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New art project for NewQuay

02 Jul 2013

New art project for NewQuay Image

An underutilised public space at NewQuay will be transformed by the largest art collaboration ever seen in Docklands.

The Conder Plaza, at the intersection of the Conder, Boyd and The Quays, will soon become “Monument Park”.

The $2 million landscape-based artwork is being funded through MAB’s urban art contribution for The Quays and Harbour One.

Melbourne artist Callum Morton has been commissioned to create the artwork and said it would transform the space into a  “magical, imaginary place.”

The concept for the project is of a concrete carpet featuring the pattern of the original Hoddle Grid plan for Melbourne.

It will appear as though the carpet is draped over the site, rising and falling as it covers different objects.

The objects are a range of sculptures that can be found across Melbourne, including Vault, Burke and Wills and Marquis of Linlithgow, which, when covered, create a range of variety of interesting shapes.

According to Mr Morton, the sculptures selected are ones that have moved around the city quite a lot in their lifetimes.

He said the sculptures were chosen because they represented different typologies of public sculpture, and also for the way they looked when draped.

The sculptures will be broken open to reveal colourful interiors, which are hoped to provide places to explore, shelter in and play amongst.

“Taking something that pre-exists, altering it and creating a world inside of it is something that’s common to my work,” Mr Morton said.

Parts of the concrete carpet will have holes, allowing trees, grass and greenery to emerge, while vines will also creep up the sides of the sculptures.

The sculptures will also be lit at night, creating another atmosphere in the space.

Seating will be available on a lawn area, around the lawn and inside the sculptures.

The overriding Melbourne theme of the artwork is intended to provide a link between Docklands and the city.

“Docklands has always been spoken about as an area separate to the city. I like the idea of connecting it with the city,” Mr Morton said.

Although the project is funded by MAB, the development involves collaboration with Places Victoria and with City of Melbourne, which will take ownership of the work upon completion.

MAB project development manager Jenny Psihogios said Mr Morton’s design had been selected from a group of four artists who were asked to submit proposals for the space.

She said the proposals were assessed against the key principles of a design brief that drew heavily from the Docklands Community and Place Plan.

These included having a civic focus, providing intimacy and shelter and being artful and playful.

According to Mr Morton the space will be intimate and contained and will provide space for local, small-scale events rather than big events.

Ms Psihogios said it was hoped the project would be completed at the end of the year, lining up with the expected completion of The Quays.

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