Iconoclast the new icon for Melbourne’s Peninsula Link
Published 03 October 2017
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Drivers on Peninsula Link in Melbourne’s southeast will notice a new artistic addition to the roadside landscape.
Installed recently at the Skye Road interchange the new sculpture, ‘Iconoclast’ by Australian artist Michael Riddle, is in the form of a transmission tower crumbling under the weight of a boulder or meteorite.
Iconoclast was accepted after a call for proposals in 2015 saw around 100 proposals submitted. A panel of judges then chose the winning design.
One of the initiatives of the Peninsula Link public-private partnership (PPP) is the 25-year partnership with Australia’s largest sculpture park, McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery in nearby Langwarrin.
The rotating art program sees one new sculpture commissioned every two years at alternating sites, resulting in the creation of 14 new works over the 25-year contract.
After four years on display, the existing art – in this case ‘Rex Australis’ by Dean Colls, a monument to Australia’s farming history – is moved to McClelland, where it becomes part of the permanent collection.
McClelland Balnaves Curator of Australian Sculpture Simon Lawrie said the rotating art program was an excellent way to support local artists who may otherwise not get this level of recognition.
“This program provides exposure to Australian artists, and gives them the opportunity to produce great art that challenges the way we perceive the world,” Mr Lawrie said.
“Iconoclast does exactly that. Michael Riddle’s pertinent, challenging piece acts as a very visual metaphor for contemporary issues of sustainability and climate change.”
Plenary Chief Operating Officer Glenn Hay said the rotating art program is a demonstration of the value and benefit that can be achieved through PPPs.
“Public art is a highly-visible and memorable component of major road projects in Victoria,” Mr Hay said.
“The sculptures on display on Peninsula Link are a constant reminder of the importance of good urban planning and amenity, and of the significant investment that has been made in this road.”
In 2016 Plenary took over the asset management role on behalf of Southern Way, the consortium contracted by the Victorian Government to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the roadway for 25 years.
Funding for the program is provided by Southern Way to McClelland, which then manages the selection process.
The next sculpture due to be replaced is ‘Reflective Lullaby’ by Gregor Kregar in 2019 at the Cranbourne Road interchange.
For more information on the art replacement program visit www.mcclellandgallery.com
About Peninsula Link
The $849 million Peninsula Link is a 27-kilometre toll-free road between Carrum Downs and Mount Martha in Melbourne’s southeast.
Opening to traffic in January 2013 it significantly reduced congestion on key traffic routes through Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula, particularly during peak periods.
The Victorian Government contracted the Southern Way consortium under an availability-based public-private partnership to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the roadway for 25 years.
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