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Street Art - March 2018

27 Feb 2018

Street Art - March 2018 Image

What does this cafe say about art?

So I was thinking about the “Cow up a Tree” artwork by John Kelly on the foreshore in Docklands.

By Adrian Doyle

And it made me realise that it is a good analogy for the way people treat art and public space here in Docklands.

John Kelly is an internationally-recognised artist with studios in Ireland and France and has shown in galleries all over the world.

At Darkhorse Experiment (at Blender Studios) we were lucky enough to have John Kelly create a large scale installation project which was awesome and gigantic. His paintings are amazing and beautiful and Docklands should be proud to have one of Australia’s greatest artists create a sculpture about the flooding in Australia and specifically the drowned cows which were found up trees after great floods.

So Docklands has one of the most important artworks from one of the most contemporary artists in Australia right in its heart. And I know you all know what has happened – some corrupt or stupid person has allowed the sculpture (which I can assure you cost a lot of money) to be covered up by some coffee shop.

Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee and I know that coffee means a lot to Melburnians. But so too does art, maybe less so to the corporate entities that rule over Docklands like some draconian master, making sure that all of Docklands is exploited for their greed and not the community’s needs.

I have only ever met one person in life that thought that they weren’t smart and that was my mum. She finished grade six and had to go to work. Ironically, I could never pull off a scam without getting caught. She was not dumb. There are many kinds of intelligence.

Mum was poor and worked for 30 years as a room cleaner in a crappy hotel. She was a victim of her circumstances.

I think the rich think that they have some superior knowledge – that being rich is like some sort of contribution.

Let’s face it, when someone does something that hurts the culture of Docklands I can promise you they are not poor and humble like my mum. They are rich and entitled and feel that they have some secret knowledge. They don’t have the community at heart. You cannot care for the community if you don’t understand it. A community has many facets and is varied and diverse.

So when I walk past the Cow up a Tree all I see is an ugly coffee shop with a grumpy staff that sells at best okay coffee.

I would like to know who is responsible for this decision. It can’t be negligence. There is no way people did not see the important art work. I bet that someone is paying a lot of money to exploit this artwork. And I would like to know who and why and how much.

Docklands is on its way up and I will do whatever I can to stop people from making the corruption and poor decisions that has stopped Docklands from being all that it can be.

I spoke to John Kelly about this issue and he told me that he thought that: “The cafe had been moved.”

He also said that “they are working out the movement of the sculpture.” He said that “this whole process has taken a long time.”

I felt a little sorry that he and his art has been treated like an afterthought, when I respect and admire his art so much and feel that it is such an important contribution to the Docklands culture.

Anyway, Docklands is changing and because some cool guy has given me a voice in the newspaper I can demand accountability.

So please contact me with some answers or any thoughts. I try and be as honest as I

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