Back in March, just before Melbourne's first lockdown, I was invited by the City of Melbourne to try to capture something of the moment. Wearing gloves and a mask I went for a walk through the city and found myself drawn to all the signs that had suddenly popped up in every shop window.
There was something urgent in these fleeting signs. With heartfelt thank you’s and concerned well wishes of safety, these signs illustrate the relationship that our businesses have with our community.
Some of the signs contain humour while others are more sincere, almost all contain a strong sense of hope and togetherness.
These nineteen ceramic sculptures I've made are exact replicas of signs I found hanging on the front doors of businesses throughout Melbourne city on March 28, 2020.
1. Shimbu, Tibetan restaurant on Lygon Street.
4. Melbourne Aquarium.
5. Pellegrini's on Bourke Street.
13. TAB on Bourke Street.
14. Lt Collins Melbourne cafe.
15. Museums Victoria. (Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, Immigration Museum, Royal Exhibition Building and IMAX Theatre.)
16. St. Paul's Cathedral on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street.
17. Goodlife Gym opposite Etihad Stadium.
18. Myer on Bourke Street.
19. Sushi Sushi in Melbourne Central.
A big thanks to Eddie Butler and the City of Melbourne for commissioning this project. Also a big thanks Yarra Arts and the Creative Community Quick Response Grant for helping support this project too.
A big thanks as well to writer Andrew Stephens for so wonderfully writing about this project in his article "A Blank Canvas: As the world holds its breath, creative minds are mapping out a new direction", published in Saturday's The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
I'd like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, whose land this series was created on, and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging, who have been creating art here for thousands of years.
Thanks for reading, hope you're safe and as well as can be!
The nineteen sculptures will now live at their new home in the City of Melbourne Town Hall Collection. Am looking forward to one day seeing them installed on a gallery wall, but in the meantime as we remain in the current lockdown here is the series laid out on my living room floor.