​Image: John Meade with Emily Karanikolopoulos, Love Flower 2019, Southern Way McClelland Commission. Photo by Nic Joynson from LighEFX.

Southern Way McClelland Commission 2019: Love Flower

Melbourne’s cultural landscape has an exciting new addition, as the next instalment of the $250,000 Southern Way McClelland biennial sculpture commission has been revealed. Artist John Meade, with Emily Karanikolopolous, was awarded the commission for his elegant and enchanting sculpture, Love Flower. This enchanting work is based on an Ikebana flower arrangement with an agapanthus flower. Although it is classified as a weed in Frankston, ‘Agapanthus’ means ‘love flower’ in Greek and was used as a love and fertility charm in ancient cultures. The gesture of giving flowers is also an act of love from the artist, who has close family in Langwarrin. Be sure to see this work at night as the petals light up in a beautiful display!
The Southern Way McClelland Commission 2019 received 65 submissions from local, interstate and international artists.  The commission judging panel was Lisa Byrne, Director, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, Maudie Palmer AO, former inaugural Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art and TarraWarra Museum of Art; and sculptor Lisa Roet.
John Meade was born in Ballarat in 1956 and currently lives and working in Melbourne. He studied Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, before completing a Masters of Arts at RMIT and a PhD in Fine Art at Monash University. He lectures at Monash University and the University of Melbourne. Meade’s practice draws relations, often humorous and unexpected, between the metaphysical and surreal in the experience of contemporary life and domestic culture. For more information on John Meade’s practice see here

Emily Karanikolopoulos is an Australian teacher and practitioner of the Japanese floral arrangement art of Sogetsu Ikebana. She is an active member of the Ikebana community of Australia, and she has attained the highest possible Ikebana accreditation outside Japan. She has exhibited in the Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition Takashima Shinjuku in 2014, and has been awarded three first places in the Melbourne International Flower Show Shop Window competition. For more information on Emily’s practice see here

Southern Way McClelland Commissions

Three monumental contemporary sculptures were installed along the Peninsula Link freeway in Melbourne’s south east in 2012, as part of a unique and award-winning commitment to public art, the Southern Way McClelland Commissions. Established in 2013 as a Public Private Partnership between Southern Way and McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, this ongoing program of iconic artworks has established the Mornington Peninsula as an internationally significant hub for public art and contemporary sculpture. The series alternates every two years between sites at Skye Road and Cranbourne Road along Peninsula Link, which will result in 14 commissions over a 25-year period to 2037. Southern Way generously donates funding for the sculptures in giving back to the community of Frankston and Langwarrin. After four years on public display the commissions become part of McClelland’s permanent collection in its 16-hectare sculpture park. McClelland was awarded the Creative Partnerships Australia 2013 SME Award for its work with Southern Way’s Peninsula Link Freeway through this initiative.

Commissions to date include Louise Paramor’s Panorama Station, which resembles a space-station and is permanently located on Peninsula Link at the EastLink interchange. Dean Colls’ work Rex Australis: The King is dead, long live the King is located at McClelland Sculpture Park. Phil Price’s wind-activated kinetic sculpture, Tree of Life, has found its new home at McClelland. At the Cranbourne Road site, Gregor Kregar’s chrome gnome titled Reflective lullaby has been replaced by Love Flower by John Meade with Emily Karanikolopoulos. Michael Riddle’s Iconoclast, a transmission tower crushed under the weight of a boulder, is currently installed at Skye Rd.

​Image: John Meade with Emily Karanikolopoulos, Love Flower 2019 (detail), Southern Way McClelland Commission. Photo by Nic Joynson from LighEFX.