Input | Output

by John posted February 26, 2016 category Art / Design, Culture, Illustration

Donkey Wheel House

Today I was excited to see a public artwork I was commissioned to create installed at the Donkey Wheel House. The DWH is a heritage listed building here in Melbourne, situated in the CBD on Bourke Street, just across from Southern Cross train station. Because of the site’s heritage listing, any work produced was required to fit with the unique aesthetics and character of the building, whilst also serving a functional purpose, which is to act as a cover for a series of air conditioning units.

Each panel is part of a larger, encompassing story. It relates to aquaculture and the history of Koorie communities across South-Eastern Australia, many of whom farmed either fish or eels, or sometimes both. Eels are depicted, moving through the land/waterscape and through woven traps, per the style most commonly associated with the Gunditjmara of Western Victoria, and also employed by a number of other FirstĀ Peoples. The work is created in perforated steel and its colouring is also mandated, based on the requirements set by Heritage Victoria. I think the tone quite suits the work, allowing it to function with the building as a cohesive unit, whilst allowing the artwork to have a life of its own. Overall I’m pretty happy with the result, the partnerships it took to create it, and the process in general. Sometimes creativity and expression really can be an easy process. So with that wrapped up, we’re moving onto to the next challenge!

Next weekend I’ll begin work on my part in helping to redevelop the Children’s Gallery at Melbourne Museum. In this project I’ll be revisiting an old and dear friend – Tiddalik the Frog. I’ll also be joined on this project by another friend, the amazingly talented animator, muso and all ’round good egg, Isobel Knowles. If you’re unfamiliar with Isobel’s work, please stop reading this blog and go look her up. She’s a rare talent.

I won’t give too much away. I’ll leave that to the museum to unwrap. However, this is the project that will consume much of my time over the next several months, building up to the gallery’s launch in less than a year.

AND aside from that major project, I’ll also be attending to my regular artistic expressions, entering the VIC Indigenous Art Awards for the second time, and I’ll be offering my first entry to the Telstra Indigenous Art Awards. I’ll see how I go for any other exhibitions, but I don’t want to bite off more than I chew.

This weekend also marks the closure of the exhibition I’m currently hanging in. This has been my second run at annual Koorie Art Show, hosted by the Koorie Heritage Trust. It’s been fun, and a pleasure, to again see my work on the same walls as dozens of other fantastic artists. I’m already looking forward to next time!

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