New set of pearls for Peninsula Link as biennial sculpture commission announced

NewsNew set of pearls for Peninsula Link as biennial sculpture commission announced
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14 Jul 2020

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA – Melbourne artist Manon van Kouswijk has been awarded the 2021 Southern Way commission to develop a sculpture for public display along side Peninsula Link Freeway in Melbourne’s southeast as part of the public-private partnership’s unique commitment to public art.

One of the initiatives of the Peninsula Link PPP is a 25-year partnership with Australia’s largest sculpture park, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery in nearby Langwarrin.

It involves an ongoing program of new sculptures that alternates every two years between sites at Cranbourne Road and Skye Road interchanges, resulting in 14 commissions over the 25 years to 2037.

After four years on display, the existing art becomes part of the permanent outdoor sculpture collection at McClelland.

To be revealed at the Skye Road interchange next year, Peninsula Pearls draws on Manon’s previous works (pictured) and has been developed in conjunction with Monash Art Projects.

McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery Director Lisa Byrne said Peninsula Pearls is the sixth in this highly-regarded and unique series of commissions.

“With each new commission our local community and the many visitors to our region have the opportunity to experience some of Australia’s leading large-scale sculpture,” Ms Byrne said.

“The program leads the regional focus of sculpture at the Gateway to the Mornington Peninsula.”

Peninsula Pearls was selected from more than 170 submissions from local, interstate and international artists. The commission judging panel included Ms Byrne, artist and McClelland trustee John Young AM, and independent curator Jane O’Neill.

McClelland Balnaves Curator of Australian Sculpture Simon Lawrie said the rotating art program was an excellent way to support local artists who may otherwise not get this level of recognition.

“This program provides exposure to Australian artists and gives them the opportunity to produce great art that challenges the way we perceive the world,” Mr Lawrie said.

Plenary Chief Operating Officer Glenn Hay said the rotating art program is a demonstration of the community benefit that can be achieved through PPPs.

“Public art is a highly-visible and memorable component of major road projects in Victoria,” Mr Hay said.

“With more than 74,000 people driving along Peninsula Link each day, these sculptures are a constant reminder of the importance of good urban planning and amenity.

“We look forward to seeing Peninsula Pearls next year.”

The commission follows the installation of Love Flower by John Meade and Emily Karanikolopoulos at the Cranbourne Road interchange in 2019.

About the artist

Manon van Kouswijk is a Dutch artist and contemporary jeweller who lives and works in Melbourne. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where she headed the jewellery department before relocating to Australia in 2010. Her working methodology is based on exploring the visual and conceptual potential of well-known jewellery forms and motifs and translating them through a range of materials and processes. An integral aspect of her practice is the framing and contextualising of her work through the making of exhibitions and artist publications often in collaboration with other artists and designers.

About Peninsula Link

The $849 million Peninsula Link is a 27-kilometre toll-free road between Carrum Downs and Mount Martha in Melbourne’s southeast. Opening to traffic in January 2013 it significantly reduced congestion on key traffic routes through Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula, particularly during peak periods. In 2010 the Victorian Government contracted the Southern Way consortium under an availability-based public-private partnership to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the roadway for 25 years. The road opened to traffic in 2013 and Plenary took over the asset management role on behalf of Southern Way in 2016.

Chris Whitefield

Executive Director, Communications and Community

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