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Focusing on photographic-media investigations, I confront past, present, and future stories of Aboriginal existence within south-east Australia before, during, and after colonisation. As a direct result of Australia’s colonial occupation, my family has had to make certain sacrifices. However, what was never sacrificed was our deep connection to land.
We rely on bushland for answers, for growth, for clarity, for satisfaction and for cleansing. Playing a vital role as the creator, I explore the inclusion of Aboriginal dreamtime story characters and totems, as well highlighting the contemporary Indigenous experience of the physical country we stand on today.
David Larwill (1956—2011) was commissioned to paint a W-Class tram in 1986 as part of the Transporting Art project, which Melbourne Art Trams takes its inspiration from.
Celebrated for bold colours, stylised figures and simplified form, David’s design was painted as part of the United Nations International Year of Peace. The tram has been in storage for more than 20 years and was photographed especially to be recreated for one of Melbourne’s modern trams.
Melbourne is certainly a site of change, with a constantly shifting cultural scene that is alive and exciting for both participant and onlooker. I sought to represent Melbourne’s cultural hub graphically as an ever-growing series of geometric shapes. Each shape representing a unique aspect of Melbourne’s rich and diverse culture that defines this city for both locals and visitors alike.
Exploring further with this idea I wanted to represent the mosaic as an evolving cultural form that changes and grows. This has been added using figurative elements to represent people contributing their own cultural individuality, their unique shape to Melbourne’s larger mosaic.
I am a Year 9 student at Huntingtower School and my artwork was based on the idea of "Marvellous Melbourne" and it being the most liveable city in the world. We are a multicultural school and we visit the city to see our community: we see faces that are different but the same.
My artwork is about faces, the colours and life we all bring as individuals to the community of Melbourne. This reflects the liveability of Melbourne as people from different countries can be greeted warmly and accepted no matter what race.
As a street artist I’ve painted the vibrant laneways and streets of the city, experiencing and creating within a culture that is so unique to Melbourne. My work features a balance of bright light and colour, with organic swirling patterns, along with abstract creatures and hidden entities complimenting the vibrant energy that Melbourne creates as a cultural and creative hub.
The movement of the colour and line vibrates off the design, highlighting the tram as a beacon of energy. The colours ignite an emotive response, creating joy and wonder. My intentions for the project is to illuminate the streets of Melbourne with a splash of brilliant colour and movement.
This artwork makes one of Melbourne’s trams playable—literally. While the geometric imagery is an artwork in itself, an augmented reality app reveals another layer of animation and sound when the passing tram is viewed from the camera of a phone. This plays a musical score generated by the app as it detects fragments of the design.
Playable cities connect people and place, appropriating urban environments and infrastructure—such as the Melbourne tram—through playful takeover, changing and renegotiating its meaning. Playful citizens see their town or city in a new way, feeling a new sense of connection, and sensing new ways it could be.
Trams are made for people. They are part of the street; passing shops, parked cars, pedestrians. Commuters are packed in tight; office workers with their briefcases, university students carrying iPads, city shoppers, backpackers, and the splash of colour of high school blazers. There’s always a distant giggle of school children, music leaking from headphones, a few heavy sighs, but never a word spoken. As the tram takes a sharp right, and the people fly left, the only real noise is the rattling of the tram.
When the doors fling open, its right back into the into thick of things; dodging the oncoming cyclists and pedestrians as the tram bell dings. I guess it must be more peaceful, looking down, phone in hand.
Who doesn’t like to get wet? Whether it be at the local pool, the bay or the ocean, swimming is a massive part of our lives in this city. And almost as much, we love to watch people swim and play as we lounge about poolside. A tram gliding through the streets was the perfect way to bring swimming into the city, and to enjoy a fleeting sight of random people bobbing around together. Nothing is static, the swimmers move on.
My tram image is a reminder of another state of being, and is an invitation for Melburnians to seek out a pool and get wet.