The Utilitarian by Robbie Rowlands
September 2011-September 2013
Melbourne based artist Robbie Rowlands created this extraordinary site responsive sculpture 'The Utilitarian'. Commissioned in 2011, the work rested in a compact park between the press of buildings that connects Lonsdale Street and Palm Plaza in Dandenong.
The Utilitarian altered a pale blue street lamp decommissioned from service in Lonsdale Street in 2010. No longer towering overhead, the former rigidity of the street lamp was collapsed in a sensuous fluid motion. In its retired state, the pole rested with light arms stretched out to meet the ground as if this was a long awaited dream. No longer lighting, but now touching the path.
The work was a means to reflect on the experience of the evolving character of the street. Sited on a key pedestrian route between the market and the train station, the park was now a place invigorated by the spontaneity of the unexpected.
'Placing it in close proximity to its original setting allowed the public to reflect on its previous life and the role it played", artist Robbie Rowlands said.
Rowlands is known for mediating the boundaries between the fabricated and natural world in his work. Through a series of precise cuts, the artist gently reconfigures existing objects into poetic forms.
Rowlands contributed to the Revitalising Central Dandenong project through artworks 'The Offering' at a historic church in Robinson Street in 2009, the Depot project at Grenda's in 2008, and 'Night Worker', 'I'm On My Way Down' and 'Measured Loss' in 2012..