Visually arresting and poignant, this large steel structure is an iteration and further development of his previous series, Everything Broken, Iconoclast is loosely based on the form of an electricity pylon which has become absurdly mangled under the weight of a large boulder.
Three elements make up the work – the tower, the boulder and a series of cables that drape to the ground on either side. Both the tower and cables will be illuminated at night. It will be installed at the Peninsula Link Skye Road exit in May 2017.
“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be selected for the Southern Way McClelland Commission,” says Michael Riddle. “It is tremendous privilege to have an opportunity to work on a project of monumental scale, and for it to ultimately be a part of the permanent collection of the McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery.”
Iconoclast will replace Dean Colls’ Rex Australis: The King is dead, long live the King that has been located on this site since Peninsula Link opened in early 2013.
“The submissions for the fourth Southern Way McClelland Commission certainly highlighted the depth and brilliance of contemporary Australian sculpture and it was fascinating for the judges to see the preoccupations and practices of artists working in the public domain,” said John M. Cunningham, Director McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery.
“McClelland is excited to commission Queensland based artist Michael Riddle for his proposal Iconoclast – an ambitious and striking sculpture that remarkably, given its scale, still maintains a wonderful sense of tenderness.”
Michael Riddle is a Brisbane based contemporary artist who was born in London in 1971 and immigrated to Australia in 1998. Working chiefly in sculpture and object based practice, Michael’s fascination with materials, process and form act as a driver in an art practice that excavates into areas such as metaphysics and the human condition where chance, slippages and accidents are encouraged. He sees the works as identifying markers, purposely deposited along an often confusing path between the physical self and a complex and oscillating world of biographical experience and emotion.
This is the second sculpture renewal of the Southern Way McClelland Commission. Rex Australis will become part of the permanent sculpture collection at McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery.
Every two years until 2037 one new sculpture will be commissioned to alternate between sites at Skye Road and Cranbourne Road, along the Peninsula Link freeway, resulting in 14 commissions with a total value in excess of $4 million. Funding for the sculptures is donated by Southern Way.
Over the duration of the 25 year Southern Way McClelland Commissions, there will be a variety of styles and materials which will display the diversity possible in major public contemporary sculpture. After the four year cycle of display, the works will form part of McClelland’s permanent sculpture collection.
For more information, visit: www.mcclellandgallery.com for details.
Image: Michael Riddle