Public art blossoming on Peninsula Link
Published 03 November 2019
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA: Melbourne’s cultural landscape has an exciting new addition with the fifth piece in the Peninsula Link biennial sculpture commission revealed.
Love Flower by John Meade with Emily Karanikolopoulos is based on an Ikebana flower arrangement design.
The sculpture, located at Peninsula Link’s Cranbourne Road interchange, has replaced Gregor Kregar’s Reflective Lullaby.
It forms part of Peninsula Link’s unique commitment to public art, partnering with Australia’s largest sculpture park, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.
The Southern Way consortium partners with McClelland to commission new pieces of art every two years between alternating sites along the freeway, resulting in 14 commissions over the 25-year life of the public-private partnership contract.
Southern Way funds the commissions which, after four years on public display, become part of McClelland’s permanent collection in nearby Langwarrin.
McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery Director Lisa Byrne said the fifth piece in this highly regarded series of Southern Way McClelland Commissions was beautiful and awe inspiring.
“As public sculpture this work engages in ways with the aesthetics of nature, as well as being an absolutely magical sight for all who pass by,” Ms Byrne said.
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 improved amenity 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 unique commitment to public art, and act as a constant reminder of the importance of good urban planning and amenity.”
Love Flower was selected from more than 60 submissions from Victorian, Australian 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 artist Lisa Roet.
The installation of Love Flower follows the commission Iconoclast by Michael Riddle at the Skye Road interchange in 2017.
About the artists
John Meade was born in Ballarat in 1956 and currently lives in Melbourne. He studied Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, before completing a Master of Arts at RMIT University 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.
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