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Editions

Fancy some art with your lunch?

03 Sep 2014

Fancy some art with your lunch? Image

That was the combination served up on Victoria Harbour Promenade last month, with a daily semaphore display at lunchtime each day.

The performance art piece by Amy Robinson is part of the annual Rising: the Victoria Harbour Young Artist Initiative.

Now in its seventh year, the public exhibition features work created by students of Melbourne University’s Victorian College of the Arts.

Ms Robinson’s work, When I said “Art”, the ocean understood, uses the nautical communication system of semaphore, using flags to convey a message.  

According to Ms Robinson, semaphore involves two sets of languages, single flags that represent a phrase or sentence and flag signals used to form individual letters.

Since the opening of the exhibition on August 13 either Ms Robinson or a stand-in has performed the piece each day at lunchtime.

While standing on a large semaphore flag sticker, representing the phrase “cease your intentions I wish to communicate with you” the performer repeatedly communicates the word “art” using flag signals.

“I was trying to think about the sort of language that public art has when it’s out somewhere unexpected,” Ms Robinson said.

“I was looking at the history of Docklands and the water being a large feature and thought perhaps semaphore was a useful language to start with.”

“Also the kind of repeated calling and sending used in the work gives people an opportunity to enquire.”

Apart from Ms Robinson’s performance piece, the Rising exhibition also features works by six other students, including a sculptural version of a shipping container, a rainbow lighting installation, a diving board emerging from the water and an interactive work featuring mirrored surfaces.

Rising: the Victoria Harbour Young Artist Initiative opened on August 13 and closes on September 7.

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