Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung
Roses at the Cottage

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Deborah Halpern - Public Art in Public Spaces

My first introduction to Deborah Halpern's major public sculpture was Angel which was commissioned as part of the 1988 Australian Bicentenial Celebrations. She 'lived' in the moat at the National Gallery of Victoria for many a year until she was moved to Melbourne's newest park Birragung Marr in 2006 on the banks of the 'mighty' Yarra River. Angel is worth a visit. You can see the detail of Deborah's work up close and personal and from all sides and angles. I liked Angel when she lived at the NGV but I think she suits her current location admirably.
'Angel' by the river
Deborah creates her exuberant and rather whimsical sculptures from scratch even making, painting and firing her own mosaic tiles. The works are enormous. Angel is over 10 metres tall with 4000 individually hand cut - and painted - tiles. She was a truly mammoth task. I was fortunate to do a mosaic workshop with her a number of years ago and she was an inspiration. 

Another of her works is Ophelia which you will find back at Southgate (she was 'rested' during the recent renovation of the area). Ophelia was named the official face of Tourism Victoria in 1996. Again I love the fact that you can get 'up close and personal' and really look at the details of the work. And you can touch as well!

Ophelia at Southbank (The Age)

Deborah also contributed to the recent 150th Celebrations of Melbourne Zoo with a 'Mali' located outside the Melbourne Town Hall (see earlier post 10 July 2012) This was one of my favourite pachyderms dotted around the city. The vibrancy of the work was so eye catching. There's nothing quite like a bit of sparkle-arkle to catch your attention.
Deborah's Mali at the Melbourne Town Hall

I think her works are rather Picasso-ish - or is it Halpern-ish. They are quirky and memorable.

Bowen Cottage client comment: Is there anywhere else to stay in Melbourne? We say no!

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