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Editions

In celebration of a new community

02 Aug 2011

In celebration of a new community Image

There is a new sound coming to Docklands, a single chime of a bell each day marking the twilight transitional point between day and night.

The sound will emanate from a 150kg bronze bell suspended in a seven-metre tower currently under construction on the corner of Bourke and Village streets in Batman’s Hill.

Known as Civil Twilight End, the work by artists Kate Daw and Stewart Russell is the latest addition to Docklands’ extraordinary collection of public art.

The tower is being constructed from bricks reclaimed during the Equiset project which transformed the historic Goods Shed North into the Five Star Green Star headquarters of VicUrban and the Victorian Building Commission.

Curator Simon Maidment explained that the bell would ring once a day in the tone of B at the point at which the sun dropped six degrees below the horizon.

“This time is typically known at the magic hour,” he said.  “Marking this moment symbolises the shift in the use of the Docklands precinct from one purely of industry and work to a more convivial space in recent times.”

But jovial Irish proprietor of the adjacent Platform 28 pub Mark O’Reilly puts a less artistic relevance on the marking of time.

“It’s obviously designed to tell Docklanders when it’s beer o’clock,” Mr O’Reilly joked.

Mr Maidment said a computer-controlled brass hammer would strike the bell at exactly the right time each day.  

Mr Maidment said the bell was created by master craftsman Anton Hasell and its significance was multi-faceted.  He said the obvious connection was with ships’ bells – a reference to Docklands’ maritime heritage.

But he also said bells were traditionally significant with communities which measured their belonging by their ability to hear village or church bells.

He said the artwork celebrated the emergence of a new and vibrant community in Docklands.  In this sense, he said, the artwork was nostalgic.

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