Metro Tunnel bringing art that makes a sustainable statement

Metro Tunnel bringing art that makes a sustainable statement

Everything old is new again in the latest artwork to adorn the Metro Tunnel Project’s Town Hall Station work site at City Square, courtesy of the project’s Creative Program.

Abstract artist Elizabeth Gower has given discarded paper products a new life and purpose, with a modern take on the classic mosaic.

“I use product packaging, advertising brochures, posters and billboards, salvaged from the environment,” Ms Gower said. “Those items are precisely cut into ‘tiles’ of paper, collated according to hue and shape, and re-assembled into complex geometric designs, which transforms the visual ‘noise’ of merchandising into the contemplative order and logic of geometry.”

The resulting complex designs are images she describes as “reminiscent of quilting, intricate mosaic tile work and other artisan practices”.

These eye-catching and colourful displays are a welcome addition to Swanston Street as workers and visitors start to return to the CBD.

“As the pedestrian walks along the panoramic hoarding, the geometries transform and evolve one into another along its complete length, referencing physical commutes and journeys,” Ms Gower said. “My art also functions as a social history and index of the present day by recording evidence of contemporary consumption, waste and the prevailing cultural milieu of the specific urban environment of Melbourne in the 21st entury.”

Ms Gower is a key figure in Australian contemporary art and lives and works in Melbourne. Her focus is on environmental sustainability and critique of consumerism and waste – an approach that’s had a strong influence on the work of other artists.

She is a former lecturer and senior lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts and the University of Melbourne and is currently an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

She has held more than 50 solo exhibitions worldwide, including in Australia, the US, UK, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates, while her works are sought-after additions to private and public collections.

Melburnians can experience this creative, thought-provoking art by walking past the Metro Tunnel Project’s City Square construction site until mid-2022 •

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