Artist: Penny Algar and SITE RMIT
Location: Cnr Athol and Springvale roads, Springvale South (Melway Reference 88 K3)
Tucked away in a small shopping strip in Springvale South, shoppers can enjoy a unique environment created with recycled materials which emphases environmentally friendly practises.
The site features flowing hand crafted seats made from ripple iron and old Jarrah floor boards, reclaimed from a wool store in Newcastle, three majestic iron bark posts finished with small pyramid bronze sculptures and a large blue stone plinth with the words 'red river gum' carved into its surface. Solar powered lighting completes the environmentally sustainable art installations.
The art installations are inspired by the dominance of the red river gum in the landscapes of the Greater Dandenong area while the landscaping surrounding the public artwork comprises flora native to the nearby Alex Wilkie Nature Reserve. To compliment the theme, the installations also include a design painted onto the concrete path which resembles a flowing creek. Ellipse shaped motifs make reference to the 'scars' on the Red River Gum trees. These provide a reminder of our indigenous heritage and refer to the relationship of the Bunerong people with the land and environment.
Through the project, Year 10 students from Coomoora Secondary College were introduced to the topics of public art and the environment. Penny Algar visited students and exposed them to the complex processes involved in the creation of public art. This inspired school based workshops where students created their own designs and models of public art.