Artist: Martin George
In-Transit recognises Dandenong as a distribution hub. The bronze artwork comprises a collection of abstracted and oversized links of gold chain that have been staked on a packing pallet. While the chain links reference Martin George’s previous work called Gold Bling, which is also located in Halpin Way, the pallet is a new element.
We are conditioned to accept that shipping pallets are fragile, cheap, temporary, poorly made, disposable and of low value. Yet in this artwork the irony lies in its very foundation – in the artists effort, time, skill and execution making this part of the work permanent, the plinth, cast in bronze.
The artist’s execution is so convincing that the true beauty in this work - the broken and decaying pallet is easily overlooked, instinctively viewers may turn to the gold chain and all of the learned associations with gold that trace back thousands of years.
Weighing in at half a tonne, the pallet is constructed of forged bronze which was cast at Australia’s premier fine art foundry – Meridian in Fitzroy.
In-Transit picks up where Gold Bling left off, exploring the tension of a town in flux. It pays homage to new money and the new Dandenong – a prosperous and developing city riding off the wave of the manufacturing industry while referencing the story, people and cultures that came together in the past to create that renewal.
George said the work is designed to remind us that our fates are shared and that a prosperous future is only possible when a community works together.
“I chose the pallet as a reference to the area’s industry,” he said.
“Much of Melbourne’s manufacturing takes place in the region and as such, a stacked pallet is an immediate visual cue.”
In-Transit forms part of Council’s permanent public art collection which aims to highlight undervalued spaces and create a point of interest for passersby.