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Monthly Archives: November 2015

10 Melbourne Public Sculptures Intended for Children

These Melbourne public sculptures are all intended for children, due to their theme or because they can be played on. Although Inge King did not intend the black curves of Forward Surge at the Arts Centre for any particular audience, she does appreciate the enjoyment that children get trying to climb up the curves and sliding down. Definitely for any child with ambitions to climb sculptures. This is without looking at the sculptural value of play equipment like the dragon slide in Fitzroy Gardens or a carved logs in the playground of the Fitzroy housing commission flats.

Listed chronologically.

Photograph courtesy of State Library of Victoria

Photograph courtesy of State Library of Victoria

Paul Montford, Peter Pan, 1925 Melbourne Zoo The figure of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is modelled on Montford’s son and the flora and fauna on the base are all Australian.

Fairy Tree detail

Ola Cohn, Fairy Tree, 1934, Fitzroy Gardens, Like Montford’s Peter Pan, the fauna on Cohn’s Fairy Tree are Australian. Cohn also wrote a Fairy story to go along with her carving.

Tom Bass Children's Tree 2

Tom Bass, Children’s Tree, 1963, Elizabeth Street, Bass intended for children to climb on this sculpture.

Photograph by Dan Magree

Photograph by Dan Magree

Peter Corlett, Tarax Bubble Sculpture, 1966-68 Originally at the National Gallery of Victoria it is now at the McClelland Sculpture Park. The sculpture was intended to be climbed in and on.

Tom Bass, The Genie, 1973 (1)

Tom Bass, Genie, 1973 Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, Bass intended to be climbed on by children.

The Bunyip, 1994, Ron Brooks

There are two sculptures based on children’s book illustrations State Library forecourt. Ron Brooks, The Bunyip, 1994, from Jenny Wagner The Bunyip of Berekeley’s Creek.

Mr Lizard & Gumnut Baby, 1998, Smiley Williams

Smiley Williams, Mr Lizard and Gumnut Baby, 1998, from May Gibbs, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

Bruce Armstrong, Untitled Installation 1999, at Flemington Children’s Centre, Flemington. (no photo available unfortunately)

Bronwen Gray, Matryoshka Dolls, 2001-2

Browen Grey, Matryoshka Dolls, 2002, on the corner of Brunswick and Gertrude Streets.

photograph courtesy of EastLink

photograph courtesy of EastLink

Emily Floyd, Public Art Piece, 2006 EastlLink. Even though children can’t climb on it or even touch it Floyd did make it with the children in the back seat of the car in mind.

Emily Floyd, An Unfolding Space, 2010, Phoenix Park, Malvern East, sculpture at children’s centre. (I couldn’t get a photograph for this one.)

I will end this with a plug for my book Sculptures of Melbourne, a history of Melbourne’s public sculptures.

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Private Collection Public Exhibition

Walking past Ten Cubed you might think that it is another commercial gallery, it is a shop front art gallery, except that there are no price tags. You might also notice, if you regularly pass the shops along Malvern Road in Glen Iris that the exhibitions only change every three months. You would notice that Ten Cubed is a purpose built gallery with the usual grey concrete floor and white walls. Designed by Ron Unger Architects, the building sits on a narrow shopfront footprint, giving the six metre high front space has tall and narrow cathedral-like proportions.

 Ten Cubed

Its current exhibition is So Far… works from the Ten Cubed collection. For the gallery is a collection project of Dianne Gringlas with advice from her sister-in-law Ada Moshinsky. This is not a random collection of art, Ten Cubed has depth and rigour to its collection program. It is a ten year project to collect ten works by ten contemporary Australian and New Zealand artists represented by commercial galleries, like Arc One, Sutton or Murray White Room.

Ten Cubed is a private art collection on public exhibition, like MONA in Hobart but on a smaller scale and free for the public to visit. In this and other ways it is similar to small institutional art galleries, with its permanent staff and an education program. Private collections on public exhibition are a new feature of Australia’s art world; the Ten Cubed collection has only been going for five years but has only had a gallery for the last three. There are other small private galleries that are open to the public including Lyon Housemuseum in Melbourne and White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

What is the point of having an art collection if very few people see it? The art in some private collections are removed from the discourse of the art world and are therefore less significant. As Ten Cubed website states: “art should be shown, not stored.” Not that there isn’t art in storage at the gallery, as all of the art in the collection can’t be on exhibition at the gallery or the Gringlas’s home.

The artists that are currently on exhibition are Pat Brassington, Jonathan Delafield Cook, Alasdair McLuckie, Tim Silver, Anne-Marie May, David Rosetzky, Daniel von Sturmer and David Wadelton. There is no simple way to sum these contemporary artists up and Ten Cubed’s collection is not intended to make a statement (or even to be sensational like MONA). The mediums ranged from David Wadelton’s depiction of suburban glamour, now cockroach free with water on tap, in oil on canvas, Land of opportunity. To Anne-Marie May’s Untitled thermally folded acrylic sculpture hanging from the ceiling like an airburst of colour. To David Rosetzky’s video Half Brother that combines contemporary dance with work on paper.


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