2015 Melbourne Art Trams designs revealed

Melbourne ArtTram 925 by James Cattell_editorialEight diverse and exciting artists have been selected to transform Melbourne trams into mobile artworks to be unveiled as part of the 2015 Melbourne Festival in October.

The third year of this hugely successful public art project features trams that reflect the architecture, urban planning and interiors of Melbourne with a theme of Architecture and the City as part of Melbourne Festival’s 2015 visual arts program, and features the work of: Bird & Adams (Matthew Bird and Phillip Adams), Louise Forthun, Stephen Banham, James Voller, Kathy Temin, Amanda Morgan, Martine Corompt and emerging artist, Tom Vincent.

A partnership between Melbourne Festival, Creative Victoria and Yarra Trams, this year’s creative focus for Melbourne Art Trams was conceived in association with MPavilion – a new major public art/design/architectural event established in 2014 as an initiative of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

“Melbourne Arts Trams are a public celebration of Victorian creativity, and of the unique character and culture of our city,” says Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. “This year’s selected designs reflect the diversity of our local creative industries – from a collaboration between an architect and a choreographer to works by a typographer, a street artist and a student designer.”

“Each artist has taken inspiration from the city and I look forward to seeing their trams come to life and bring inspiration to many.”

The winning works were selected from more than 145 proposals from across Victoria. They were chosen by a panel comprising Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, Creative Victoria’s Dr Julie Cotter, MPavilion’s Naomi Milgrom AO, Melbourne Festival Artistic Director, Josephine Ridge, Yarra Trams Director of Customer & Communication, Greg McGann, and 1986 Transporting Art Artist Stieg Perrson.

“Judging the Art Trams has been one of the great pleasures over the past three years and this year has been no exception, said Melbourne Festival Artistic Director, Josephine Ridge. “Victoria is bursting with talented and inspiring artists who are as keen as we are to see art take to the streets to enrich our daily lives. I congratulate this year’s winners and look forward to seeing their trams on the tracks this October.”

Introducing the 2015 Melbourne Art Tram artists and their tram designs:

Bird & Adams 2_edBird & Adams – Melbourne based collaborators, Architect Matthew Bird (Studiobird) and choreographer Philip Adams (BalletLab) have created a double-sided vision of the city’s architectural and freeway cityscape with a photographic design taken from encounters of their recent works, Rooftop Landing and Freeway.

Louise Forthun_edLouise Forthun – Widely exhibited throughout Australia, most recently as part of NGV’s Melbourne Now – Louise uses stencil painting to create abstract representations of the modern landscape. With a focus on the city’s constant redesign and relation to movement, her work is fittingly brought to life on the moving body of a tram.

Stephen Banham_edStephen Banham – A typographer, type designer, writer, lecturer and founder of the Letterbox design studio – Stephen’s tram explores the ‘architecture of identity’ using a map of Metropolitan Melbourne and its street names to demonstrate the defining power of the structures around us.

James Voller_edJames Voller – Exhibited internationally from London to Christchurch – Melbourne based photographic artist James specialises in site-specific works, delving into the essence of place. His tram design investigates iconic Northern Melbourne architecture. Having documented the facades of these homes for the past two years, they will now transcend the inner city suburb to move across Melbourne.

Kathy Temin_edKathy Temin – Auditions for a pair of Koalas 1998-2004 documented the audition process that took place as part of Kathy’s PS1 residency in New York. Her tram design is an extension of this work that sees the cultural icon repeated to act as a mirroring anthropomorphic reference to thousands of people getting on city trams daily.

Amanda Morgan_edAmanda Morgan – A visual artist who creates street art, public art and site-specific installations – Amanda’s tram will bring the best of past and present Melbourne to life with a collage design using photographs of her projected works that have skinned city buildings often representing the heritage of the sites.

Martine Corompt_edMartine Corompt – A renowned mixed media visual artist with work most recently featured as part of this year’s Mona Foma – Martine’s tram is set to act as a catalyst for change looking forward to what will follow the demolition, construction and development of our urban surrounds.

Tom Vincent_edTom Vincent (Emerging artist) – Undertaking a Bachelor of Design (communication) at Swinburne University of Technology, Tom (24), explores the science of “classical geometry” and the patterns of this world through his creations. His tram is an extension of this body of work illustrating the underlying grid structure of the tram.

Melbourne Art Trams is a revival of the Victorian Government’s popular Transporting Art project that ran between 1978 and 1993, and saw 36 of Melbourne’s W class trams completely repainted by some of Australia’s most renowned artists, including Mirka Mora, Howard Arkley and Michael Leunig.

A People’s Choice award will be announced following the release of all eight trams onto the network, with the public able to vote for their favourite tram at: www.melbournefestival.com.au/trams in October. The Melbourne Art Trams will remain on the tracks until April 2016.

The 2015 Melbourne Festival runs from 8 – 25 October with the full program announced on 4 August. For more information, visit: www.melbournefestival.com.au for details.

Image: Melbourne Art Tram 925 by James Cattell (2014) – photo courtesy of Yarra Trams