Late night visitors passing through University Square are urged to keep their eyes open for the newest City of Melbourne public art commission. Apparition by Mikala Dwyer is a night-time digital projection of two larger than life possums moving among the mature Elm trees in University Square.
Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Councillor Jamal Hakim said investing in creative projects supports local jobs, with the creative industries employing than 260,000 people or 8 per cent of the state’s workforce.
“The arts and cultural industries are a huge factor in Melbourne’s liveability and contribute more than $31 billion annually to the Victorian economy,” said Cr Hakim.
“On a normal weekend, more people attend cultural events than sporting events in Melbourne. The arts sector is intrinsically linked to Melbourne’s brand and supports jobs in our night time economy and our hospitality industries. So when artists don’t have work, our entire city suffers.”
“As Australia’s cultural capital it’s vital we continue to support and invest in our city’s artists because they are key to our cultural and economic recovery.”
The new public art commission has been installed as part of the University Square Master Plan. The park has been expanded by 2500 square metres and 76 new trees have been planted. Stage two of the upgrade will commence after the completion of the nearby Metro Tunnel station.
Artist Mikala Dwyer said the holographic possums will be intermittently visible throughout the night. “It is the phenomenon of storytelling that I hope to invoke through the image of a possum appearing and disappearing quietly and randomly in the night,” said Ms Dwyer.
“I hope it might create a curiosity, so often lost, for all things live and lively in the night.”
Created with the help of animator Gina Moore, Apparition was endorsed by a Curatorial Panel of independent public art experts. The artwork will be visible at the northern end of University Square for the next six months. For more information, visit: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au
The City of Melbourne’s Art and Heritage collection features 8,000 items, including 152 permanent outdoor pieces and 10 temporary public artworks that are currently located in the municipality. For more information, visit: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Apparition by Mikala Dwyer – photo by Darren Tanny Tan