New public art transports locals through Arden Station’s history

New public art transports locals through Arden Station’s history
Kaylah Joelle Baker

After a number of weather-related delays late last year, local artist Michael Zampogna is very “happy” to finally present his completed public art project on Laurens St.

Chosen by the City of Melbourne, in partnership with CitiPower, Mr Zampogna was selected to produce detailed artworks on two electrical boxes that sit side by side.

His winning concept was for the two electrical boxes to represent two phases and stages of the area’s history.

“One box displays the natural beauty of the area 200 years ago when the very vast Blue Lake with lots of surrounding wildlife used to exist [on the site of Arden Station prior to European settlement], and it is very organic with lots of flowing and cool lines,” Mr Zampogna said.

“It is then contrasted with the second box which reflects almost like the history of the manufacturing industry in the area, and there are more rigid lines and warmer tones.”

As well as being personally pleased with how the project turned out, Mr Zampogna said it had also been very “rewarding” to hear locals’ feedback.

“While I was working on it, and when I was wrapping things up, people were walking past and giving nice comments, and it was very rewarding because all I can hope for is that the council and locals are happy with it,” he said.

 

Locals are the ones walking past it, and driving past it, so if they can find a deeper meaning on their own through interpreting it in their own way, then that is awesome as well.

 

Following what’s his first ever public art project, Mr Zampogna is hopeful to continue to produce more large-scale work in the public realm for the community to enjoy and reflect on.

And with the council keen to further cement Melbourne as an arts and cultural hub through the use of public art, many more artists will hopefully have the chance to follow suit.

“Our Public Art Framework aims to set Melbourne apart as one of the world’s leading cultural cities, with public art commissions that express the city’s unique identity,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said. •

“Through extraordinary public artworks, we can highlight the city’s spirit, culture and liveability, and draw visitors from near and far to enjoy our creative offerings.”

The two electrical boxes can be found at 166 Laurens St, North Melbourne.

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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