We were selected and commissioned by Vic Tracks in September this year to submit a design for a competition for an art installation. The most voted piece would be the cherry in the cake at Glen Waverley train station, that had just undergone an award winning redevelopment.
This was a bit of a different project for us, since we wouldn't be painting the piece: we would instead design a digital image to be printed and installed in an anamorphic format at the fence outside the station.
Our brief was to create two art pieces that would represent the past and future of Glen Waverley. The designs would be printed and installed on both sides of the pickets of a fence at the forecourt of the station, so that they would only be visible from a particular angle (forming an anamorphic image). We were provided with images from the local Historical Society for inspiration, and were given plenty of creative freedom .
After a visit to the Glen Waverley and its library, we were fascinated by the local history. The area was populated with orchards in the past, and before then the original owners of the land, the Wurundjeri people hunted kangaroos and emus and collected the roots of the daisy yam in the fields. Currently, the area is full of multi cultural restaurants. We saw food as an interesting link between the different eras, and we decided to use it as a focal point to the concept of the artwork.
Our initial design for the past image shows (on the left) one of the Wurundjeri's ancestral beings, Waa, that is said to have brought fire to humanity. In the foreground we see the flowers of the daisy yam, that are eaten by aboriginals, as well as a silhouette of the Yarra river. On the right we see illustrations of photographs of the Waverley Historical Society, displaying one of the local orchards and the inauguration of the Glen Waverley line.
For the future image, we wanted to make the audience reflect on the future of our relationship to food and resources. Food from all over the world is becoming more and more accessible, however we are increasingly ignorant to the processes that bring it to our tables, and we are no longer aware of the environmental or social cost of it.
A second version, after feedback.
After we submitted the first designs to Vic Tracks, they expressed concerns that the images would be too detailed to suit the anamorphic effect. They also requested a more positive and less confrontational version for the future. We were happy to get adjust the images to better suit the environment and application, and we did so.
Over the following couple of weeks, our artwork and the work of two other artists was up for voting for the local community. The survey took place through posters in the area, flyers, face to face interviews at the station and online. In the end, our design was selected by 40% of the votes, and we were really excited to collaborate with the printer to put together the final artwork.
The art installation exceeded out expectations. The light coming through the fence really brings out the colours of the images, that look surprisingly smooth when viewed from an angle. The art really brought another dimension to the forecourt. We hope it will intrigue and brighten up the day of the hundreds of people that walk past it every day.