Local artists John Meade and Emily Karanikolopoulos have been awarded the 2018 Southern Way McClelland Commission for their sculpture Love Flower

Peninsula Link biennial public art commission announced

Published 22 August 2018

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Local artists John Meade and Emily Karanikolopoulos have been awarded the 2018 Southern Way McClelland Commission for their sculpture Love Flower.

The elegant and enchanting new sculpture, to be revealed mid-next year, will be situated along the Peninsula Link freeway in Melbourne’s southeast as part of the project’s unique commitment to public art.

One of the initiatives of the Peninsula Link public-private partnership is a 25-year partnership with Australia’s largest sculpture park, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery in nearby Langwarrin.

It involves an ongoing program of new sculptures that alternates every two years between sites at Cranbourne Road and Skye Road interchanges, resulting in 14 commissions over the 25 years to 2037. Southern Way generously donates funding for the sculptures.

After four years on display, the existing art – in this case Gregor Kregar’s sculpture Reflective Lullaby – becomes part of the permanent collection at McClelland.

McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery Director Lisa Byrne said as the fifth in this highly-regarded series of commissions, John Meade and Emily Karanikolopolous’ Love Flower will be iconic and awe inspiring.

“As public sculpture this work will engage in ways with the aesthetics of nature, as well as being an absolutely magical sight for all who pass by,” Ms Byrne said.

Love Flower was selected from more than 60 submissions from local, interstate and international artists. The commission judging panel included Ms Byrne, former inaugural Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art and TarraWarra Museum of Art Maudie Palmer AO, and sculptor Lisa Roet.

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.

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 Peninsula Link sculptures are a constant reminder of the importance of good urban planning and amenity, and we can’t wait to see the new commission next year.”

John Meade and Emily Karanikolopoulos’ Love Flower follows the installation of Michael Riddle’s Iconoclast near the Skye Road interchange last year.



About the artists

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 Master 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.

Emily Karanikolopoulos is an Australian artist who is a 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.

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. In 2010 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. The road opened to traffic in 2013 and Plenary took over the asset management role on behalf of Southern Way in 2016.


Christopher Whitefield

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