Arts Centre Melbourne sculptures find temporary new homes during arts precinct transformation

ACM-McClelland-2023-photo-by-Mark-GambinoFive significant sculptures from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Public Art Collection will find temporary new homes at McClelland, Australia’s pre-eminent Sculpture Park and Gallery and Heide Museum of Modern Art during the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation.

Sculptures, Rhythms of Life, Family of Man I, Family of Man II, formerly located around Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres building, were today installed at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery as part of a long-term loan as Arts Centre Melbourne undergoes significant updates to its buildings and public space.

The sculpture Rhythms of Life was donated by the artist, Andrew Rogers while Family of Man I and Family of Man II by artist Cole Sopov were generously donated by John and Agita Haddad.

Sculptures Coming and Going, by artist Les Kossatz and Marathon Man II by artist Anthony Pryor are being loaned to Heide Museum of Modern Art and will be installed in early March. Coming and Going was donated by the William Angliss Art Fund and Marathon Man II was donated by Leon and Sandra Velik.

Since being removed from Arts Centre Melbourne in July 2022, the sculptures have been carefully stored, cleaned, and prepared for installation by J. K. Fasham, Melbourne’s specialist sculpture fabricators and installers.

“Arts Centre Melbourne’s Public Art Collection should be exactly that – public,” said Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Karen Quinlan AM.

Being able to bring these sculptures to new audiences, ensuring they continue to be enjoyed while the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation is underway, is a fantastic outcome. I’m looking forward to visiting them.”

The temporary relocation of the sculptures to these esteemed and popular galleries means they have the potential to reach new audiences who may not have visited them at Arts Centre Melbourne. The sculpture loans are planned for five years with their host venues in Langwarrin and Bulleen.

“These magnificent works are a perfect complement to our existing Collection. The works by Cole Sopov, a post-war immigre artist will be exhibited alongside fellow post-war immigre artists including Inge King, Vincas Jomatas and Teisutis Zikaras,” said McClelland Director, Lisa Byrne.

McClelland Collection already includes several Andrew Rogers works and Rhythms of Life will be a terrific expansion of this oeuvre. The loans initiative will provide greater cultural opportunities for the community of the outer SE of Melbourne,” said Ms Byrne.

“We are delighted to have these much-loved public sculptures located at Heide for the next few years. Les Kossatz was a close associate of John and Sunday Reed and their son Sweeney and his sheep in Coming and Going deftly reference the agricultural history of the Heide site,” said Heide Artistic Director, Lesley Harding.

“Anthony Pryor’s Marathon Man II will be located nearby to Rick Amor’s Running Man and perfectly complements the figurative sculptures in the Heide parklands.”

During the time the sculptures are at the host venues Arts Centre Melbourne will undergo significant upgrades, including the construction of an expanded underground Loading Dock, new food and beverage outlets, a new flexible rehearsal studio and function space, as well as elevating the glorious heritage State Theatre to world-class, improving accessibility, audience comfort and staging technology.

The transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct will take place over approximately six years, with an expansive 18,000 square metres of public urban garden built around Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building (under the Spire), connecting through to NGV International and the new The Fox: NGV Contemporary.

The locations of where these sculptures will be displayed in future is currently under consideration. The Australian Performing Arts Collection team at Arts Centre Melbourne will continue to look for opportunities to display the Public Art Collection, making it accessible to all Victorians.

For more information about the Reimagining of Arts Centre Melbourne, visit: for details.

Image: Cole Sopov, Family of Man I, 1984 and Family of Man II, 1984, Arts Centre Melbourne, Public Art Collection, installed at McClelland on loan – photo by Mark Gambino.