New sculpture: W-class tram

Speaking of sculpture, there’s a rather splendid new one at the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets — a full-size replica of a W-class tram.

Tram 1040 sculpture, Melbourne

Officially titled “Raising the Rattler Pole – The Last of the Connies”, it was installed last week, and when I went by a day or two later, appeared to be getting a lot of interest from passers-by.

There’s a fair bit of (not necessarily accurate!) detail on the underside…

Tram 1040 sculpture, Melbourne

City of Melbourne has posted a video of them doing the installation:

Finally, here’s another W-class tram (not the real 1040; this is number 961) photobombing the sculpture:

Photobombing the Tram 1040 sculpture, Melbourne

The artist is David Bell — on his web site are some photos of the sculpture being built.

Apparently it lights up at night… must go past sometime after dark to take a look.

Sunday art: Dog poetry / Street art

Dog poetry

I wandered, lonely as a dog
With my peeps to Footscray Hill,
Amongst the grass, dirt and city views,
And just the occasional golden daffodil.

I wandered, lonely as a dog

Street art

Probably overlooked by most, this is inside a road sign on Centre Road.

Art inside a road sign

How to find the transport mural at Southern Cross Station

Update December 2013 — I’m told that changes in the shopping centre mean the mural is not currently able to be accessed and viewed.

The gigantic transport mural was perhaps one of the best features of the old Spencer Street station. By Harold Freedman, it depicts the first century of Victoria’s transport — from 1835 to 1935. It was commissioned by the state government in 1973, and unveiled in 1978.

Transport mural in "Spencer Street" shopping centre at Southern Cross Station

Following the rebuilding and (pointless) renaming, it’s been hidden away in the shopping centre where it’s virtually invisible to most people. (But hey, at least it has been retained on public display.)

Here’s how to find it.

Firstly make your way to the Bourke Street end of the station, either via the platforms if you’re coming off a train, or via the escalators.
Southern Cross Station - Bourke St entrance

Go into the shopping centre formerly known as DFO, now called “Spencer Street”.
Entrance to "Spencer Street" shopping centre at Southern Cross Station

Ignore the shops (both open and vacant) and go all the way to the end. Yeah it’s a long way — more than a full city block. (If you’re coming from Lonsdale Street or further north, you can enter part the way along at an entrance at the Spencer/Lonsdale Street intersection.)
"Spencer Street" shopping centre at Southern Cross Station

Once you reach the end, look up, above the shops — there it is.
Transport mural in "Spencer Street" shopping centre at Southern Cross Station

Opposite the mural, in a spot where most wouldn’t notice it, is a stairway (with wheelchair lift) to a viewing area. Make your way up…
022

Behold, the mural in all its glory.
Transport mural in "Spencer Street" shopping centre at Southern Cross Station

Note the top section is private transport, in the middle public transport, and at the bottom is commercial. This, and the history of the mural, is detailed in the helpful explanatory panel.

The above photo, larger

Update: The mural is included in this Melbourne history app for iTunes and Android.

Update December 2013 — I’m told that changes in the shopping centre mean the mural is not currently able to be accessed and viewed.

Update March 2014This Age article from earlier this month notes the mural is still in place, but is now only viewable via one of the factory outlet stores, and is partially obscured. See also: photo from Marcus Wong.

A little experiment in visual art

When I visit the data centre for work, I get my photo taken for a visitor pass. It’s often on a Friday — casual clothes day. The camera (and/or the printer) is black & white, low-resolution, and slightly awkwardly placed.

For some reason, the visitor passes have been accumulating in my desk drawer. Here are the pictures from some of them, stuck together.

Daniels1

They were a little repetitive, so I’ve only included a dozen of them, and I’ve applied some colours to the second row, and on the third row I’ve tried a few visual effects in Paint.Net.

Not exactly Warhol, is it. The other thing it reminds me a little of is the cover of A Hard Day’s Night. Ah well, something different, anyway.

(The full set, unmodified)

Metro mosaic

The mural at Patterson station that I noted some time ago has now been completed and officially opened.

It includes a rather neat mosaic version of the Metro logo:

Metro logo: Mosaic mural, Patterson station
(zoom)

More faces contributed by (mostly) local community groups and schools have been added. Note Bender from Futurama in there.

Mosaic mural, Patterson station
(zoom)

Apparently they got sponsorship from Bostick for sticking everything to the walls!

Mosaic mural, Patterson station

It certainly brightens up what was a dreary old underpass. Well done to Pamela Irving, who organised the project.

Hidden gems

There’s vandalism, and then there’s street art.

Some have trouble distinguishing them, but for me, it’s not hard to see that these hidden gems in Finlay Lane (off Little Lonsdale Street, near Queen Street) are clearly the latter.

Street art, Finlay Lane, Melbourne

Street art, Finlay Lane, Melbourne

Street art, Finlay Lane, Melbourne

Street art, Finlay Lane, Melbourne

Street art, Finlay Lane, Melbourne

Well worth a look, if you’re passing (and you can find it!)

The surrealist tram

Surrealist tram

(Probably my favourite lightbulb joke when they were all the rage was:

Q. How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Two. One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly coloured machine tools.)

Solar Equation

Solar Equation, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, part of Federation Square’s The Light In Winter, is a simulation of the sun, “100 million times smaller than the real thing”.

Here’s how it looks in daytime, when inactive:
Solar Equation (inactive)

At dusk it fires up:
Solar Equation