Art trams were first introduced to Melbourne in 1978 as part of the Transporting Art project which ceased in 1993 - budget cutting!?!? Back in the 'good ole days' we loved the art trams - with works by renowned artists including Howard Arkley, Clifton Pugh, Mike Brown and the cartoonist Michael Leunig. Our own Richmondite Mirka Moira (see earlier post March 2013) also painted one. They pysically painted their designs directly onto the old W-class trams.
|Ye olde Leunig Tram outside Luna Park|
Now as part of the 'extended' Melbourne International Festival of Arts, Arts Victoria - and surprise surprise - Yarra Trams a new generation of artists have created 8 artworks (tramworks!) The 7 individuals and one 6-member collective were chosen from over 100 entries. However instead of painstakingly painting their own creations their designs have been printed onto vinyl and then affixed to the trams.
The one that most appealed to me is the art of David Wadelton which features houses from his own suburban Northcote neighbourhood. He used his photo archive of over 700 images to create a wallpaper to wrap the tram.
|Bit hard to see but up-close-and-personal the Northcote house tram is a great concept|
And another that appeals is the Lakorra tram. As it states on the website "Lakorra is the Wathaurung word for sky. Once upon a time, Melbourne city would have been an open expanse with a generous view of the sky, offering a reminder that it's not all about self. Today' the city is densely populated with skyscrapers and billboards dominating the landscape, full of consumerism with a constant focus on the self. Lakorra brings a bit of that sky and open expanse back into the streetscape. It reminds everyone of a time before the city stood in its place and of a people who walked those streets long before they were streets".
|Lakorra Sky tram|
And while we are talking trams if you are a tram obsessive (except to ride on one) then why not visit The Historic Tram Depot to see one of the world's most significant collections of heritage displays at the equally historic building (just a hop, step and a tram ride from Richmond. From the Cottage take the 75 to the depot on the corner of Power Street and Riversdale Road). It's open 11am - 5pm every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month except December when the trammies are obviously having holidays!!
|Ye Olde Historic Tram Depot in Hawthorn|
So keep your eyes out for one of the new vinyl artworks affixed to 8 of the trams running around Melbourne.