Melbourne’s cultural landscape has an exciting new addition. The next instalment of the $250,000 Southern Way McClelland biennial sculpture commission has been revealed. Artist John Meade, with Emily Karanikolopolous, was awarded the commission for his elegant and enchanting sculpture, Love Flower, which is based on an Ikebana flower arrangement design. The sculpture has replaced Gregor Kregar’s Reflective Lullaby that was located at Cranbourne Road, on the Langwarrin exit ramp close to McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.
Love Flower is sited along the Peninsula Link freeway in Melbourne’s South East as part of a unique and award-winning commitment to public art. Established in 2013 as a Public Private Partnership between Southern Way and McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, this ongoing program of iconic artworks has established the Mornington Peninsula as an internationally significant hub for public art and contemporary sculpture. The series alternates every two years between sites at Skye Road and Cranbourne Road along Peninsula Link, which will result in 14 commissions over a 25-year period to 2037. Southern Way generously donates funding for the sculptures. After four years on public display the commissions become part of McClelland’s permanent sculpture collection in its 8-hectare sculpture park in Langwarrin.
“The fifth in this highly regarded series of Southern Way McClelland Commissions, Love Flower is beautiful and awe inspiring. As public sculpture this work engages in ways with the aesthetics of nature, as well as being an absolutely magical sight for all who pass by,” says Lisa Byrne, Director, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.
Simon Lawrie, The Balnaves Curator of Australian Sculpture at McClelland, says “As iconic public artworks, these sculptures enliven our community and our daily commute, and encourage discussion about art and ideas – Love Flower is bound to enchant locals and visitors to the Mornington Peninsula alike.’
The Southern Way McClelland Commission 2018 received 65 submissions from local, interstate and international artists. The commission judging panel was Lisa Byrne, Director, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, Maudie Palmer AO, former inaugural Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art and TarraWarra Museum of Art; and artist Lisa Roet.
John Meade is a renowned contemporary Australian sculptor, whose practice draws relations, often humorous and unexpected, between the metaphysical and surreal in the experience of contemporary life and domestic culture. He was born in Ballarat in 1956 and currently lives and working in Melbourne. Meade has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and his work is held in major private and public collections throughout Australia. He is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
Emily Karanikolopoulos is an Australian artist who is a teacher and practitioner of the Japanese floral arrangement art of Sogetsu Ikebana. She is an active member of the Ikebana community of Australia, and she has attained the highest possible Ikebana accreditation outside Japan.
Image: David Darcy and Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward at the announcement of the 2019 Archibald Prize ANZ People’s Choice award at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 14 August 2019. Photo: AGNSW/Felicity Jenkins. Artwork: David Darcy, Tjuparntarri – women’s business © the artist