Artist Statements

Read more about the 2015 Melbourne Art Trams from the artists who created them.

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Amanda Morgan—Architectures of Light (tram number 2009)

A visual artist who makes street art, public art and site-specific installations—Architectures of Light is a collage of Amanda’s projected works that reference the city grid and Le Coubusier’s ideal city situated on Fitzroy’s Atherton Gardens Estate.

Her tram is an extension of the artworks that she projected on the site with Projectionteknik and captured with James Morgan in the 2012 Gertrude Street Projection Festival. Amanda’s tram will bring the best of past and present Melbourne to life with her art works that have often represented the heritage of the sites and skinned city buildings.

Martine Corompt—Look both ways (tram number 270)

Look both ways reflects on how cities, especially a great city like Melbourne, are in a perpetual state of change and renewal. At any one time there is constant demolition, clearing, redevelopment and construction going on in our urban environment. The spectacular void of the construction site, appearing in place of something that once was, is always a mesmerizing sight, even if the change is not welcome. But these voids are fleeting in comparison to the long life of a city, history overlooks them and we eventually forget about them. Perhaps think of this tram you are riding as a moving catalyst for change, plowing through the city and suburbs leaving a trail of transformation in its wake.

Matthew Bird & Phillip Adams—Rooftop Landing and Freeway (tram number 3509)

Architect Matthew Bird (Studiobird) and choreographer Phillip Adams’ (BalletLab) double-sided art tram Rooftop Landing and Freeway. Photography by Igor Sapina and Victor Schietti.

The collaborators present a double sided performative vision of Melbourne’s architectural and freeway cityscape through photography.

Rooftop Landing is a performance installation atop a Melbourne CBD high-rise building. Elevated one hundred meters above street level an anonymous figure in unidentifiable motorbike attire performs instinctual neodada movement experimenting with an alien ‘unknown’ existence. Rooftop is a radial landing site crafted in an attempt to create an immersive abduction experience.

Freeway explores the architectural doctrines and cultures of modernist freeways. Melbourne’s Ring Road, Monash Freeway and more specifically the Tullamarine Freeway entrance echo historical infrastructural progress of our freeway networks. An unexpected figure in this series is juxtaposed with a 1960s futuristic architectural vision and culturally symbolic of its worker inhabitants.

Stephen Banham—Cluster (tram number 3008)

There’s a lot in a name. Names give a sense of identity—not just as individuals but also as a city. One hidden language surrounding us everyday is the naming of our streets. Look across a map of Melbourne and you’ll see them—‘thematic clusters’—developed to unite streets, even entire suburbs, under a single concept. Elwood street names seek the grandeur of English poets, Glen Waverley has 38 streets following a Camelot concept, whilst a Beatles theme runs riot throughout much of Narre Warren. A hybrid of typography and cartography, Cluster is based around the ‘architecture of identity’—how naming not only defines us but also created the first form of ‘branded environment’.

Louise Forthun (tram number 209)

Based on one of my paintings called Electrifying the image on this tram portrays the busyness and constant change of the central business district. Created from an aerial view of the CBD, I have fragmented and rearranged Melbourne, mixing historical and contemporary versions of the city. You may recognize the odd building like the cone that covers the shot tower at Melbourne Central. The montage brings together different scaled images; some are enlarged, others made smaller and more clearly defined. Cloud-like shapes ‘billow out’ here and there to create a unified image that speaks both of Melbourne’s historical character and its constant transformation.

Tom Vincent—Cube/Octahedron Extended (City Circle)

Drawn in by street art and graffiti as a kid, Vincent now explores what could be described as Pythagoras’ quadrivium through his creations. The Melbourne-based artist explores the principles of manifestation through the shapes and forms that construct our reality. This artwork examines the fundamental roles that grid structures uphold and how shapes—namely the cube and octahedron interact with this invisible omnipotent structure.

James Voller—Moving House (tram number 175)

In Moving House I have undertaken the ‘transformation’ of a workers’ cottage onto a moving piece of Melbourne’s public infrastructure. This displaces an iconic style of Melbourne house into the city’s other environments.

Moving House is the result of my photographic investigations in the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne for the past three years. I have created an archive of different housing facades.

These reveal the unique architectural combinations that are a result of the waves of migration to the area.

From an archive of these architectural images, I create public artworks. These works act as monuments to styles of architecture that are being replaced by ubiquitous townhouses and apartment blocks. As the architectural make up of the area changes, so does the social dynamics of the community. My works aim to reflect where neighbourhoods have come from, where they are now, and where they are heading.

Kathy Temin—The Koala Tram (tram number 136)

The Koala Tram combines the cultural icon of the koala with the iconic tram to create a form of cultural architecture. Architectural icons are integrated into a city’s consciousness, and evoked through my teenage memories of people dressed as koala’s collecting money in the city.

These koala images originated as an audition process during a New York residency, exploring popular engagement with cultural identity. Reconfigured and repeated, the koalas are lined up along the outside of the tram, mirroring the formations of people getting onto the trams.

There is a synchronicity of these koala images moving through the city and suburbia, along the tramlines I travelled as a teenager, where the cultural icon is relocated back to its source.