suburb of Altona.
Described as a linear, multi-coloured design, like a billboard floating in space, Backyard invites viewers to reflect on their own environment and the spaces they inhabit.
It serves as a visual reminder of the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade project – the biggest single investment in Melbourne’s suburban road network, which has delivered eight priority upgrades including three new bridges over the freeway, road widenings, intersection upgrades, 30 kilometres of duplicated lanes and major road rehabilitation works.
Backyard was the result of an independent commission selection process run by one of Australia’s leading sculpture authorities, Melbourne-based McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, which also manages the Southern Way sculpture commissions on Peninsula Link.
An independent selection advisory panel reviewed more than 70 submissions – many from local artists – before making its recommendations to Netflow.
The selection advisory panel comprised
- McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery Director Lisa Byrne
- Yorta Yorta woman and Victoria University Moondani Balluk Academic UnitDirector Karen Jackson
- local artist and Victoria University College of Arts and EducationVisual Art Convenor Dr Megan Campbell
- Geelong GallerySenior Curator Lisa Sullivan
McClelland Director Lisa Byrne congratulated Jon on his work, saying the sculpture will inform and enliven the experience of road users travelling between Melbourne and Geelong.
“Public art has become a highly-visible and memorable component of major projects,” Ms Byrne said.
“Backyard echoes aspects of everyday life including sport and family, linking them to contemporary culture and history through design, colour, sculpture and storytelling. It embodies high aesthetic aspiration and constitutes a significant artistic statement for Melbourne’s western suburbs, and Australian sculpture more broadly.”
Artist Jon Campbell said the sculpture relates to commercial freeway billboards with its scale and composition.
“I’ve always liked the social aspect backyards bring to our lives,” Mr Campbell said.
“The backyard was a site of influential activity in my upbringing, playing cricket, family barbecues and birthdays. It was a space in which to dream and allowed me as a youngster to imagine hitting the winning runs or kicking the winning goal.
“There is a myth attached to the backyard and a strong desire to have one. Maybe the backyard is not everyone’s dream, but as a space for connection, contemplation and shared activity it remains a desirable and aspirational goal of suburban Melbourne.”
Netflow CEO Pedro Uzquiza said the art highlighted the community benefit brought by successful public-private partnerships.
“This art is part of a broader landscaping and urban design approach that has provided quality and sustainable public amenity and design across the project,” Mr Uzquiza said.
“In addition to Netflow’s support of key non-profit community organisations for 23 years, it is a highly visible reminder of the significant and long-term investment being made in the west and demonstrates the value that can be achieved through public-private partnerships.”