Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung
Roses at the Cottage

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Public Art in Public Places!

Last night I was invited to the beautiful State Library of Victoria (see earlier post 20 November 2012) to hear John Kaldor speak about the current public art project 'offered' to we lucky Melburnians. For the past 40+ years Kaldor Public Art Projects have been involved in presenting unique public art - from the Christo & Jean-Claude wrapping of Little Bay in Sydney 1968-69 to the Jeff Koons puppy outside Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art in 1995 to the Gregor Schneider instillation transforming Bondi Beach in 2007 with a giant cage named 21 beach cells - well the list goes on and on. The current project #26 at the Library's Cowen Gallery is Allora & Calzadilla Stop, Repair, Prepare... It combines sound, performance and sculpture and features a man playing Ode to Joy inside a grand piano - and playing it 'backwards' while moving the piano around the space. As you can imagine it is hard to describe and hard to imagine. But it works!
Have I explained it well?!
How lucky we are to have had this project in Melbourne - after all it was presented to great acclaim at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. So imagine my surprise to discover that the project (which I have never seen advertised - and I'm an avid pursuer of all art related events) has been playing for 3 weeks and ends THIS THURSDAY 6 DECEMBER! Go to it if you have a moment in the city between now and Thursday night! It 'plays' on the hour from 11am - 8pm. 
The view from behind!
Kaldor talked about the philosophy behind the Kaldor Public Art Projects being found in unexpected places. In other words if you go to an Art Gallery you expect to see art. But if you come across art outside the gallery environment (Bondi Beach, State Library etc) it introduces art to those who would not normally go to see it.
En route around the gallery - included for the hole in the piano lid!
Which brings me to my second Public Art comment! Last weekend (sorry - only found out about it by default - yet again!) I 'heard' about Art at Burnley Harbour 2012 - an initiative of the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc. Burnley is part of the greater suburb of Richmond. And there tucked under the City Link/Monash Freeway and right on the Yarra River with the famed bike path passing by were displayed over 100 pieces of art (paintings and sculpture) for purchase. 
En route along the Yarra River bike path under the freeway
What a great idea. What a unique setting. What an unexpected venue. But how many people knew about it - well I would say very few. I went on the final morning and the viewing numbers were lean pickings. Many were Sunday bike riders who just 'happened to be passing'. This was a great idea - that in my opinion was a wasted one.
Bikers passing by
Public Art wherever it is shown needs to be advertised. And not just once or twice. Finding out about unique events which enrich our lives in this day an age seems to get harder and harder, not easier and easier as you would expect with social media (not for me!). I don't know the answer - do you? All I know is that it would have been wonderful to have known about both these Public Art events in time for you to have the opportunity to plan a visit!
The sculpture garden

Bowen Cottage client comment: There is everything you could need. A true home rather than a holiday rental. It's the provision of these little, thoughtful things that really made the stay.

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