Public art bringing new developments to life

A striking public artwork in the Queen Victoria Market precinct is capturing imaginations and enlivening the streets.

The artwork by Rose Nolan, commissioned by the City of Melbourne, is a shining example of how art will be created under the Public Art Framework – an exciting initiative endorsed by councillors last week.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp says the framework will commission and develop art on buildings throughout Melbourne, cementing the city’s reputation as an artistic and creative hub. 

“We want to see public art embedded in every part of our city, and with so many cranes in the sky, we want to work with developers to think about how they can enrich their projects with culture right from the start,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Rose Nolan’s artwork is a shining example of how effective collaboration with developers, architects, universities and other levels of government can deliver inspiring works that bolster our status as Australia’s cultural capital and drive visitation to our great city.”

Rose Nolan worked with architects Six Degrees on the design and integration of her screen artwork, called Screen Works (ENOUGH-NOW/EVEN/MORE-SO). It adorns the ten level Munro building, creating a textural contrast to the façade of the historic Mercat Cross Hotel.

The words ‘Now’, ‘More’, ‘Enough’ and ‘So’ are emblazoned in bold red and white on the exterior screens of the community hub façade on Queen and Therry streets.

“The City of Melbourne public art commission provided a unique opportunity to create a significant artwork for the new community hub and the market community,” Ms Nolan said. 

“It’s exciting to see this verbal-visual puzzle emerge; a series of connected floating words that land gently to integrate with the architecture. In reflecting upon the historic and much-loved market they conjure up a sense of perseverance, change, improvement and optimistic transition from one state to another.”

Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Councillor Jamal Hakim said the Public Art Framework also guides the design of new public artworks that have strong ties to their location, increasing the community’s connection to Melbourne and enticing visitors.

“We know that Melburnians feel passionately about public art, and we’re thrilled to share this new work with them,” Cr Hakim said.

“Rose Nolan is a local artist who is renowned for her striking and often humorous work. She is experienced at working on large-scale architectural projects and has a strong understanding of the market precinct and its history – a perfect alignment with our new commissioning model.

“In the coming year, our public art program aims to foster the economic recovery of Melbourne’s creative sector and increase tourism, economic activity and foot traffic around public art installations.”

Six Degrees Architects Director Michael Frazzetto said the screen on the community hub was included early in the design process.

“It offered us a unique opportunity to incorporate a large public artwork with small additional cost to project,” Frazzetto said.

“As well as helping brand the building as uniquely Melbourne, Rose Nolan’s artwork serves as a wayfinding device to the new laneway and basement carpark.

“Melbourne has a long and successful tradition of working with our artistic community. It is fantastic to see Council work with developers and architects to integrate public art into new developments.”

The Munro development is a key project in the renewal of the Queen Victoria Market precinct, and will feature retail and hospitality outlets, a boutique hotel, build-to-rent residential apartments, affordable housing and a community hub with library and event spaces. A new 500-space underground market car park also opened on the site earlier this year. 

A new pop-up park opposite the city’s latest public artwork will also provide market shoppers and city visitors with even more green space to enjoy the precinct.

Six Degrees Architects, PDG Developers, and the City of Melbourne collaborated with Rose Nolan on the public art project.

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